How Social Media has Distorted the Way We Exercise

gym stunts olympia strength
Mohanlal posted this picture on social media. (Facebook)

Have you seen the video where a man bench presses a barbell, but instead of regular weights it’s two women? Or the one where they are on a hoverboard and squatting heavy weights? Or the one “record-breaking” lift that seems suspiciously easy? There are hundreds of examples of gym behavior that gets a lot of attention on social media. These videos draw attention, comments and views but what is the end result?

Confusion for members of the audience that may have little to no experience in the gym.

There’s a Bigger Problem than “Gym Stunts”

These antics are not how you build a solid foundation for fitness in your life. But this is the obvious. There’s actually a deeper problem with social media that is far harder to spot. It’s the “fitspo” lifestyle that has distorted what it means to fit fitness into our lives.

Most of them are young, conventionally attractive people without kids and the sort of life where going to the gym can be an everyday occurance is normal. They have the time and resources (in fact, many gain more resources because of their looks or physique) to go to the gym during the day, to prepare meals, to find the time for rest and recovery. This is not to dump on them! They are pursuing their own dream, working hard each day. We only see the heavily edited parts that they share, however, and it’s important to remember that.

How to Actually be Strong

If I were to tell you the secret to being strong was longevity, you’d scoff. “That’s not how it’s done on social media!” My favorite influencer takes supplements, spends hours at the gym and counts their macros! In the long run, if you aren’t training for a competition, it doesn’t really matter what exercises you decide to do, in what order or even how often.

In fact, if you chose to squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press on seperate days, repeated that for months and months, and added a little bit more weight or repetitions, you’d be much stronger than you could imagine.

The secret isn’t a supplement, it’s supposed to be something that adds to an already solid base. The secret isn’t picking the most optimal exercise, it’s getting really good at a few of them. The secret isn’t having the most exciting gym sessions, it’s doing the boring work over and over again.

In a world of too much information, finding a local coach is a great way to start. They can help cut through layers of myth and get you started on a program that fits you. This is true even if you’re just starting out. Getting started in the gym with a guide that has nothing but the best interests for you is an amazing experience. It can ease your anxiety, help you understand how to be in a gym and give you the confidence you need for a lifetime of fitness.

At Alliance Athletics Olympia, we pride ourselves on training everyone interested in strength. This includes absolute beginners of every age to professional athletes. If you’re interested in our personal training options, book a time here.

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