Bad@ss weightlifting chick

Sculptafit’s False Advertising, or How Joey Atlas Made Me Use “Mansplaining”

I never thought I’d use the term “mansplaining” until I saw a Sculptafit ad written by its owner, Joey Atlas.

First of all, let me get this out of the way: I have nothing against alternate forms of fitness. You do what gets you results, whether that’s CrossFit or running or Zumba or chair yoga. Me, I’m partial to running, CrossFit, and yoga.

What I do have a problem with is this ad:

Sculptafit ad by Joey Atlas

Sculptafit ad, written by Joey Atlas

Once you’re done fuming, let’s take a look at it. Sculptafit is run by someone who calls himself Joey Atlas (not Nikki – Nikki is one of the trainers but not responsible for this example of mansplaining). It’s low-intensity exercise aimed at women who are intimidated by traditional gyms and “hardcore” methods like CrossFit. While there is nothing wrong with that – hey, with the obesity rate in the U.S. being 36.5%, according to the CDC, if it gets you moving and losing weight, I’m all for it –  what ticks me off is the approach Joey Atlas is taking to promote Sculptafit. (I won’t even touch on the horrendous grammar issues. That’s a topic for another day and another blog.)

  1. Women Should Not Do CrossFit. Are you kidding me, Joey Atlas? Women should absolutely do CrossFit if that’s what they want to do. CrossFit is not going to hurt you unless you a) don’t listen to your coach or b) have a really bad coach. Also, Sculptafit might want to watch what it’s publishing on its website (no, I’m not linking directly to the site). The NSCA just got torched by a judge in a lawsuit for publishing false claims against CrossFit for commercial gain.
  2. Women Should Not Do HIIT Workouts. Any type of high-intensity exercise can injure you, especially if you’re not letting your muscles recover. However, HIIT is a great way to burn fat and increase fitness. If you do HIIT on your own, make sure you’re taking adequate rest breaks. If you do take a HIIT class, look for one taught by a certified instructor.
  3. Women Should Not Do Weight-Lifting (sic). Oh, Joey Atlas, where do I begin with this? Weightlifting doesn’t bulk you up. Women don’t have the testosterone levels necessary for that. I’ve been CrossFitting for two years, and there is not a single person on God’s green earth who would refer to me as “bulky.” The women who regularly RX workouts at my gym are fit and lean, not “bulky.” What weightlifting does for women is build strength and confidence – and prevents injury, if you’re doing it right. Also, muscle burns fat. Period. And let’s face it, it’s nice when you can get your suitcase into the overhead compartment without help. Thank you, deadlift-clean-jerk combo.
  4. Women Should Not Be Dieting. All right, Sculptafit, I’ll give you that. Don’t diet. Make lifestyle changes. What backfires is when you do a deprivation diet and cut out everything. Moderation and healthy choices are key. Educate yourself about nutrition; work with a certified dietitian; let yourself have a small treat. Eat lots of veggies and lean protein, choose complex carbs, and avoid artificial sugar and animal fats.

What also bothers me about this Sculptafit ad is its condescending attitude toward women and its scare tactics. At one point in my life, I was terrified of lifting heavy, of barbells, and of CrossFit. I thought “fitness” meant boring elliptical sessions and classes with three-pound dumbbells. Had I seen this ad, I might have thought “gentle” fitness was all I could do.

We all know that’s not the case. I don’t need someone to mansplain to me that I shouldn’t lift heavy. I don’t need Joey Atlas to lie and say CrossFit is dangerous. I don’t need a Sculptafit method to make me feel strong and beautiful. Look, if Sculptafit works for you, go with God. But if you’re truly confident in your program, you don’t need to pick apart other fitness methods.

 

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