My social medial feeds over the last several weeks have been a little tumultuous. I was super happy a few weeks ago when a colleague of mine Kia Khadem (Personal trainer and former intern at Cressy Sports Performance) posted a short commentary on the 'under-valuation' of personal trainers. The commentary was insightful and true to the experience of many great trainers I know; it made my heart sing!
Later that day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across yet another 'Health and Fitness' article highlighting 'follow-worthy' trainers/bloggers/fitsperations in Toronto. I know and or have met a number of the trainers mentioned in the article, so I decided to give it a read.... My heart stopped singing. Nowhere in the article did the author mention any of the trainers' or influencers' degrees, certifications, levels of experience, credentials (or lack thereof) nor did she comment on the quality of information these Social Media All-Stars were putting out for the world to see. Total Bummer. The whole article was based on how 'pretty' each person's feed was.
The thing you need to realize (if you don't already) is that social media is hard. It requires time, often an instagram spouse or photographer friend to follow you around, and the most unfortunate part is that it is often not realistic. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a 'trainer' or participant set up a shot of them doing something cool, complete 2 or 3 reps until they got a good photo, and then leave the gym to write their post, I'd be a wealthy woman. On top of all of this, I have yet to meet a Toronto Social Media Fitness Star that employs a fact checker or editor and I can tell you that not all of the information and tips I have seen on Instagram and Facebook are accurate, healthy or generalizable.
I've read these types of article a number of times before. Usually I just frown, cringe a little on the inside, and try to focus my attention elsewhere. But, these types of articles weigh on me, because as trainers we have a tonne of influence over our followers and we should be holding ourselves to a higher standard in order to get the best results for our clients. There are many trainers I know that hold themselves to ridiculously high standards and they are unbelievably awesome at what they do. Their clients love them, other trainers respect them, and often they exist under the Toronto Social Media Radar because they are so busy being great at their job, they don't have time to focus on Facebook and Instagram. That, and their brains and bodies are better spent helping others rather than picking filters on Instagram.
I'm not writing all of this simply as a rant; rather, I intend to do something to invoke change. Over the next several weeks, I'll be featuring some of the brainiest, brawniest, most caring and all-around awesome (trainer) people I know! People that put their hearts, souls, brains and biceps not only into their own training, but also into empowering their clients to reach their full potential. Get ready to see these little gems shine like the diamonds that they truly are! I hope you're as excited as I am!
Have a fantastic weekend