For someone who only recently became a gym member in the middle of last year, I have to say most of my current weight loss and strength gains are due to home workouts. I used to not be a believer in gym memberships, but ever since I started joining obstacle races (and completed my first Trifecta last year!), I know that added weights and resistance is beneficial to making progress. But even till this day, I would say, my gym trips are solely for taking advantage of the available weight area and the select few classes that interest me.
I still do HIIT and circuit training at home at least 50-60% of the time, and I have found some very distinctive aspects of fitness videos that really get on my nerves. I’d love to know if I’m the only one who takes an issue with the things I’m about to vent about below!
What Am I Watching?!
This is probably an old affair, with many in the fitness industry having griped about how fitspiration has turned into a soft porn abyss of scantily-clad women in barely-there bikinis and low-cut fitness apparel that works more to give someone a hard-on than to motivate someone to work hard.
I totally get that you want to show off your progress and the amount of dedication that you put into getting lean, but it’s also vital to remember that fitness isn’t about looks. It isn’t about being ripped or getting that 6-pack. It’s about taking care of the one body that you have so that you allow yourself to lead a fulfilling and healthy life, and if a toned, well-sculpted body is a by-product of that, hats off to you!
But seriously though, shooting movement and form almost exclusively from a voyeuristic and close-to-perverted angle for most of a fitness video doesn’t make me want to follow along; it irks me, annoys me and honestly, makes me feel worse about myself.
Okay, I Get It!
I have to admittedly say that I’m personally impressed when a trainer can continuously dish out step-by-step instructions throughout a high intensity workout, in addition to encouraging the viewer to push themselves and motivate them to tough it out. But there comes a very fine line between enthusiastic and downright naggy.
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they probably aren’t aware of how annoying and verbose they sound on-camera, but when you’re standing there breathless, exhausted and using every ounce of energy to get through a gruelling workout, there’s nothing more enraging than someone who’s repeatedly yelling, “Form over speed, form over speed! Push yourself, push yourself! Remember to keep your back straight, inhale through your nose and exhale through the mouth, you can do it! Never give up, keep up with me, or outdo me if you can!”
When not performed accurately, squats can prove to be an injury waiting to happen
And this can go on without a single second of non-verbal break! For those of you reading this who produce or star in fitness videos, please remember there are people on the other side of the screen who are struggling and not necessarily at the same fitness level as you; balance your vocal time well with a handful of seconds of quiet time as well, regardless of how intense the workout may be. Sometimes less truly is more, and if we see you sweating and huffing along with us, that’s more than enough motivation to keep us going, honestly.
You Want Me to… What?
This might seem like a flip-side to my previous point, but I believe it’s more the lack of concern for the viewer. I totally get that a workout should be as seamless as possible, with fixed intervals for activity and rest accordingly. But if you’re filming a beginner (or even intermediate) workout, it would be super helpful to set aside at least 10 seconds before the next move to demonstrate to the viewer how to perform the next exercise, rather than jump straight into it and explain as you go along.
Me, as the viewer, ends up struggling to keep my eye on the screen, listen actively to the instructions meted out to me, all while attempting to watch my form and breathing – all at the same damn time. And that actually throws out a good 10 to 12 seconds of workout time just trying to get things right as opposed to spending it actually working out. I don’t believe I’m asking for too much, because I’ve watched fitness videos that have managed to arrange the workout in a very viewer-friendly manner and allows you to actually feel confident doing the moves along with the trainer. No falling all over yourself, standing there panting and figuring out what on Earth you’re supposed to do next or having to train your multi-tasking skills more than your muscles.
I’m sure there are several other things you find yourselves having to contend with when it comes to fitness videos, and I’d love to hear all about them! I mean no hate or disrespect to those who put in time and effort in planning and producing workout videos for viewers like me who workout at home, but I believe there are a few tweaks here and there that could greatly benefit the quality of not only the videos themselves, but also the experience for us at home. After all’s said and done, whatever or wherever you draw your strength and motivation from to actually work out, the most important thing is that you enjoy it enough to stick to it! Let 2017 be another great year for health! 🙂