Gemma Atkinson: Social Media vs Reality – Are You Being Lied To?

When it comes to virtues of honesty and integrity, the wider fitness industry has always been down at the bottom of the pile – somewhere between politicians and tabloid journalists. 

But the advent of social media has driven an explosion in hucksters and ‘snake oil salesmen’ selling the lies and hollow promises dressed up as ‘the next big thing in fitness’. 

For the average person, it is getting harder and harder to tell between social media fantasy and reality when it comes to transformation results, exercise plans and supplements that promise the world. 

Now, more than ever, it’s vital to do your homework and look for reputable brands with established track records that you can trust.  

Ultimate Performance personal trainer Elliott Upton and actress Gemma Atkinson picked up on this topic during a recent Q&A on Instagram. 

GEMMA: You can get squat programs now whereby it’s done in so many days, but the person selling them has got implants in their bottom. 

With regards to someone’s bottom, I always go back to Serena Williams because the glute, you can see the hamstring, and it all kind of develops.  

When you’ve got the glute and then the straight leg, that, for me, is the indicator of, okay, they might look great, props to them – I’m all for people doing whatever they want to do surgery-wise – but I can’t get on board with someone doing that and then selling a program convincing women that they got that bum from squats, because that’s what annoys me. 

ELLIOTT: This is unfortunately something we’re not getting away from. People buy into the wrong things.  

Now, there are certain celebrities (anyone who follows me knows I have issues with certain people) and I believe that they are responsible for turning the tides, certainly for females in a few generations, for really pointing them in the wrong direction.  

But we need to start educating on what is real, what is not.  

I do believe that things like social media, for all of the censorship that is going on over certain aspects of free speech and this, that, and the other now, there needs to be some censorship on stuff that is just downright bulls**t. And Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever it is, just don’t do this.  

It’s an advertising platform for things that are completely untrue. Now, the Advertising Standard Agency would usually stop you from saying or doing certain things. That doesn’t seem to be the way on Instagram, and all of these sorts of cowboy and illegitimate fitness influencers who say one thing, but the truth is completely the opposite, is enormous.  

And you often see, if you go to some of the fitness conferences, when you see these people in person, you see them without Photoshop, and you see them without the angle, and you see what’s actually going on, it is the most brutal reality check. The most brutal reality check. And it’s real sad to understand how many millions of people have fallen prey to what they choose to show on social media versus the reality. 

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