Fitness Influencer Ben Carpenter (@bdccarptner) posts several TikTok videos meant to dispel people's notions about what "fitness" is and what it supposedly looks like. The former aesthetics model has uploaded several videos detailing how when it comes to health that low bodyfat percentages and striations don't necessarily mean a person is more in shape than someone who doesn't look like a comic book character.
He drove this point further home in a viral clip that's garnered over 974,000 views on the popular social media platform. In it, he posted a response to another user's video showing a woman with a protruding belly performing a series of rapid standing cleans and jerks in what looks like a Crossfit style gym.
The woman he highlights in his video is actually a fitness influencer and Crossfit enthusiast named Beth who regularly posts her own content to TikTok. She touts herself as a plus-size athlete and regularly posts clips that dispel the idea one needs to look a certain way in order to excel in physical fitness
The video serves to dispel the rumor that the aesthetics of a person determines how fit they are, something that Ben discusses at length in his TikTok while offering up his remarks on the comments section of Beth, who recorded herself performing multiple repetitions of the exercise.
He says in the clip, "The comments section was full of people who I wish had been caught in a condom at the point of their conception. But what he said is a fact. This is a photo of me," he says, pointing to a picture of himself shirtless, gripping two 45lb dumbbells looking positively shredded.
"Many people would say that I look fit. But at the time I didn't do any cardio or play any sports. I was good at lifting weights...at a controlled tempo...in the 6-15 rep range. But my agility and fitness levels sucked. I have known bodybuilders that look like f----- superheroes, yet they couldn't run to catch a bus."
He went on to say that there were other bodybuilders he knew who were equally cut-like-diamonds, but also equally lacking in physical fitness: "One of the most muscular guys I have ever known used to literally get out of breath as he walked around the gym, would apparently get occasional cramps in his lat when he wiped his own a--."
According to Ben, the physically imposing denizens of the gym were not in the highest levels of fitness and instead dedicated all of their time into making sure their glamour muscles were looking phenomenal, "Bodybuilding and fitness modeling are sports based on how you look. But Crossfit, martial arts, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, etc. are sports based on what your body can do."
"And many of these athletes might not look lean and muscular but that doesn't make them any worse at what they do. I would bet decent money that I couldn't go toe-to-toe with her at CrossFit. Remember, having a visible six pack is not the epitome of actual fitness and we should uplift people who are exercising, not insult people who don't look a certain way while they are doing it."
Several commenters who replied to Ben's video stated that they were aware of Beth's profile and had nothing but praise for the feats of athleticism she put on display on her account: "I've watched her crossfit I'm breathless just watching !!" one person posted.
Another said that they couldn't believe the hate that Beth received simply for posting fitness-related content online: "I feel bad for Beth. She’s a very strong and powerful athlete. The amount of hate the poor woman gets is shocking."
Another said that this was simply par the course for some sports and that Beth's body type is a lot more common in various weight-centric sports programs than people might think: "These people obviously haven’t seen some Olympians and professional athletes in some sports"
And then there were those who said that this was just a common case of people talking smack on the internet without having the slightest idea as to what they're commenting on: "I feel like the people making the cruellest comments could not go toe to toe with her. she's amazing"
One other person said that there's a clear difference between gym strength and real world strength: "My partner owns a scaffolding company and has a lot of gym guys come cause they think it’s easy… they usually quit after 3 hours"