Updated: Aug 3, 2019
The fitness industry is booming!
From fashion trends to internet celebrities, vlogging their way to uber popularity it’s fair to say that to be a part of anything fitness related at the moment is certainly fashionable, and lucrative.
With many platforms for fitness enthusiasts to dispense their knowledge I am asking the question, are there any pitfalls to watch out for?
The rise and rise of the fitness vlogger seems to know no bounds. In pretty much any gym across the country, if you spend any amount of time there, you will see a workout being done and a digital camera on a tripod come out in between sets. It seems everybody wants to be a youtube or Instagram influencer.
Personally I think this is a great thing. If the youth of today are interested in going to the gym, getting fit and documenting it as they go, it does no harm. Joining online communities and talking in forums, discussing likes and dislikes, swapping vegan recipes and looking forward to the next fitness event, in my opinion, can only be a good thing.
I do think however there are some things that need to be addressed. I recently joined an online community all things fitness related and some of the questions are certainly questionable, the answers however a lot of the time are worse.
This my friends, is a pitfall I'm worried about. The fact that there are a lot of Internet celebrity types in the fitness industry means that for somebody new to the gym and just starting out, where do they go? Who is right? Who is to be avoided?
If somebody has an Instagram account and they have 10,000 followers does that mean you must trust what they say with regards to fitness training and exercising? Unfortunately I think most people look at the numbers and base their decision upon this. Now I'm not saying that people with a lot of followers don't know what they're talking about, there are some people in the industry there are fantastic and very knowledgeable, but trust me they are few and far between.
For the most part it is just peoples opinion and it is harmless. There may be disagreement about the number of reps for muscle building, does 5 x 5 work for everybody wanting to increase strength or, one of my favourites, is the dead lift to be included on leg day or back day? This is all good banter and discussion and it's healthy for people wanting to progress to have these conversations and work things out for themselves.
The problem comes when you have people who have been training for maybe six months and everything is fresh and new, they are keen and motivation is high and they decide that they can then teach other people what to do. There is a reason why PT’s study, train and cram for exams… it is to learn about anatomy, physiology, methods of training, nutrition and more. Wanting to help others who are interested in what you are interested in is great and should be encouraged, but a line has to be drawn when it becomes misleading and sometimes dangerous.
So if you are reading this and you yourself, or somebody that you know wants to learn how to dead lift or perform Olympic lifts, please don't always take the word of somebody with thousands of followers. It doesn't mean that they know what they’re talking about, a lot of the time it just means that they have nice photos and are probably in fairly good shape. Take the time to research and find somebody who may have competed or is a fully qualified personal trainer and I assure you that your fitness journey will be much better.
Until next time…