Exercise vs. Program: The Influence of Social Media

The rise of social media in the performance training industry has brought us positives as well as negatives. It's great that professionals and athletes can easily share ideas, research, successes and failures. This kind of exchange makes the industry stronger.

Unfortunately social media platforms have led to some serious negatives as well. One of these is the increase in exercise videos but the decrease in consistency, programming and the basics.

Coaches, trainers and athletes love to post videos and pictures of wacky exercises and drills in the hopes that people will see them and say "wow, I've never seen that before! I want to train like them.”  This kind of “exercise creativity” phenomenon ends up being similar to a get rich-quick-scheme and doesn’t serve the interest of athletes or our industry at large.

@@The problem with wacky, off the wall exercises is that they don't enhance performance.@@ Performance only improves after the body has made an adaptation that transfers onto the court or field. The body needs a specific demand to overcome, recovery time to adapt to the work done, and then a slightly larger demand so it keeps developing. The body’s progress is slow and honestly quite boring. We have functioned this way for thousands and thousands of years and it isn’t changing anytime soon.

At Volt, we take a year-long approach to training. This is an example of our 52-week periodization model. 

At Volt, we take a year-long approach to training. This is an example of our 52-week periodization model. 

@@This is why consistency and programming are the most important elements in performance training@@, and unfortunately you can’t capture it in a 20 second video. I’m all for creativity within the industry, and when out of the ordinary exercises are placed in the right parts of a consistent PROGRAM, but everyone needs to understand that NO exercise replaces the grind that it takes to build an athlete.


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Daniel Jahn, CSCS, USAW, NASM-PES is one of the regular contributors to the Volt blog. He is a Sport Performance Specialist at Volt, and owner and Director of Training and Education of Maximum Sports Conditioning. Coach Jahn has been in and around sports training for over a decade and trained thousands of collegiate and professional athletes.