We all know we have to be careful of social media causing us to compare ourselves with others. It can cause discontent with our life and that feeling of not being ‘good enough’ when we compare our life to everyone else’s highlight reel. Recently, however, I’ve been thinking that social media may be influencing us in the fitness industry in a different way. I think social media trends and popular views have a habit of becoming your own. We can adopt the goals and beliefs of others over time due to the repetition of their exposure to us. Here are some examples of trends in the fitness industry that you may have seen everyone going on about:
Example 1: Cardio is boring
Often you see fitness model’s selling their ebooks and claiming you can get your bikini body without any ‘boring cardio sessions’. Or you hear personal trainers explaining how they prepared their client for their fitness show without any ‘long boring training sessions’. The truth is, if you genuinely enjoy cardio, there is no reason to exclude it in favour of only weight training! I love to do thirty minutes of low intensity movement every day such as walking or yoga. I go through phases with moderate and high intensity cardio, but I’m usually doing (and enjoying!) at least one spin class, adventure sport, HIIT or steady outdoor jogs in my weekly workout program.
Example 2: Kayla Itsines bikini body guide is the best way to get in shape
Kayla’s bikini body guide (bbg) is, of course, insanely popular. While her hashtag #bbg is one of the most popular health and fitness hashtags, it’s important to remember that there are many paths that lead to the same destination. If you don’t enjoy her style of training, such as so much plyometrics training, there is no reason why you have to do it to get into your best shape. There are many other types of workouts and programs you can do to reach your goals – they just might not have as successful marketing and business plans behind them which is why you don’t see them everywhere you look on social media! It’s important that you do a form of exercise which you enjoy and can do consistently, otherwise you won’t be able to make it a regular part of your life.
Example 3: My ideal body type is capped shoulders and a big booty
It seems like the assumption in fitness magazines and on social media is that growing your shoulders and glutes is the goal of every gym-loving woman. Make sure you’re not making this your primary training goal just because everyone else is! If you like your current shape and just want to work on increasing your fitness, that’s ok. Or, if you want to work on developing toned arms that’s ok, too, even though it’s not as talked about.
Example 4: The ideal diet is the paleo diet
Despite what people will passionately argue, there is no perfect diet for everyone. You need to experiment with what foods are best for you. Some people have intolerances to dairy, eggs or gluten, others don’t and there is no need to exclude these things from your diet. The more things you restrict from your diet, the harder it will be to follow and the more likely you’ll end up binging on your ‘restricted’ foods.
Example 5: If you want to make it in the fitness industry, you have to get fake boobs
Of course no one actually says this, but some of the most successful and famous figures in the fitness industry seem to all have this in common. Just because lots of people are not happy with the way they are naturally, doesn’t mean you have to be, too. I’m not saying it’s not ok to change things about your appearance. I colour my hair and have had hair extensions in the past because I wanted to. Just don’t make changes to yourself because you feel obligated to. It’s ok to love yourself the way you are.
My point of this article is not to say any of the above trends are bad. Of course, lots of people genuinely do dislike cardio and do love Kayla Itsines’ bikini body guide training program. I just want to encourage you to think carefully about whether some of the popular and on-trend views in the fitness industry are really your own, or if you’ve been brainwashed into thinking they are. Don’t lose sight of what you love. Be courageous as you do what lights you up. A girl who embraces her uniqueness with confidence and enthusiasm is an inspiring thing.