Fitness Social Media Is Making You Dumber

1. Celebrity Equals Authority

When an online fitness personality gains a large following, viewers tend to see that as credibility. These fitness personalities have a huge responsibility to their followers to tell the truth (i.e. post honest photos, review products honestly, and actually use the products they promote), and when they don’t, which is more often than not, they violate the public’s trust.

A good example of this is a popular bodybuilder, Rich Piana. He sold his own line of supplements, but freely discussed and admitted his use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

How can someone sell you a product, promise that you will look like him or her, and then not rely on that product you just purchased to achieve those results?

2. Social Media is 100% Visual

If you have ever looked to see which of your posts seem to get the most attention, it’s probably a well-lit photo, captivating video, or a provocative pose. Sex sells on social media and it’s easy to produce.

Some of the most followed people are not the strongest, or the best credentialed, it’s the accounts of the women’s butts…and we are calling that fitness!

Blurring the lines between fitness photos and sexual posts is becoming more and more commonplace, leaving average men and women feeling insecure and disappointed with their own bodies.

3. Consider the Source

If you look from one account to another, you will find a lot of conflicting information about the “best exercise” or the “best way to squat.” Because there is no authority, the average person will tend to find the biggest accounts, and those people are not necessarily the most well-informed.

We rely on these same sources to tell us how to feel about current events, trends, and even ways of dieting. We are not thinking for ourselves and jump on bandwagon after bandwagon instead of making genuine lifestyle changes.

We are on autopilot and stop thinking, when taking just five seconds to consider whether the person with the post has an agenda and what interest they have in your actions, can help you determine whether they really care about you.

A few questions to frame their influence in your life are: Is this person qualified to give me advice about this? What is their end goal? Do they share the same values I do?

4. Fitness is Not One Size Fits All

Social media makes it seem that fitness is a one size fits all approach, but leaves out that we are all very unique. We have different preferences, schedules, and even the time we can invest in ourselves varies.

While a beginner in the kitchen and the gym can get results from a random program purchased somewhere (and let’s face it, some guidance and knowledge is better than nothing), they will eventually reach a point where it isn’t enough anymore.

At that point, they need to learn more about their body, how it responds and adapts to different methods of eating and training, and then utilize the tools they have to continue with their progress.


In short, the best way to retain your individuality, and continue your personal journey to health and fitness, is to select the people you follow as you do your friends.

Don’t let the numbers fool you, think about the message the fitness personality is trying to tell you. If you don’t agree with something they say, don’t follow them.


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