I was recently spending time with my best friends that I’ve known since high school. They aren’t into fitness like myself but have been in a gym and have found something they like. Of course me being a trainer, I try to offer them advice to help them get the most out of their workouts. Whether they take this advice or not is fine with me, I just like to share knowledge and get people thinking. My one friend was searching her phone for a fitness app. Another friend was questioning her about her want to spend a couple dollars a month. Her response was holding up her phone and showing us pictures of skinny girls in bikinis that supposedly followed the program. This got me thinking (not about the girls in bikinis) but how disillusioned fitness apps and social media have made us.
Social media is all about one-upsmanship to some people. Constant comparison to these fitness personalities and athletes have corrupted the minds of some. I’m guilty of this as well. Seeing someone younger being able to deadlift more than me can be frustrating. This is harmful to those who are influenced by this. Similar to little girls seeing ads with incredible skinny models and thinking they’ll never amount to that beauty “standard.” All of this creates a toxic environment that is starting to change what fitness is. Bettering yourself and pushing yourself to achieve your goals is what fitness really is. It doesn’t even have to be in the gym. Mental and emotional fitness is included in this definition as well.
Inspiration should come from you and those around you, not those that you see on social media or fitness apps. Before you think about giving up on your goals because you saw someone else online who is better than you, take a step back and remind yourself that your goals are unique to you and you shouldn’t be discouraged about someone else’s progress. For further reading please follow the link, it’s honestly one of the most important articles I’ve read in a while.
Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals.
Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo @clemono2