Redefine Health and Fitness: Carlos Concep
“We need to keep pushing that different is beautiful. Why do we all want to look alike? Embrace the beauty in our differences and the power of being unique.” Personal Trainer, Carlos Concep on rejecting traditional notions of beauty. The NY PT also shares fitness advice, the prevalence of body dysmorphia in the queer community and the importance of unpacking reinforced narratives in the fitness industry.
Shot by Nicolas Bloise @papi.prada
AN INTRODUCTION TO FITNESS
A fundamental move that we should all be incorporating into our fitness regime and why?
If you aren’t already deadlifting learn how to. No other movement engages more muscles and builds a strong foundation that carries over into your everyday life.
Why do you consider it important that the queer collective engages in conversations about the narratives reinforced by the health and fitness industry and its impact on our community?
Because as a collective we stand for diversity and acceptance. The fitness industry for a very long time now has promoted a “type”/ an ideal of what healthy and fit looks like. You look at the majority of fitness magazines and almost everybody on the cover of these magazines are identical. It’s like a copy and paste body with different faces.
In my experience with training (gay men especially), when I first sit down with them and we talk about their goals more often than not they have an exact image in their head of what they want to look like. And it’s the same type of body. Now there is nothing wrong with knowing exactly what you want. And I have nothing against training to better one’s physique. But you have to start questioning… why? Why is this the body you want? And then you have to start managing expectations. We all have different bodies. And I can push your body to be the best it can be but I don’t want you to have an image in your head of what that body looks like. Because it creates an unhealthy relationship with what you see in the mirror. And I guarantee even when I get your body close to what you see on that magazine cover/Instagram post… you won’t be happy. Because you will only ever see that “image” when you look at the mirror.
Our community has struggled for acceptance for a very long time and in that fight for acceptance we’ve decided to conform many parts of ourselves. To look like the “ideal” of what a man/woman should look like. The fitness industry is at the front of pushing those images.
We need to keep pushing that different is beautiful. Why do we all want to look alike? Embrace the beauty in our differences and the power of being unique.
What would you say to someone within the queer community who’s only experience with sport and fitness has been negative, but wants to improve their physical health?
1. Find a good coach/trainer to guide you. And I want to take this opportunity to share how one can spot a good trainer. Because I’ve met too many clients who’ve had such bad experiences with trainers.
What makes a good coach/trainer?
When you meet this coach/trainer he/she/they will listen to your goals. This coach will create and share the program with you and if asked why you’re doing something they will have a reason behind the exercise and how it relates to your goals. No matter what level of fitness you are at they will start with the basic movement patterns and build from there. Your program will be consistent as the most effective programs focus on a few movements that you can perfect. Do not fall for the “entertainer” Trainer. The one who constantly changes your program every time they see you in order to give you a “fun” experience.
Your coach should keep a close eye on all your movement (they shouldn’t be across the room/texting/Instagramming) and should give you correct cues all throughout your training session. Most importantly your coach will not only aim to change your body but the way that you see yourself. You should feel built up and not beaten down.
2. Enjoy the process and not always the results/end goal. In order to develop a consistent routine that lasts a lifetime learn to love the place you are in at this moment. The fun part is the learning process so do not become obsessed with your end goal. Work towards it but be present.
3. Want more than just aesthetics. Learn new skills and develop real strength. Aesthetics come and go… but skills and strength that can last a lifetime.
“You are worthy.”
Outside the context of physical exercise, what do you do for your personal wellbeing that you would recommend?
Travel the world and experience different cultures. Visit places that you’re scared of and learn to adapt. See things from everyone’s eyes whether you agree with them or not.
Who’s doin’ it right in the queer collective that you look to for a healthy relationship with health and fitness that we should have on our radar?
To be honest, when I follow fitness professionals it’s less to do whether they are part of the queer community. I like to follow professionals who are more than just about one thing. People who don’t perpetuate an ideal/image. People who can respect aesthetics but delve deeper into their practices. Some people worth following because of the beauty of their practice and the consciousness in the type of content they put out there:
@devinpkelley, @fabiandomenech, @royegold, @odeliagold, @portal.ido, @cptgregory, @_alexnino_, @squatuniversity, @garagegymgirl, @kswiss_fit, @vik_hawksley, @refinedandstrong and @the_mindful_mover.
What would you graffiti on the back of a toilet door?
You are worthy.
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