Updated: May 18, 2020
YouTube and Instagram are full of workouts for you to do on your own these days. This seems like a great resource right now while gyms are still closed. Some of the workouts you'll find on social media are really good, some are OK, and others are honestly quite dangerous if not done correctly. Here are four bad things that can happen if you rely on these impersonal workouts produced for the masses. (Read to the end of this post to learn how to avoid these pitfalls!)
1. You can get injured.
Sometimes injuries happen when you exercise. When you do a workout you found on the internet you significantly increase your chances of getting injured. The person designing the workout has no idea what your injury and health history is. Exercises that may be perfectly safe for one person could be disastrous for another. An example might be someone who just had rotator cuff surgery. Push ups may be OK for their friend who hasn't had surgery but could cause another injury in the person who just got out from under the knife.
Some exercises should just never be done by anyone anywhere for any reason...
Although this example ended with a laugh, it could have ended with a hospital trip.
2. You won't progress.
One of the principles of exercise is progression. That simply means that over time you must increase the intensity, duration, frequency or type of exercise if you wish to improve.
So, if you find a great Instagram workout and you do it 3 times a week for 4 weeks, you'll eventually notice that the workout has become easy! This is good news because you are more fit than you were 4 weeks ago. But what now? Do you do the workouts 4 times a week? Twice in one day? Wear a weight vest during the workout? Do the workout twice as fast? It's hard to know exactly what to do next and this is one of the main problems with stand alone internet workouts.
3. You will get bored.
One of my favorite movies of all time is "Dumb and Dumber." I try and watch it once or twice a year even 25 years after it was released! As much as I love it, I would never watch it 3-4 times a week for months in a row! Why would you do the same with your workouts? I don't believe in changing workouts around just for the sake of changing them. All my clients' workouts have thought behind them and always are backed by my core philosophies of training. Still, it's fun to switch it up a little and try new things!
4. You won't stick with it.
Even if you manage to find an Instagram workout that safely challenges you without getting bored, who is helping hold you accountable to continue working out into next week? Next month? Next year?
What should I do instead?
Working with a Personal Trainer solves all 4 of these problems. All of my clients, whether Virtual or In-Person, receive expert-designed training that progresses safely and keeps them coming back for more! Contact me if you are ready to get started.