Doing It for the ‘Gram
A look at the Instagram fitness world
Social media and the internet have made it incredibly easy to get information on exercise. Gone are the days of Charles Atlas and sending away for his how-to guide on building a muscular physique. While Shaun T. and his Insanity-style infomercials still occupy the relatively less expensive air time of the late nights and early mornings and weekend afternoons, a person determined to make a change in their lifestyle can simply start typing their goals into their search engine of choice and start their journey.
A more passive approach can be managed by starting to follow an Instagram fitness account. Instagram’s search algorithms will soon begin incorporating other fitness accounts, and suddenly a click of the magnifying glass icon will serve you with a mosaic of personal trainers, fitness models, powerlifters, and athletes. An account follow here, a #hashtag follow there, and your feed will soon be looking pretty cut and devoted to #gains.
Beware the looking glass. It’s easy to forget sometimes when we’re on social media that we are being presented with an image, rather than viewing unfiltered slices of life. Photoshopped physiques, one-rep maxes, and end products untethered from their humble beginnings and sometimes questionable compromises can skew our perspectives on “healthy” lifestyles. The best accounts will pay lip service to this, but Instagram’s visual buffet does not incentivize influencers to present modest, measured displays.
Improve on your weaknesses. That being said, there are some great resources out there to help you develop your fitness technique. The account @squat_university provides information on common mistakes and deficiencies that people who lift weights have and offers tools to improve and strengthen. @dr.joelseedman_ahp incorporates innovative techniques and a Ph.D. in kinesiology to help you add some new variations on the same old exercises.
Please don’t be a jerk. A point of etiquette to remember here. Instagram can put you in touch with someone halfway around the globe within a few presses of your phone’s touchscreen. But disconnected, asynchronous avenues of communication can lend themselves to awkward exchanges that would (hopefully) not take place in real life. If you want to interact with these accounts, don’t forget that there’s a real person on the other end of the comment you’re leaving or direct message you’re sending. If you wouldn’t say it to them if they were within arm’s length, don’t say it online!