YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat. There’s something that all these platforms have in common beyond social media, and it might just surprise you.
The growth of social media has given rise to plenty of new fads and trends, but there’s one trend which looks like it’s here to stay. Online Fitness.
The use of social media by qualified personal trainers and other members of the health and fitness community has exploded, with many of them now using platforms like Instagram or YouTube to powerful effect to promote their lifestyle, share fitness tips, recipes and workout routines.
Online Fitness experts are leading an at-home exercise revolution.Round-the-clock access to workout videos online, personal training sessions conducted via Skype and apps to help you track your nutritional and dietary requirements, online personal training is taking the time, cost and a fair bit of the effort out of getting in shape.
Trainers like Cassey Ho, David Michigan, and Kayla Itsines have all managed to build successful brands and large followings by using social media to promote and advertise their lifestyle choices and workout regimes.
It’s hardly surprising that the concept of online fitness is on the rise, considering the hectic and fast paced lifestyles we lead today, the online option has become extremely convenient. From businessman to frequent travellers who can’t always attend the same gym, to people just starting out on their fitness journey and too shy to head in to a real gym.
And online fitness is exactly what it sounds like. Personalised training programs that are delivered online. There are no time or location constraints you need to worry about, you get the same access and support from an expert trainer, and the online option is often more cost effective than face-to-face training sessions.
Most online fitness trainers are also part of a robust community of supporters, who participate in online fitness challenges, stream their workouts and post progress shots to share in one another’s success and keep motivating each other to meet their goals. The way social media has combined with the fitness industry has made fitness goals seem more attainable, and the process more fun. Embarking on a workout regime is never an easy task, and people often need the external reassurance and motivation. To that end online fitness trainers and the communities that spring up around them can provide a bountiful source of inspiration and camaraderie.
Online training programs cover everything, from bikini ready bodies, to intense glute workouts and bodybuilding programs. The variety of online programs out there means there’s a workout program out there for everyone, and the flexibility means there’s no more excuses for not sticking to the plan.
David Michigan incorporates motivational speaking into his regimes, to help clients overcome mental barriers, and he’s managed to amass over 5 million followers on Facebook and Instagram in the process. Young Australian trainer, Kayla Istines, boasts 12.6 million loyal followers across social media networks. Her fitness app ‘Sweat with Kayla’ was the most downloaded fitness app on both iTunes and Google Play in 2016.
For Michigan, who’s also a successful worldwide model, the draw towards online training came from helping others achieve their fitness and life goals. With Istines it grew organically after she spotted a gap in the market for women’s fitness while she was working in a brick-and-mortar gym during her teenage years. Both trainers have inspired millions of people to take steps towards their own goals and dreams, and they’ve done it using social media.
But it can’t all be success stories and bouquets of roses, right? Are there any cons to the online fitness explosion?
While some experts have complained that many ‘insta-famous’ or social media fitness gurus lack qualifications and experience to train properly, plenty of people have achieved results using their programs. A quick glance at Cassey Ho’s Pop Pilates YouTube channel and Instagram will show hundreds of testimonials praising her workout videos and the way they’ve changed lives for the better.
There are some things which an online personal trainer can’t do for you, however. The remote quality of online training means there’s nobody spotting you for correct technique, which means you run the risk of performing a move incorrectly, losing the exercise benefits it promises, and potentially running the risk of injury. An online trainer also may have trouble judging results accurately, it can be hard to pick up on all the changes to a person’s physique in a selfie or during a video call. Both issues can always be mitigated by enlisting in the help of a friend or even a few short sessions with a live trainer.
Online training does work, if it didn’t success stories like Kayla Istines, Cassey Ho and David Michigan wouldn’t exist, but like any workout, it will still require you to put in the hard yards. But at least now you’ll be able to do it from the living room.
|This article was contributed by fellow NYU students. If you would like to make a contribution to the NYU Dispatch, please email us.|