If you’re reading this it’s very likely that you own an Instagram fitness account. If you don’t, it’s probable that at least one of your insufferable friends has posted a photo of his or her workout or healthy meal prep. If neither of these apply, I’m somewhat confused as to what you’re doing here.
The fitness industry has a lot to thank Instagram for. Since making it’s way onto the social media scene in 2010 we’ve learnt that strong is the new skinny. We’ve learnt that lifting weights won’t make us women bulky. We’ve learnt that carbs won’t make us fat. And most importantly we’ve learnt that peanut butter is the only way to a fit girl’s heart.
From workouts, to healthy recipes, to motivational quotes, social media has given anyone and everyone a voice. Anyone can be an expert. And for the Health & Fitness industry this presents a problem. Put simply, there is no one out there making sure that SusieFit00 is dishing out the correct health and fitness advice. There is no one out there making sure that Suzie has the relevant qualifications to back up her claims. No one out there really cares whether Suzie is a professional, as long as her selfie skills are up to scratch. Why? Because there are no social media laws or police.
And my explore page is filled with Suzies. My feed is filled with 20 somethings releasing workout programmes, guides, and nutrition plans based purely on their personal experience. Based purely on the way they look, what’s worked for them, and their opinions. Which leads to the question, Should Instagram stars who hold zero certifications be giving health & fitness advice to the public? Should ‘influencers’ or ‘instagram celebrities’ who have no credentials be selling workout plans or guides? Does having a big booty qualify you to sell online workout plans? Nope. It does not.
But they’re doing it. And they’re killing it. occupational health Services and it’s bothering people. People are annoyed. People are angry. I’ve seen the tweets, I’ve seen the conversations, and I’ve been involved in many entertaining discussions.
But why is it bothering us? Why is it getting on our nerves? Why are we so annoyed? Is it because it’s unfair? Because it’s unsafe? Because it’s wrong? Or is it because they’re just taking the absolute p*ss? All of the above.
Here’s 6 reasons why these self-proclaimed fitness experts shouldn’t be cashing in on the fitness industry.
- It’s dangerous
That’s right. Those buying the guides are susceptible to injury.
Whilst it may seem that the world revolves around simultaneous booty gains and fat loss (not actually possible FYI) there’s also this thing called muscular balance which you learn about in PT school.
Put simply, are unqualified friends are putting strangers at risk.
- They’re abusing their position of power
Let’s face it. They’re making money off other people’s insecurities. There I said it. 60 seconds in.
You can dress it up however you want to. You could say that they’re inspiring others to be their best self. You could argue that they’re putting their influencer status to good use. That their motives are self-less and that they ‘just want to help people’. But this isn’t a charity. This is a money making business decision.
And we’re not talking a bit of pocket money either. This isn’t loose change. This is more than your average annual salary. If said influencer has 200k followers, and only 2.5% of their following purchase a workout guide at £35/$40 (which FYI lasts 8-12 weeks before they unleash their next guide, charging an additional £35/$40 for advanced squat jump variations) said influencer will be making £175,000 out of a PDF.
- They’re undermining the rest of us
Some of us studied for this.Some of us wanted this so bad that we saved up our money, we continued working a job we hated, and we studied through the night in order to pursue fitness as a career.
Some of us continue to spend time and money on further education to stay on top of the game in an ever evolving industry.
- Aesthetics > knowledge
The role of a personal trainer is to apply expert knowledge, and to encourage clients to meet their goals safely.Our unqualified booty builders are simply reinforcing the idea that aesthetics are more important than knowledge in an industry which is at present trying so hard to fight against this exact notion.
Name one not-so-attractive fitfluencer who has successfully launched an online workout guide? Negative. Because there aren’t any.
Have any of our unqualified friends created their online “community” (a community which is so sweet and community-like that you have to pay £30-£80 to be a part of) without some mild-nudity? Without the frequent use of belfies, selfies, and boobies? Also negative.
They didn’t just read some books. They dropped their clothes for this. And they cheapened our industry.