Boy how times have changed. I'm not that old that I can stand here and tell you about the glory days of lifting, how everyone was just concerned with chasing new records, no pictures or videos. I do know however that it was a much different time back then. There was definitely no video posting on social media like there is now
There are many mixed feelings out there on how things have been trending. A lot of lifters prefer to stay under wraps and will never share pictures or videos of lifts, and then you have the lifters who share everything. Instagram has been the platform of choice for most, allowing sharing of pictures and short 15 second clips with a vast audience
There are definitely pros and cons to the Instagram movement and lifting. Pros would include increasing your visibility as an athlete. This is an important factor in todays world. Athletes need to build a following, this leads to things like sponsorships and endorsements. It is essential that you are able to showcase your personality and knowledge. Information sharing is one of the greatest gifts of Instagram and other social media outlets.
More pros would include being able to keep a running timetable of what you've been doing. It is easy to look back on years now and see how your form has changed and what you are doing differently. It is important to see this change, it is part of the learning process. If Instagram is good for anything it is being able to create confidence in an athlete when you look back on how much you've improved. It is always an eye opener when you realize how much you have actually improved since starting your lifting journey
Obviously there are negatives as well to the boom of Instagram videos. The big one being that is can become very distracting during training. It takes time and people to set up your phone and have someone record. Not only are you taking time between sets to set this up but you are also usually distracting other lifters as well from their training. It is amazing how much more you can get done when you completely ditch the phone and start cutting down rest between sets. Everyone can benefit greatly by cutting down their rest times and getting more quality work in with less time. The conditioning effect it will deliver will get you stronger and more efficient as an athlete
Another negative is that it can also lead to over exposure. Social media is a great tool but could also work against you just as much as it works with you. Sometimes emotions get the best of us and we post things we don't want to post in the heat of the moment. Once somethings out there it has a way of staying out there, and it can hurt you greatly if the wrong eyes see something that portrays you in a negative light. You definitely need to be very careful how you use and manage Instagram and social media on your lifting accounts, especially if you are a big public figure. Imagine the media storm if Lebron James went out and posted something stupid after a night of drinking. Lifters don't nearly garner as broad an audience as Lebron James but I think you understand the point
I'm personally not on one side of the fence or the other. I have seen the extremes where taking videos of lifts can become extremely distracting and subtracts from many workouts, and I can understand how people could look negatively at Instagram for that. On the other hand, the main reason I use Instagram frequently comes down to two things. 1. I really enjoy looking back on years, and training cycles to see the progress I have made. I look at my technique and see the weight I was lifting in a certain exercise. It almost becomes a social lifting journal that I share with everyone. 2. It is an essential tool for growing a business and connecting with other people. You cannot expect to grow a brand these days without a social media presence. You need that outlet to connect with an audience and promote your brand
All in all Instagram has most certainly changed the game in lifting. You cannot step foot in a gym without seeing a camera rolling somewhere when big lifts are being performed. We can also look up any of our favorite athletes and see what they have been doing in the gym. It is an amazing tool if used correctly. It is crazy to think about sometimes how far technology has come, which inspired me to touch upon this subject.
I remember when I first started lifting Facebook was just coming out, instagram was not even invented yet. I would post a few pictures here and there to Facebook but nothing like today. When Instagram first arrived there was no option to post videos. I would mainly post pictures and it later developed a feature where it would share to your Facebook so you were essentially killing two bird with one stone. Once video was added it became crazy. It has only gotten crazier over the years what you can post. Now everyone is asking to record their lifts. It is awesome but also overwhelming at times. The old school values in me sometimes wish it didn't exist so we can go back to that hardcore reality where you didn't need a camera running to hit big lifts. You were just driven by the opportunity to crush your competition
It is what it is and this is the way the world is trending. All you can do is embrace the change and find ways to utilize the technology to spread good educational information, and post videos not for others, but for yourself
If you'd like to follow me on Instagram you can find me at @Benchinbenny