• MeggieBATC

Please Don’t Confuse Your Fitstagram With My Master’s Degree

The OCR World is thriving off of the Social Media industry. Our top Pros are peddling protein shakes and truck tires, the girls with perfect hair and makeup after the dunk wall are now the same girls modeling the latest leggings, and every average racer has decided that they’re going to try their hand as a fitness professional.

In this day and age, social media is one of the most highly utilized forms of marketing. Social media is used by our race brands and the top fitness companies to deliver a workout written by an industry-leading professional, with exercise videos and training volumes, all within a one minute timeframe. Social media is also used by the most reputable of fitness associations and certifying bodies to promote proper education and the advancement of the health and fitness industry. Social media is used by our top fitness professionals to give direct access to the most up-to-date, science-based fitness knowledge.

If social media is helping to grow and expand the fitness community at such a rapid rate, then why are we putting our trust into the hands of those who’ve only been certified by fitstagram.com*??

To be a fitness professional in the social media era, all you need is an interest in fitness, the slightest bit of muscular definition, and your cell phone’s portrait mode. It’s simple to throw a few exercises together with a random amount of sets and repetitions and call it a WOD (workout of the day). Nobody asks for your certifications, they just judge you based on your images and videos.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me give you a brief synopsis of who The OCR Trainer is.

My name is Megan Beck; I am a Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer with a Masters of Science in Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement. I not only have my Precision Nutrition certification, but also a minor in food and nutrition. My specialties include being a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist, and being a Certified Functional Strength Coach. I am also a Master Instructor who teaches fitness education for Equinox Fitness Training Institute and a Spartan SGX Coach.

Knowledge and certifications are necessary in the fitness industry. It is essential to have the educational background to identify the most basic of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and so much more. The real expertise in the fitness industry comes from experience, though.

Personally, my education is in injury prevention and injury rehabilitation. My application comes from breaking down the biomechanics of the body and from breaking down specific movements to improve compensations. My main objective is to strengthen the body in the most functionally applicable means necessary. I have worked in sports performance, sports medicine, and physical therapy. My ability to adapt and manipulate training for specificity makes me an effective trainer.

Now let’s get back to our Fitstagram trainers. They throw on their cutest sports bras, set up their camera phones, and run through 5 quick exercises and label it as an AMRAP; but how often do you see them working with their clients? Do most of them even have clients?

The Fitstagram trainers are not relying on paying clientele, they are relying on followers and impressions which drives their brand ambassadorships and influencer statuses. They do not hold liability insurance and they do not understand that they are still responsible for the damages caused by the workouts written in their posts.

Think back to your last Fitstagram workout… What is the likelihood that that trainer completed the workout they wrote?? I can guarantee that the probability is closer to 0% than 100%. The truth of the matter is that most of the social media fitness world hire their own trainers and base their social media posts off of somebody else’s work and knowledge. Most do not write their own workouts and they do not deviate from their training plans.

Instead of spending my time continuing on about Fitstagram, let’s start weeding through the social media “professionals” and start making the most of the workouts that are available online.

When you see a workout you’d like to try to follow, ask yourself these simple questions:

  • What is the purpose of this workout?

  • Does this workout fit into my fitness goals?

  • Does this workout fit into my fitness capabilities?

  • What is this trainer’s experience with clients? Read testimonials, look for their client’s pictures and posts, but don’t just blindly assume that they are, in fact, a professional.

Any workout online can be modified for your needs. Understand what weight and variations of an exercise are within your means, adjust sets and repetitions to match your limits, and most importantly, listen to your body. Rest when you need to rest, and adjust a variable when you need to adjust. Just because a beautiful fitness model tells you to run 5 miles, you do not need to run 5 miles, unless that’s within your body’s capabilities and within your training goals.

The purpose of a workout is not to make you feel completely destroyed; it should be challenging to you, but it should not push you to your breaking point. The best workouts for you meet your specific goals and needs; they challenge you physically, mentally, and neurologically; they are periodized and consistent to develop progress over time. Goals are met through consistency; they do not happen with one magical Fitstagram workout.

Before you follow your next Fitstagram workout, do your research. The OCR World is saturated with intelligent, reputable fitness professionals. Take the time to learn about a trainer or a coach before following blindly. Make the most out of your social media workouts.

*Note: Fitstagram.com is a fictional website

Megan is a Certified Athletic Trainer, a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and an Obstacle Specialist. She took her love for obstacle course racing and her extensive knowledge of the human body to develop a new style of OCR training


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