The fitness industry: Experts, entertainers or social media influencers.

Matt McElligott

So today’s topic of choice is one I’ve been wanting to write about for a while. The fitness industry is growing quicker then ever and with this is an influx of people who claim to be in the know. So Who are your go to people, experts, entertainers or social media influencers?

The reason I’ve chosen to right about the subject is that over the past few years, and the last year more so, boutique studios have been popping up and opening across London offering different types of classes and workouts, saying that they are the best in town because of this and that and so on.

Before I go on let me talk a little about myself and my experience. I’ve been involved in the fitness industry for over 10 years now. I’m a fully qualified personal trainer, kinetic chain coach, reformer instructor as well as sports nutritionist. I specialise in injury and rehab and biomechanics, have been fortunate enough to have worked at some of the top studios in London with some of the BEST trainers, Physio’s and massage therapists around. I’ve had well into the hundreds of clients over the years as well as have taught to probably thousands. All of this combined has lead to what I consider great experience and knowledge of not only exercise prescription, injury rehab etc, but also what NOT to do with clients.

Now this is not a article of self promotion or looking for a congratulations or pat on the back. This is an article asking the question to you the client, Do you seek expertise, entertainment or are you influenced by social media when selecting where you work out and how?

Like I mentioned at the start of the article, this last year has seen a huge rise in new studios opening, new workouts being created, new places to be. It has also seen a rise in the instagram trainer. This is where, for me, problems have started to form in the industry.

When I choose where to train it is always based on that persons experience and knowledge. I like to know that the instructor or trainer knows their stuff. I like to know if I’m going into massive posterior tilt in a squat they will adjust me. That if I have an injury they will offer alternatives. Now obviously I know how to squat and I’m comfortable with my technique and form to adjust where necessary.

But my question is: What makes you choose your classes that you do and why? Is it that expertise and experience? Do you go to classes because of the entertainment, it is a fun class, good workout but there’s not much care of technique and form?

Now you’ve answered my first question here’s my second: Do you really know the qualifications and experience of the people who are not only training you but also influence you on social media?

Now what I’m about to say may rub some up the wrong way but taking endless selfies of you working out doesn’t make you a qualified or good trainer. Posing in-front of a mirror flexing after a workout doesn’t make you a qualified or good trainer. Showing somebody how to cook porridge doesn’t make you a qualified or good trainer. Having thousands of subscribers on instagram doesn’t make you a qualified or good trainer.

I’m not going to start picking people out to rant and rave about but in my experience, it takes years of hard work to become competent at being a trainer as it does with everything else. It is not a case of “hey I look good with my ab’s out and can put some half arsed routine together so I know what i’m doing”.

It’s not about self glorification but making the difference to the lives of you the clients.

I’m fully aware that we live in an age where social media plays a big part in our influences and thats not a bad thing at all. All I ask is that you look at who you follow, where you train, and work out, who the experts are and who the want to be mini celebs are.

Make a list of people in the industry that are your go to peeps. Have a look into their background and qualifications. Because at the end of the day, you the clients are the ones putting your body in their hands every time you train.

Live, achieve, believe.

Matt.

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