November 26, 2021

Fitness & Instant Gratification: What Social Media Never Reveals.


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I am a personal trainer, author, yoga teacher, health and well-being consultant, and athlete.

But I feel that social media does a disservice to the hardworking souls and the effort they put in to create their amazing skills and extremely fit bodies.

Social media lives in an instant gratification cultural and quick-fix culture that often derails our perspectives to see the full picture.

We often compare ourselves to athletes who work out many hours a day and we feel bad about our bodies for not having the results in a 30-minute session every day.

We so often feel frustrated with our results when, in fact, someone has taken many hours a day—10 years or more—to learn what a 30-day program is saying we will.

The reality is many of those incredible fit souls and athletic bodies we inspire to have do not come easily, and some are actually paid as professionals to work out and do their sport.

Have you ever thought of the five-minute acrobatic performance you have seen such as a rhythmic gymnast performing at the Olympics or a circus performer? They train 30 or more hours a week for years to create this five-minute performance.

Often, this is their job. They experience injuries, fatigue, and many hours of frustration. They are failing over and over again to do these amazing feats. On social media, we see these videos but we think that if we can’t do what they do, we’ve failed or they have it easier or more time, not seeing the full story. This creates an unhealthy association with health, fitness, other people’s bodies, and our own.

As a person who works an average of 40 to 60-hours a week myself and has a family to support, a household to run, and also trains, I wanted to share a day in the life of my current fitness routine.

On average, I work out five to six days a week. I get up at five a.m. to train. If I do not have time, I make time before work, or at lunch, or after work depending on my daughter’s movements and my work schedule.

I am often tired if I train or don’t. And I fail over and over again to learn the skills I do and teach. It has taken me eight years to create the movement practice I have today. I am 37 years old and in the best shape of my life after having my daughter and starting yoga at 30. However, that being said, it is not easy to work all this into my life, look after my family, and do all the other regular, day-to-day things. But for me, it is worth it as I find joy and purpose and it helps with my mental health.

I show this because I want people to stop shaming themselves for something that a 30-day program could never achieve or for comparing themselves to athletes who work harder than we can ever see. Or for feeling bad for false marketing campaigns that do a disservice to the journey of how hard people and athletes truly work.

I also want others to realise that we make time and it’s important to understand there is no easy and no instant fix in this world. If there were, everyone would be doing it. So we should also stop shaming those who have achieved things and respect their hard work.

Results are made by people who show up with discipline and work hard, and social media will never show this.

Here is an example of my one day of training from this week:

1. Handstand conditioning 

>> Handstand weight shifts against the wall, 2 x 10

>> Prone position, 2 x 20 seconds on each side

>> Lateral leg lowers in handstand, 3 x 5

>> Buttock squeeze hold, 3 x 30 seconds on each side

>> One arm freestanding with a prop to hold on to,  3 x 20 seconds

>> Hollow rocks, 3 x 20

>> Side dips, 2 x 15

>> One arm hold against the wall, 2 x 20 seconds on each side

>> Hollow to arch, 2 x 10

>> Leg lowers, 2 x 20

>> Toe reaches, 2 x 20

* Each of the numbers above indicates the sets and repetitions per each workout routine.

2. Leg flexibility and strength:

>> Leg kicks forward, and kicks forward and back, 2 x 10

>> Straddle lowers, 2 x 10

>> Pike lowers, 2 x 10

>> Slide to splits, one minute hold

>> Split leans, x 10

>> Front leg elevated, one minute

>> Back leg elevated, one minute

>> Needle kicks floor, x 10 on each leg

>> Need press against the wall, 30 seconds on each leg

>> Need pulses, x 10 on each leg

>> Front leg split slides, x 10

>> Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) leg stretching while laying on back

3. One arm handstand conditioning:

>> Straddle presses, 2 x 3

>> Straddle one arm shifts, 4 x 4

>> Straddle one arm elbow taps, 4 x 4

>> Straddle one arm momentum presses with one arm elevated, 2 x 4

4. A general workout for full-body strength and cardio:

>> One arm swing, right side

>> One arm swing, left side

>> High knees

>> Vertical clean to overhead squat, right side

>> Vertical clean to overhead squat, left side

>> High knees

>> Snatch, right side 

>> Snatch, left side

>> Double unders

* Two rounds of each workout.

So many people ask me what the fastest way to achieve results for fitness, toned body, and flexibility is, and if there is a plan they should follow.

I would say, always start with where you are and show up and do the work. Everyone is different and needs different things. The free YouTube videos are fantastic and will give you plenty to assist you on your journey, but you must be accountable and show up and do the work. There is no secret except discipline, the choices we make, and the actions we create.

Do I have a specific diet? I eat intuitively and what I can afford and what makes me feel good. Eating is ever-evolving, just like movement, and always changes depending on where I am, how I feel, and what I am doing and can afford in life.

Each week looks different. It is never a 30-day schedule for eating.

Just a reminder that our bodies and minds are a design of our lifestyle choices. It is never as easy as social media or the 30-day programs make it look.

Each day, those who inspire you are working for who they are. Do not let social media fool you.


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