Deconstructing the Fitness-Industrial Complex
How to Resist, Disrupt, and Reclaim What It Means to Be Fit in American Culture
Perspectives from QTBIPOC, fat, and disabled trainers, bodyworkers, and coaches on reimagining fitness for all bodies.
For readers of Belly of the Beast, Care Work, and The Body is Not an Apology
Fit is subjective. Who our society designates as fit--and who gets to be fit in our society--is predefined by the coaches, gyms, and systems at large that uphold and reproduce the Fitness Industrial Complex for their own structural and material gain.
The Fitness Industrial Complex uplifts some bodies while denigrating others. Bodies that are Black, Brown, queer, trans, poor, fat, and disabled--bodies that don't conform, that resist and disrupt--are excluded from being "fit." Through the stories and experiences of activist trainers, coaches, and bodyworkers of diverse identities and experiences, this anthology interrogates:
- The ideas and beliefs we've internalized about health, fitness, and our own and others' bodies
- How to deconstruct and re-envision fitness as a practice for all bodies
- The fitness industry's role in upholding and reinforcing oppression
- Exclusivity, unsafety, and harm in mainstream fitness spaces
- How to empower ourselves and our communities to push back against the FIC
Speaking directly to sick, queer, trans, disabled, and BIPOC readers, Deconstructing the Fitness Industrial Complex is part urgent inquiry, part radical deconstruction, and part call to action: to build spaces that welcome and work for all; to reclaim movement as a vital and liberatory practice; and to embody a model of joy and community care outside the mainstream fitness culture.
About this Author
JUSTICE ROE WILLIAMS (he/him) is a Certified Personal Trainer; founder of The Queer Gym Pop Up and BodyImage4Justice; ED of Fitness4AllBodies; and a trans, body-positive activist who works with people of all backgrounds to address and dismantle toxic masculinity. He's been featured in Refinery29, Good Housekeeping, NPR, Pink News, and more.
ROC ROCHON (they/them) is a trans masculine educator and doctoral student in the Department of Sport Management at FSU focusing on physical culture and the active body. They founded Rooted Resistance and served as the Director of Educational Leadership for GO! Athletes.
LAWRENCE KOVAL (they/he) is a movement instructor, writer, and analyst. His work is greatly informed through the lens of his own identity and experience: white, nonbinary, trans masculine, autistic, ADHD, and more.
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