The Danger of Online Lifting Culture – “Lifting for Likes”

by Binyamin Mellish

by Harry Oram

An interesting time…

We, collectively and globally, are at a very interesting point in time for young, aspiring athletes in almost every part of the world. Never has more information been available online – so that young athletes can make huge advancements towards their personal goals even if they lack the resources to a coach or a quality gym. Solutions can be found online, coaching, tips; programming, and “how to’s” if you don’t have access to certain equipment or want to train while on holiday for example.

The dangers arise however, when the content creators need to keep creating content in order to stay relevant and maintain their source of income.

The Big PR Lift is King

In the world of lifting, especially on Instagram, the big PR lift is King. People enjoy that max effort lift, watching another person achieve something they’ve never achieved before and so you in turn might fee inspired to do the same. Surely, this is a wonderful thing, to be inspired and to have inspiring role-models.

The issues arise however, when your feed is flooded with only PR videos. That if this is all you see, as a young lifter, you might seem to think that this is the only way to train.

“Lifting for Likes”

@Squat_University is, in my opinion, a quality platform that promotes good form and quality technique in order for you to see safe, lasting and longterm improvement Recently they posted an interview conducted with Jordan Syatt @syattfitness, discussing the issues with – “lifting for likes”:

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Take a look around social media and what types of videos do most elite athletes post? Only their heaviest lifts. Young athletes see this and think they need to lift heavy all the time. They push and push in the gym to try and capture their heaviest lift in an effort to get more likes and follows. Here’s what Jordan Syatt @syattfitness had to say on a recent podcast episode.🔥 . It is a myth that we NEED to train heavy ALL THE TIME in order to continue making progress. Unfortunately that’s all we see when we look at elite atheltes on Instagram and other social media platforms. This is misleading because most elite athletes do NOT lift that heavy all the time to make the progress they have.🤯 . This clip is from episode 67 of the Squat University podcast. Make sure to check out the show (linked in my bio). Also be sure to follow @syattfitness on IG. Jordan has a wealth of knowledge to share with everyone on all things fitness related.📲 _____________________________________________________ This is the 405th #SquatUclub eligible post!! Remember everyday – “like,” & comment using the hashtag #squatUclub ASAP and I’ll pick one person to start working with on whatever help you need (squat technique, an achy hip with deadlifts, etc). TURNING ON post notifications (click the “following” button on my page & select “posts”) will help you be first in line each day!

A post shared by Squat University (@squat_university) on

I see no problem at all following personalities that inspire you to train and work hard towards your goals, being inspired to better yourself is a great thing. Just ensure that the information you are consuming is balanced and well informed.

Just a few other platforms I’d recommend are @moveu:

And personalities like Ido Portal; who has always advocated mastering basics and pursuing knowledge and awareness of your own body:

Be as informed as possible

Whatever your background, whatever your passion – it will only benefit you to make sure you have as much access from a variety of sources as possible. Even in situations where there is debate over a certain way to do things. It is better, in my opinion, to know that there is a debate, and both sides of the debate; then to be full ingrained into one school of teaching, and not realising there is a bigger picture or other views; views, that you might prefer or suit you better.

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