How To Choose Your Fitness Influencer

It’s a hot NY summer day. I am rounding the corner from my apartment where the bodega is and my guy Terry is front and center with 40 grams of sugar in the form of Arizona Iced Tea and some Oreos.  

What’s up Ry – Hot AF out here today, I reply Sup Terry – indeed it is my brotha. Terry is in shorts and no shirt on. He also has muscles on top of muscles that sit on top of muscles. 

Terry goes, let me finish this iced tea, and let’s see how many pushups we can do in 5 minutes. I politely say fk you Terry and your muscles.

I’m rolling to Whole Foods, need anything? He looked at the bodega and replied I got all I need right here man. 

Terry’s meals pretty much come from the bodega. It’s usually junk in wrappers, protein bars, sodas, chips, sandwiches, nuts, and bunches of bananas. He does push-ups, pull-ups, situps, and runs. THAT’S IT. 

And yet Terry looks like the guy Arnold Schwarzenegger aspired to be. The guy has no body fat and Jacked!

No squats for this dude at all! – all the while I am all in for making my legs half the size of his calves. Perplexing isn’t it? 

The math doesn’t add up. Terry looks healthy and fit, eats crap from the bodega, and does only bodyweight workouts.  

NO way in hell if I go on the Terry plan will I look like Terry. 

Instagram

If you are like me and into your health and wellness, then I can assume there are a handful of fitness accounts you follow on Instagram. 

As a wellness coach, I enjoy scrolling IG and viewing the feeds of the fitness pages I follow, whether it’s for information or motivation.  

Aside from keeping up with friends and the stuff I’m into, I use IG as a tool and resource for my industry to keep up on trends, what people are saying and how to improve my own coaching business. 

When I meet with potential clients, most of the time they show me a fitness influencer’s body that they want or a lifestyle that they would like to model their own after.  

Aspiration is a great place to start and there is a lot you can learn about dieting and working out if you are “influenced” by that IG’s page.

With so many pages on fitness, we all will resonate with someone that mirrors our values and goals. It could be that we aspire to have that body or they are attractive and we want to follow.

The hardest part about going through this with friends and clients is breaking the news that their fitness guru may not be all that they had hoped for. 

There’s tons of information, so many viewpoints, opinions, and beliefs that it can be hard to sift through what’s good and what’s not.

Especially when you see the body that the person has achieved. To then have them tell you if you do this and take this you can look like me too. 

Insta-Fit

Being a part of the health and wellness industry, I can admit that it’s full of illusions!  

Over time, I’ve developed a good lens for quality and for those that are trying to make a quick buck on good genetics. I have to do the same when choosing my own coaches and mentors. 

I try to help my clients and friends vet the influencer based on the information or plan that’s being sold and if the influencer’s posts and habits match their advice.

What I find more times than not is all influencers aren’t built the same.

Yes, right now, they may look like the gold standard of health. A lean and toned god of fitness – but what’s going on inside the body and what’s 15 years down the road going to look like?

For a majority of the protein peddlers and the waist trainer models, I can bet not good.

I see and talk to Terry almost every day. I know what he eats, what his workouts are, and his day to day activities (I had to find out if this dude knew something I didn’t).

Under the hood, his body isn’t operating all that well – he doesn’t sleep well, gets sick a lot, always tired, and has a lot of stomach/gut issues. 

Again – No way in hell, if I go on the Terry plan, am I going to look like Terry or feel good – I’d be round, brown, and in pain!

Instagram has a lot of Terry’s dishing advice. So be smart where you direct your attention. 

I love the social platforms and the people that are influencing people to make a positive change in their health and fitness.

What to Look for. 

Do they have an understanding and a strategy of how the body works? Movement patterns, adjusting for injuries, regressions, and progressions.

Can they back up their strategies with know-how, science, and experience?  

Is the material generic info that you can find elsewhere or have they given a perspective to make you understand?

Is the influencer’s content just a funnel for a course or a program? Can you get real value from what they share for free?

How are they measuring progress in health & wellness? Scale, body fat, energy, functionality?

Lastly, view them as a Coach. Is it a course or program that they are promoting the right fit for you?  What do you expect from a coach?

In a world where our food system and gov’t policies are aiding obesity and disease – the fitness industry is doing a great job in fighting it. 

The worst thing that can happen is you follow an influencer and do more damage than good in the long term – mentally and physically. 

Best case – you completely change your life, boost your confidence, and get back years of your life on the back end. 

I personally know coaches that prescribe diets and movements to people that they either don’t do or have never done. 

You’ll hear – train 3 to 4 times a week, eat this, and that’s how I achieved my body.  

When in reality it looks more like- 6x a week, excessive cardio, a low-calorie diet, and dodging donuts like Neo in The Matrix. 

We also find that this person naturally can eat higher carbs, drink,  and their body and metabolism are genetically better, like Terry.

I also love the guys preaching about workouts, lifting, and hard work, but instead, they are boosting hormones and testosterones with steroids or unhealthy supplements and practices.

I mean I get it. The body sells the product and program, but they’re doing more harm than good with selling false promises.

So many times I see a fitness page that shows a fit body regurgitating what they read on this month’s “Men’s Health” magazine. 

Here’s What to Do.

Understand how YOUR body works! Experiment with what your favorite influencer is doing and see if it works BUT, if it doesn’t or isn’t sustainable with your lifestyle then it may not be the right strategy for you.  

Take notes and track your progress.  Keeping a journal helps me. 

Be OK with giving it a shot but don’t fight against the grain – use this information and maybe direct it to another page or someone that has a similar body type or struggles that you are dealing with.

Understand Time.

The primary time which the influencers are working with – meaning their primary role is being fit, whereas people looking for advice have a primary role in their occupation which needs their primary minutes

Leftover time is what is left after primary roles and responsibilities are used – which most people who are following them are working with.  

Imagine two people. Person A has a primary role in some professions where you have to look good. Person B does not.

Person A must allocate his or her primary minutes to looking good. Person B has to allocate leftover minutes looking good.

Person A simply has fantastically better odds of looking good. Achieving those results with leftover time can be a daunting task.

The influencers or advice-givers sometimes don’t take into consideration that this is their livelihood and top priority whereas the advice taker aspires to be them but with different circumstances.

Transparency

Can you get an insight into this person’s day to day and are they practicing what they preach? 

Follow them on their other social platforms. See how they engage with their audience. The more engagement the better, it shows they care about their followers and not just the sale.

Ask questions or DM them.

Be a student.

Learn and gather information then challenge that information.  It’s ok to debate whether a strategy is right or wrong.  Trend’s come and go.

Experiment and dedicate the time that is necessary. Looking for the quick fix or magical tea or the next product won’t do it.  Do a bit of fact-checking and research before you buy-in.  

Hopefully, this helps out a bit when you’re constructing your fitness/wellness routine and helps you save some time and $$. 

By the way, I tell Terry all the time to eat better, but it’s hard to justify eating healthy when the body looks the way it does. But some of it is sticking.  Be on the lookout for Terry!

Ryan Chandlall

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