When it comes to health and fitness, Instagram is inundated with accounts endorsing fitness programs that proclaim they’ll be the one you’ll actually stick to. But how do we know what to look for to reach our personal goals? It’s almost become impossible to open up your feed without seeing a killer bod pumping weights with hair and contour on fleek. So how do you navigate the flooded Insta-workout market to find the program that suits you?
Bulk Nutrients ambassador and online fitness expert, Tanya Poppett, has offered her advice on what we should be looking for and steering clear of when choosing a fitness program found through the gram. With over 418,000 followers and an online program herself, Tanya has given her top do’s and don'ts, so you’re not catfished by an online fitness scheme.
Make sure it’s legit
There is a BIG difference between a ‘Fitness Enthusiast’ and a qualified Personal Trainer. If you are going to start a program you’ve seen while swiping, dig deeper. Only undertake a program designed by a certified personal trainer and dietician. You should look for a program that incorporates professional exercise and dietetic techniques depending on what your goal is and the program, this will guarantee you get the most out of your time spent. Just because it looks good on the gram doesn’t make it legit!
Find that support system
The beauty of online programs is that communication is at the touch of your fingers. Look for a program that can lift you up when you’re about to make a midnight dash to the pantry. Facebook communities are a great way to chat with others on the same journey, share recipes and results. It keeps you accountable, motivated and informed. Follow your program on IG, read the comments and even slip into the admin’s DM’s with any questions. If they reply and support, it’s a keeper.
Set your goals first, then choose a program. Think realistically of time and what’s achievable. Programs that are 28 days can be a start, but longevity should always be at the forefront of your mind. To influence your future habits, go for the 8-12-week programs. Personally assess the eating plans or workouts before you commit, as not every program is suitable for everyone.
Knowledge is power! You must understand why you are doing what you are doing. Find a program that takes the whole process into account, providing coaching and education for long term success. Whether the info is posted in a caption, or you’ve purchased an app, take time to understand the parts of the body being used if it’s a training program or the nutrition elements of food if that’s what you’re undertaking. If your program doesn’t do this - ditch it!
Easier said than done, right? The danger of programs found through the whimsical Instagram world is that it’s easier to stumble across 2D content to compare yourself to. Being discouraged when we don’t look like what’s on our screen is a big reason for binging and throwing in the towel. My top tip? Choose a program that shares images on their feed of diversity, the slip-ups, and real-life accounts of how people achieved their goals without the BS.
Pay a bomb
Before swiping right to the first post you see promising buns of steel, shop around and understand what you are paying for. If the word ‘subscribe’ is dropped, read the T&C’s and make sure you can ‘unsubscribe.’
Accounts now offer free apps and trials, so jump on that. Prices vary depending on the length and additional inclusions. Choose the program that fits your goals at a cost you deem fair. Do not pay an arm and a leg for basic info you could find with a google search.
Don’t make unnecessary purchases
You’re not supersizing your meal so don’t supersize your program. Become cautious of the words bundle, package and start-up kit. Often Insta accounts promote their programs through glamorous posts and stories wearing branded apparel and lunging with specialised booty bands. These accessories are not necessary to achieve results and are an easy money-making trick for some app developers, so do not fall into the trap and spend unnecessary money.
Get sucked into fabrication
Instagram and photoshopping go hand in hand. Unfortunately, a picture no longer paints a thousand words, and this is no exception inside the online fitness bubble. The truth is that often we cannot tell when bodies are tightened, and abs are painted. This leads to unhealthy relationships with food and exercise and needs to be avoided at all costs. Choose a program that is transparent and produces authentic and diverse representations of bodies.