I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. It’s a lot of fun to plan my dream wedding and wardrobe. But during my scrolling, I get bombarded with workout infographics and they make me SO angry.
Why? Because they make promises that are unrealistic at best, dangerous at worst. I’ve seen ones that promise to melt your muffin top in a week, or give you a butt lift in 10 days. I saw one for a 30-day ab challenge that had before and after photos of a woman on top. She looked just fine before and had rock-hard abs after. That looks amazing, right? But let’s be real, doing crunches, leg raises, and planks will not give you washboard abs by themselves. There is so much more that goes into it (ex. nutrition, other exercise, lifestyle, but that is a discussion for another day).
There are countless instagram posts about how to create before and after photos instantaneously with a few camera tricks, wardrobe changes, and clever posing. Now I’m not saying these people are not real, and they didn’t go through incredible journeys. All I’m saying is that for someone to get real results like the ones in the pictures, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, not just 2 weeks of adding crunches and hip raises.
But as expectations are truly scary. Sometimes they don’t even use real people as the pictures, they use cartoons. I even saw one cartoon with a target spot to show how much the fake woman’s abs have changed. How can a real person who is trying these exercises for the first time feel good about themselves if they are trying to live up to a drawing? They can’t. Especially if they are new to exercise, have a few extra pounds, and/or aren’t as knowledgeable about nutrition as some others.
The other problematic thing about these infographics is that they don’t explain the exercises. They just show you pictures of someone doing it or just have the exercises listed with no visual whatsoever. Some exercises, when done improperly, can put a lot of strain on a person’s lower back, knees, neck etc. So for exercise beginners especially, following these infographics can cause real pain.
With that being said, if you want to start a new workout routine, can you get some ideas for new exercises? Yes, but you need to critically think about what you are seeing. Getting rock hard abs is not easy as adding crunches every day. You not only manage your expectations, you have to change the way you eat, and the way you train to get results.