Last night I was scrolling Pinterest…(ok fine I was sucked down the deep black hole that is Pinterest). I use it for home decor inspo, craft ideas, food ideas (PS-never go on Pinterest hungry unless you enjoy torturing yourself), and the occasional motivational quote. When I first starting working out back in college, I would go deep into the realms of “Fitspo Pinterest” and I would pin things like squat challenges, girls with shredded abs, and all of these crazy at-home cardio workouts. I thought it was so amazing all of this information was out there for free!
Fast-forward to now: I am urging you to proceed to Fitspo Pinterest with caution. In fact, I would safely say to avoid it all together. Not only are these workouts absolutely ridiculous, but the images usually used to promote them are a lie (meaning: the girl in the photo did not do that workout to look the way she does). If you’re serious about changing your body, your lifestyle and your mindset continue reading scientific based articles and follow individuals with certifications and credentials instead of following someone for how THEIR body looks. Just because they look good, does not mean they know how to help you.
Let’s break down a few of these workouts, shall we?
THIGH DIMPLES! First of all, pretty much everyone has “thigh dimples” or the cute way of saying cellulite somewhere. Cellulite is hereditary, so if your Mom has it, your chances of having it are higher. The only way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is to reduce fat mass on your body. We know now that there’s no way to target this fat loss; meaning you can’t pick and choose where your fat falls off from (wouldn’t that be cool, though?). Reducing overall body fat through a caloric deficit is the only way to do this naturally. How do you get in a caloric deficit? Probably not by performing the bodyweight exercises on Pinterest. You have to ensure that your energy output is greater than your energy in (calories). The issue with this workout is that it’s all bodyweight. To prioritize fat loss, make sure you’re in a caloric deficit through your nutrition, and focus on building muscle through resistance training- ya need some weights!
Abs and challenges…oh my. Abs are like the holy grail of fitspo. If I had a penny for every person that came to me saying they wanted more defined abs, I wouldn’t need to keep my day job. First of all, abs are highly genetic. Some people can eat whatever the heck they want and have an eight-pack while others may barely see one ab even though they get fairly lean. Most people, however, have abs just under a layer of fat and as I mentioned above, the only way to lose body fat is through a caloric deficit. You could literally do this challenge all day long for months on end and never see a change in your body if you’re eating in a surplus of calories. Instead of a 30-day ab challenge focus on a few abdominal exercises 2-3x per week that include both weighted and bodyweight movements to strengthen your entire core.
Speaking of challenges, the squat challenge is still prevalent on Pinterest. In fact, there are thousands of them. If you want to grow your glutes, doing bodyweight squats every day is not the answer (Plus, like who wants to do 250 squats?!). The glutes are a muscle and if you didn’t realize it, they are the largest muscle in your body. How do muscles grow? Resistance training! Instead of a squat challenge, prioritize strength training and perform squats between 1-3x per week. I would suggest once per week for beginners in the 12-15 rep range. Start with a weight that you can complete all sets with, and try to progress in weight each week for optimal results. Other exercises that are great for the glutes: deadlifts, split squats, hip thrusts, glute bridges, walking lunges, good mornings. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with weight!
Those are just three examples of exercises that can be found on Pinterest that are most likely just wasting your time. If you don’t have a gym to attend to lift weights, I suggest grabbing a couple sets of dumbbells to start off to keep at home. Bodyweight exercises have a time and place but your entire routine should not be based around that.
Be smart, use Pinterest for good and go lift some weights!