Here’s How Not to Emulate Your Fitness Idols

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Having a good teacher is imperative to achieving all kinds of goals you may have in life. In the world of fitness, there are many great mentors out there, whether it be on YouTube channels, Instagram accounts, or even personal trainers at the gym. Following these people and their teachings is just fine, provided that their accolades speak for themselves and you find yourself enjoying the process. But here’s what you shouldn’t be doing—overstepping your abilities because of too much idol adulation.

A great example of this is with sports stars. These are athletes who you watch on television or YouTube, but who aren’t exactly trying to be “teachers” per se. What this means is that you may feel the inclination to copy what they’re doing on screen, even though it’s not healthy for you to be trying it.

Whether it’s trying to dunk a basketball when you have a bad back, or free soloing a mountain because you saw Alex Honnold doing it in the documentary Free Solo, they can be potentially life-threatening if you’re not careful.

If you truly want to emulate your fitness idols, the best thing you can do is start from the basics. Make sure you know what you’re doing, and seek out real mentors who can teach you how to thrive in a safe and organic way.