About Us

Who and What is BPFA
The PillarsThe Board
Since 2013

Making Fitness Approachable, Accessible, and Fun!

Our History

The Body Positive Fitness Alliance (BPFA) was born out of a collective belief that the fitness industry can and should do more to help instead of harm. Gym owners, trainers, and clients wanted to step away from customs that foster shame and isolation and build a new fitness industry that puts accessibility and inclusive practices at the forefront. BPFA assembled for its first in-person annual summit in 2016 in Huntington Beach, CA. It was a magical experience where trainers from across the US and Canada had a chance to connect and feel like they weren’t alone in trying to build body positive practices with their business. Since then BPFA has grown and transformed into an online education platform and global networking organization for fitness professionals. Our mission is to provide educational resources and community-based learning united around a common goal of equitable access to exercise for all people.

Our Values

The Eight Pillars

The Pillars are the guiding values for both our organization and our individual fitness practices. Click on each Pillar below to learn more.

Pillar 1: Accessibility

Our spaces are physically accessible and our practices are for all bodies. We consider your financial, communication, learning, safety, and other access related barriers to fitness.

Pillar 2: Approachability

Our attitudes are positive, realistic, and predictable. Our processes are transparent. We acknowledge our own privilege is a barrier between ourselves and those we serve.

Pillar 3: Enjoyment

We provide fun moments and experiences to help you associate challenging physical work with happiness and success.

Pillar 4: Community

We create conditions for meaningful connections between individuals undergoing similar experiences. We are leaders by example and we protect our communities’ values.

Pillar 5: Scope of Practice

We acknowledge our professional and personal limitations and do not prevent you from seeking a higher level of care for conditions outside our scopes of practice. We implement evidence based practices and follow guidelines from major professional organizations.

Pillar 6: Full Health

We ensure your experiences are safe and enhance your overall quality of life. We do not intimidate or shame; rather appropriately challenge you with consideration for your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Pillar 7: Body Positivity

We do not assume your ability based on what we do or do not know about you. We create and hold space for you to exercise autonomy over your body, our relationship, and your experience.

Pillar 8: Growth

We prioritize growing as professionals to better serve you. We regularly self-evaluate our practices and their alignment with the Eight Pillars.

Becoming a Nonprofit

Our Nonprofit Journey

BPFA started as a group of likeminded fitness professionals who believed in a better way to share fitness with more people. We transitioned from a loose collective to a for-profit organization. However, we soon realized that this was so much bigger than anything we could ever sell for profit, and that’s not truly what the community valued. We valued the community-based education and the connections made with others. We valued knowing that we weren’t alone in the toxic fitness world. And we wanted to share that!

So in 2020 we embraced Pillar 8 – Growth! – and started the process of becoming a nonprofit. We built on our values, and reevaluated our mission and goals. A nonprofit is who we are at heart, and truly who we have always been. Now we have the opportunity to lean into what we do best – providing education, connection, and fellowship – and continue our growth together.

BPFA’s Position Statements

 

Gender Access in Sports

Black Lives Matter

Meet the Team

Board of Directors

Laura Vineyard Headshot

Laura Vineyard - Exec. DIrector

She/Her, They/Them

Laura is a personal trainer, gym owner, park roller skater, and community organizer from Ithaca, NY. She captains the BPFA ship.

Simone Samuels

She/Her

Simone is a group fitness and personal trainer based in Toronto, Canada. She has a background in law, employment equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion.

Kate Browne Headshot

Kate Browne

She/Her

Kate is a brand and marketing consultant for wellness businesses.

Maria DeMesa Headshot

Maria DeMesa

She/Her

Maria is an amateur competitive powerlifter, graphic and web designer, and single mother from Dublin, CA.

Katie Feeley Headshot

Katie Majewski Feeley

She/Her

Katie is a strength coach, strongman athlete, cat mom, travel junkie, and bourbon enthusiast. She owns Power Plant Gym, an inclusive strength training facility in Aston, PA.

Susan Brown Headshot

Susan Brown

She/Her, They/Them

Susan is a (very) amateur fitness enthusiast, body positive advocate, and lawyer based in Northern California.

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