It’s All in the Packaging


The Huffington Post had a story the other day about one of the latest fitness “fads” taking place in New York City, the Bowery, to be exact.

The name of the studio/workout is ModelFIT, and it is the collaboration between a respected personal trainer, Justin Gelband (known as the Model Whisperer for his fitness work with models), and Vanessa Packer, who founded the healthy lifestyle website bonberi.

They believed that a balanced approach to health that included a focus on exercise, nutrition, and sleep would be highly effective.

Is this news? Haven’t people been aware of the importance of such behaviors for decades?

I am not denying that the ModelFIT program works, but there is really nothing special about the exercise program itself and its overall approach to fitness.

So how does something so basic become the latest craze? It’s the packaging.

First, it helps to have a celebrity or two, and ModelFIT has celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Kate Upton among its clientele.

Next it helps to have “the look”. Apparently there are flower vases and Diptyque candles throughout the studio (I had no idea what Diptyque candles were, so I looked it up; no surprise here, they appear to be really expensive candles). There’s also a clean, minimalist, light-filled look to the studio (at least based on the photos I’ve seen on its web site). And yes, it does look beautiful, the kind of place you would want to spend some time working to improve yourself. It’s sort of at the opposite end of the spectrum of a Planet Fitness when it comes to aesthetics.

It also helps to have something that offers the appearance of being unique. ModelFIT likes to say that its focus is on small muscles, and that despite the fact that you do not sweat at its workouts, you are still getting a good workout. Hearing something like that could be quite appealing to many people who may be enticed to doing such a workout that sounds relatively easy.

And it does look relatively easy; below is a video that offers a 20-minute full body workout.

So if it’s so easy, why do people seem to be getting good results?

If you are eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting adequate exercise, that’s usually all it takes to maintain a proper body weight and to feel and be healthy. In addition, there is probably some self-selection going on. Those who join ModelFIT may already be health conscious, and so getting some movement, any movement, can only increase one’s fitness.

I applaud the fact Justin and Vanessa have created a successful exercise studio, and I wish them continued success. They appear to have found a way to get people to enjoy working out, and that is no small feat.

But let’s not kid ourselves; anyone can reap such benefits, without the expense of going to the Bowery, by eating less, moving more, and getting enough sleep.

All the rest is just packaging; Mad Men would have been proud.

9 thoughts on “It’s All in the Packaging

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