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SELF ANTONIA GIFFORD WHATS YOUR FITNESS SOCIAL LIFE LIKE?

KEEP FIT

POST IT! 10

MOST POPULAR FITNESS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW!

SURVEY RESPONSES The Public Tell All [ STYLE ]

GET WITH IT Social Media And It's Effects On The Fitness Industry

SPECIAL EDITION!


APRIL C O N T E N T S 5

Bum Blitz Reveiw

We give a SELF review on the latest fitness dvd to hit the shops and rave of fitness fanatics

24 Get With It!

Get up to date with all the latest fitness gear trends and accsessories to be picture perfect for your next insta post!

25 Body Coach Review

We give Joe Wick's Body Coach cookbook a SELF review and find out just how picturesque his yummy meals really are.

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4 Editor’s Letter

16 COLUMN: Get Following

Now!

Self investigates the 10 best fitness instagram accounts you need to be following right now, and just what makes them the best.

posting my fitness progress for a week.

Self columnist Marybeth Simpson tried working out for a week without updating her social media accounts or taking pictures, read pg 19 to find out what she thought.

SELF / APRIL 2018

We interview a Joe Wick's follower to find out just if his fitness guide and workout plans really work as good as it looks online.

26 FEATURE: Social Media

and its affects on the fitness industry.

Self goes on location in this latest interview to find out just what social media does for the fitness industry, we interview a professional to find out.

20 COLUMN: I tried not

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is Joe Wick's?

FEATURE: Whats your fitness social life like?

Self interviews an outsider and avid social media user, to find out just how obbsessed we are becoming with posting our fitness progress.

SELF FITNESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

43 FEATURE: Just how good

48 COLUMN: Can celebrity

social media accounts be a positive influence on our fitness lifestyles? Self takes a look into two celebrity Instagram accounts to learn if the stars we look up to and follow can have any sort of positivet affect, especially when its comes to our fitness lifestyles.


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51 FEATURE: Survey

Responses The Public Tell All...

Self investigate further how social media can influence our fitness lifestyles by getting the opinions of the public, and find out exactly how these platforms can impact us.

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editor's letter

Welcome My own fitness instagram journey... Look how far I've come! The first picture was taken in 2014 up against the second picture which was taken last year! Much more of a slimmer frame and weight loss all round. Soooo happy!!

H

ello, and welcome to this special edition issue of SELF magazine, where we have explored all things social, fitness, and social media itself. This print issue is a one-time only edition, to investigate and support the research of how the fitness industry is affected by social media, and other social attributes. We interview certain members of the public to bring a range of different voices to the subject, from a university student and personal trainer, to an Instagram fitness enthusiast, as well as an insightful feature that includes 30 applicants survey results and responses. Not only that, but we also have the latest gym trends and exciting tech for your next gym journey, and to be able to post on Instagram and show off your goods, we also have our house columnist with interesting fitness reads. Also check out our latest reviews on the crazy Charlotte Crosby's Bum Blitz DVD and the charming Joe Wicks Body Coach cookbook and guide to find out just how good they really are. However, it's not all about the celebs this time gang, this issue is all about exploring them pesky social media accounts that we just can't seem to keep away from, and just how they are affecting us and our fitness lifestyles - for better, or for worse? Marybeth Simpson, Editor

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Got a friend joining me at the gym today! Here we are getting ready to check out the Uni gym and motivate each other to feel the burn, Bring it on!

Just finished a nice home workout, using the Charlotte Crosby DVD, and noticed a tiny bit of definition in my abs! Definitely got to post my progress.

Working out a sweat at the gym, you gotta take a picture for your efforts, right?


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Charlotte's M I N U T E

C

BUM BLITZ

Just how good is Charlotte crosby's DVD Bum Blitz? With it soaring to the top with outstanding reviews, here at SELF we give our own verdict on just how outstanding the fitness dvd is.

harlotte Crosby has really started to make a name for herself since the days of Geordie shore, where she was wildly known as a drinking, necking on nut job of a cast member that fast became a fan favourite. However, since leaving the controversial show on MTV she has meanwhile produced her own makeup cosmetics brand ‘Flique’, become the ambassador of many other products and brands, published three books, hosted a new tattoo show, made two successful fitness DVDs and now the latest in her climb of success is her very own TV show airing on MTV this named none other than, ‘The Charlotte Show’. You can’t deny it; the girl has done very well for herself and grown far from her days of filming for Geordie Shore. Today however, we are taking a closer look at Charlotte’s Bum Blitz DVD. We tasked one of our own to use Charlotte’s DVD every day for two weeks instead of attending the gym to find out exactly what it is like, and how good it really is, this is what she found. Hi guys, so as you already know, SELF gave me the challenge of not only using Crosby's Bum Blitz to work out with, but I had to do this for two whole weeks every single day. With this having been the first time I've used a fitness DVD I wasn't too sure what to expect, especially with having had previous sceptical assumptions as to whether they actual work, in helping people lose weight and get fitter. However, from using Bum Blitz on the first day I was pleasantly surprised at how motivated it made me feel, and I immediately loved that other than Charlotte herself being there she was accompanied by two professional fitness trainers, Richard Callender and David Souter. Richard explains the workout step by step, and then counts you in to start the moves, whilst David offers simpler and easier techniques for beginners to help you keep up with each workout. I couldn’t quite believe how knackered I was after just doing the warm up and the first two three-minute

BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

minute routines that vary from resistance, cardio and bum aimed sequences. While the overall objective of the DVD is to get through all 12 including the warm up and cool down sessions, I found myself only able to complete up to the first six by the end of week one, with only making small improvements each day. However, by the Wednesday of the second week I noticed a huge different in my endurance, as each 3-minute workout started to become easier and easier for me to withstand until the end, and I was taking less breaks in-between each session. By the end of the final week, instead of selecting each 3-minute bum blitz routines one after the other, I was able to choose the option of doing all 12 in one full workout, with only taking a couple of rest breaks throughout. I can’t deny that I’ve enjoyed using charlottes DVD in the comfort of my own home for the past two weeks, and the improvements I have seen in my stamina and strength can’t be ignored. I may not have lost a huge amount of weight but the amount I have lost and the way I now feel in myself in comparison to how I felt two weeks earlier is a considerable difference. I can 100% see how by using Charlottes DVD every week as well as mixing it up with a gym visit here and there, can without a doubt over time help you shift that weight, gain that peachy bum and make you feel great. Take it from me girls, if you keep at it I can’t see any reason in not purchasing Charlotte’s 3 Minute Bum Blitz, as it says on the DVD ‘you’ll lose weight, have a laugh and get some drunk in your trunk!’ and I certainly did.

SELF / APRIL 2018

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F E AT U R E

WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS SOCIAL LIFE

LIKE?

In this issue of Self Magazine, we took it upon ourselves to find out just what peoples fitness life is really like. In an age where social media and technology run our lives, are we becoming more concerned about how we come across on social media, instead of just doing what’s best for ourselves? We get an outsiders opinion. BY MARYBETH SIMPSON Photographed by MARYBETH SIMPSON

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W e all know someone that is addicted to posting on their social media accounts, but what about when it comes to posting about our fitness lifestyles? In an age where social media holds nearly every aspect of our lives, from our relationships to our family, to where we work and to what we do on the weekend or spare time, our fitness habits and lifestyles are now becoming one area that many love and are starting to post more about as well. Many gym bunnies and fitness fanatics seem to use their social media accounts to upload images of their transformations, especially on the site known as Instagram, which is purely a visual platform which offers its users to display captions with their images, this in result makes it the most popular place for people to post their daily fitness antics, and for them to document and record the changes and progress they make over time. Even though being able to post these amazing and proud achievements in fitness

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and health, we at Self want to gather all perspectives of how social media sites contribute to this industry from both positive, and negative angles to explore just how much social media is integrated into our lives, and how it can ultimately affect how we live and the lifestyles we choose to have. So, we not only decided to interview someone from the younger generation, but someone completely impartial to the very subject of fitness. Antonia Gifford is a 21-year-old photographic journalism student from Leeds, who has very kindly let us ask a few questions and photograph her, on what can only be described as an extremely miserable day, thankfully she hasn’t been caught in the rain as she enters the photography studio in her gym gear, which we did sort of ask her to wear for the shoot. After a quick catch up and moan about the weather, Antonia gets comfy gripping a warm tea in her hands shuddering from the dreadful cold outside. "I know I've already said it once

but it’s pure nasty out there," she repeats laughing, "It’s a good job we're already at university today or I might have just had to cancel on you," she jokes before I jokingly respond that I would have been screwed if she had. I quickly press on then, knowing we only have the studio for two hours and still have to actually photograph her. So, Toni do you have any social media accounts at all and if so which ones? Yeah, I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and I think that’s about it. Which one would you say you use the most then and why? I’d say Instagram purely because it’s so simple yet the most effective. I used to use Facebook all the time but now it’s just adverts and the stuff you don’t want to see. Instagram just makes everything look nicer, and it’s so much easier to use. I can’t really disagree with you on that one Instagram is considerable much more pleasing to the eye. Moving on, have you ever been to the gym before and if so have you ever posted on any of your social media accounts that you are working out or posted any of your progress, and if so what? I’ve been to the gym a few times, but I don’t think I post that I’m working out. If I were to post that I was working out, I’d use snapchat. And I wouldn’t post my progress, I’d just be letting people know I’m at the gym to make it sound like I have my life together.


media, I just wouldn’t do it loads because it’s not really anyone else’s business. What is your opinion then when you see others, posting their fitness lifestyle and progress on their own social media accounts? I understand why they want to post it on social media because they’re happy with their progress and how they look now. Social media is there for people to use it how they want to, so I’m in no place to say whether I agree or not because there’s no rule saying what you can and can’t post.

So, you don’t really have much of a fitness social media life then do you, why is that? I’m the least fitness orientated person in the entire universe. It just doesn’t appeal to me at allI’m more for posting aesthetically pleasing photos of fire selfies. We all love a good selfie don’t we. Do you feel then that if you did have more of a fitness lifestyle that you would post it on your social media accounts a lot more, and if so why would you personally do this? I use social media so people know what I’m up to, who I’m with, new things I’ve bought, etc. If I had more of a fitness lifestyle I couldn’t see why I wouldn’t post it more on social

'I understand why they want to post it on social media because they’re happy with their progress and how they look now'

Do you think we are becoming too concerned with posting our fitness lifestyles more than we are actually living and being invested in the lifestyle itself, and why? Because their are some people out there that will just go to the gym for example to take a picture for their Instagram let’s say and then not go for another month? I think there’s a lot of pressure, especially for women, to post how they look on social media and to prove that they actually do something with their life. From a woman’s point of view, posting photos on social media of your body can engage a lot of hateful and disrespectful comments. If a woman was to post an image, for example, of her looking sweaty after a workout, almost half of the comments, I believe, would be hateful towards the fact she’s ‘working too hard to prove a point’ or whatever. Whereas if a man was to post the same image of himself, people would be saying how much they respect him and how ‘hot’ and ‘attractive’ he looks after a workout. SELF / APRIL 2018

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With that in mind then, what do you think you would post yourself if you had more of a fitness lifestyle? Probably the food. I’m obsessed with making food photos look nice if they go on my Instagram- to the point where I even sweep the floor to put the food there to make it look nicer. I wouldn’t want my feed to change too much, so I’d try and keep it as ‘normal’ as possible without making it too fitness related. What do you think of those that post their actual figures all over their accounts, does this motivate you in any way? make you feel conscious, jealous, or insecure? Does it maybe make you feel empowered to do the same? It motivates me, and I do get a bit envious of how other people look, but I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t care how I look to other people. As long as I’m happy, I don’t care. It’s one of those things where you’ll only look how you want if you try hard enough, and the people I see that I envy have worked out and trained for months, if not years and dedicated their life to it. I want more than just spending my entire time trying to achieve something that I know is impossible with my physique already. What line to you think people shouldn’t cross then when posting their bodies and figures or progress from a fitness lifestyle online, do you think there even is a line? I don’t really think there’s a line about the images posted, it’s more about the caption that goes with it. Do you have any friends or know anyone yourself that likes 10

SELF / APRIL 2018

to post their progress of fitness on their own accounts, if so who? I'd say you, if i was being completely honest one hundred percent, you're a right snapchat queeny.

'I do get a bit envious of how other people look, but I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t care how I look to other people.'

And finally, does your friend actually enjoy fitness and do they post but still make an effort once that post has been uploaded? Yes, you do make an effort I can't say you don't because its obvious you really enjoy it, and when I've been to the gym with you in the past you don't hold back. Although you’ve slacked recently but we’re busy with university so I’ll let you off. And on that note, I think I may just have to have a quick gym session after I've taken the features photographs of Antonia.


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F E AT U R E


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10 COLUMN

MOST POPULAR FITNESS INSTA ACCOUNTS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW NOW! The hotest fitness Instagram accounts to follow in 2018, so that you are not only up to date with all things fitness but social media as well.

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@michaelcvazquez

Michael Vazquez is a hardcore athlete who trains tough and in many different ways. His Instagram is full of all sorts of fitness methods and techniques and mostly works out outdoors, he also has a passion for boxing and Jiu Jitsu which can be seen in many images and videos on his account. If you’re looking for more interesting and unique ways to exercise especially outdoors, he is definitely one to watch.

WRITTEN BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

Emily Skye is a hugely successful Health & Fitness ambassador, Qualified Personal Trainer, Fitness Model and overall Fat loss & healthy living guru. Her Instagram accounts are extremely motivational and has tones of workout content and videos for you to easily follow and get starting your fitness journey straight away.

followers: 771k

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@kayla_itsines

Itsines is mostly known for her Bikini Body Guide, or BBG which includes easy to follow, quick fitness routines that are perfect for busy lifestyles. Kayla has been training women since 2008, and her Instagram account is brilliant for before-and-after pics, delicious food, travel inspo, and loads of top tips.

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@emilyskyefitness

followers: 8.2k

followers: 464k

@upyourfitness Mike Marchese created the Daily Bar to help people of all strengths and from all walks of life to be able to practice callisthenics. His account offers so much information on this and guides people on how to approach the different positions, as well as strengthening exercises.

followers: 34.9k

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@kaisafit

@move_strong_london

Keranen is all about high-energy workouts, that not only get you moving but that also get you sweating. Check out Keranen’s account for nothing but fitness inspiration, that not only includes simple workout sessions but also creative ways in which you can use basic equipment, to change up your routines.

Ollie is a personal/online trainer and Calisthenics Coach who also runs his own classes, named Core Clapton that vary from all sorts of core exercises and routines. Get following his account to not only take a peek of these amazing classes and an inside look as to what they consist off but to also learn more about engaging your core.

followers: 681k

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@curtiswilliams17

Curtis Williams is a group fitness instructor, former NFL athlete, fitness brand ambassador and performance coach who is based in NYC. Williams is known for training high-profile clients, that including the singer Ne-Yo himself. Follow him on Instagram for creative and fast paced workouts and you’ll be shredding those pounds and gaining those abs in no time.

followers: 41.6k

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@aliceliveing

Alice Liveing is extremely well known in the fitness world and not only is she a personal trainer, but a three-time bestselling author and talented columnist for Women’s Health magazine. With all that for background knowledge, it can only mean her Instagram is jam-packed of all sorts of fitness and health motivation, from dreamy yummy looking meals to those quick and powerful body workouts that can be done anywhere, even in the comfort of your own home.

followers: 637k

IMAGES SOURCED FROM INSTAGRAM

followers: 6.1k

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@lukewtraining Luke Worthington is not only a personal trainer and educator but also a physiotherapist, this means that Worthington always highlights the importance of body alignment and applies it to the very centre of his workouts. Follow him now to learn how to also apply these methods to your own routines, and to help strengthen your skeletal and muscle structure.

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followers: 29.5k

@therock

There’s really no need for an introduction for this man, I mean, we all know who Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson is, and if you don’t, you must be living under a rock – pun intended- but why is he even included in this list? Well, the ex WWE wrestler didn’t get in the shape he is today by sitting around all day, which Is evident just from looking at his account. Get following the rock now (if you already aren’t) not just because of how awesome he is, but purely for his great motivational videos and hard-core workouts. He’s not called ‘The Rock’ for nothing!

followers: 103m

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NIKE FREE. Designed for natural movement and lockdown during intense workouts, the Nike Free TR 7 AMP Women’s Training Shoe features a flexible tri-star sole pattern. So you can get fit in comfort and style.

THE SHOE WORKS IF YOU DO.

JUST DO IT. nike.com 17


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COLUMN

I TRIED NOT POSTING

MY FITNESS PROGRESS FOR A WEEK

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Written by MARYBETH SIMPSON


MARYBETH SIMPSON AGE 22 ROLE Editor and Student HEIGHT 5ft 7in PREFERRED WORKOUT HIIT and Core. Bike Rides, Swimming, Running and Cardio LOCATION Leeds Beckett Gym

I

don’t know what it is, but when I go to the gym I just can’t seem to stop myself from taking a quick snapchat or Instagram picture while I’m there. Whether it being one to show my progress from a week ago, or a quick snap of my feet on the rower, sometimes I might even go as far to video myself while on the running machine. You name it, if I’m at the gym, you’re definitely going to know about it, put it that way. In my defence however, I’m not the only one that does this, a lot of us undeniably do the exact same thing, and to be honest I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. So, a couple of weeks ago I set myself the challenge of not posting anything fitness related on my Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook, for one of two reasons. The first, to see if I was even capable of doing it in the first place seen as though it’s something I ALWAYS do, and the second, to see how it made me feel, and to try understand what it is that I and so many others gain from doing it so much.

Monday, 2:00pm. Bike Ride: So today is the first day of my one week no posting challenge, let’s see how I do. Its mid-afternoon on a Monday and I’ve decided to go for a bike ride. It’s such a lovely sunny day which is something we haven’t seen for a while here, and if I don’t take advantage I know I’ll regret it. Now normally when I go on a bike ride I like to post a video or a picture on Snapchat of my front wheel, and give it a caption along the lines of, ‘Can’t resist a good bike ride in this sun.’ Have I done that today? Nope. Did if feel strange? Yep. I also didn’t post an after bike ride selfie on snapchat which I have been known to do, to highlight how sweaty and knackered I am. Tuesday, 12:00pm. Charlotte Crosby’s Bum Blitz DVD: I personally have become a huge fan of charlottes work out DVDs. I’d never used a fitness DVD before I bought Charlottes after hearing and seeing all the raving reviews, and since I myself started using them, every time I’ve worked out to

it I haven’t been able to help myself from snapchatting my progress. I would take pictures of each workout session I had been able to complete from one day to the next, or I would video my favourite routines and up load them to snapchat. Today I was able to complete seven 3-minute workouts all at once, two more than I had the last time I used it, and there was nothing I wanted more than to post how chuffed I was on snapchat to let people know. I wanted my friends and followers to know I had done better, that I was getting better. Wednesday, 10:00am. Running: Since the start of 2017, I decided to take up running I even went as far to buy myself a whole new workout outfit designed especially for the exercise – and yes, I posted pictures of them on my social media accounts. However, it has been a while since I’ve been, so today that’s exactly what I did. When I first took up running, again you would catch me on my phone uploading my running feet on snapchat, or I would take a picture of my surroundings. Now you may have noticed it seems to be Snapchat I use mostly to post my fitness antics; however, I have been known to use Instagram as well, especially since it has now adopted the similar feature of Snapchat, that allows you to upload images and videos to what is known as your ‘Insta Story’ that disappears after 24 hours. Something of which I wanted to upload to today during my running session, just for the very reason of changing up the accounts I had been uploading to recently. SELF / APRIL 2018

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Thursday, 8:00pm. Swimming Female Lane Swim: Who doesn’t love a good swim. If I was being perfectly honest, I’d love to go a lot more than what I do, unfortunately though the times of my local swimming baths don’t always agree with my own schedule and it’s hard to find a time to go. Today however, I’ve made it a priority, I’ve got my tea out of the way earlier than normal and head of to my local community centre. Now, obviously I can’t take my phone into the pool with me, but that’s never stopped me in the past posting before and after shots. When I’ve previously been with a friend I’ve taken a silly picture of us in the mirror after we’ve come out the pool soaking wet, I’ve also braved taking images of myself in my swimsuit that I have then uploaded to Instagram. Friday, 2:00pm. Gym: Today, I decided to attend the gym due to coming closer to the end of my challenge, which so far, I have found quite difficult.

Working out at the gym is my preferred way to keep fit, mostly because you have equipment, weights and machines right there at your disposal, it also gives you the chance to change up your routines and progress every time you go. I personally try to go at least three times a week and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t post on my social media accounts every one of those times. I always like to capture a picture of myself in my gear before I go in, then I’ll normally take a few Snapchats of me in the gym itself, which can be of anything that I feel I want to post in the moment. From pictures of working out on the bike, or if the gym is empty I'll photograph having the gym to myself, or I’ll take a shot of the weights on the floor ready to use. I’ve also photographed myself after the gym when I’ve been all sweaty and tired, mostly to show evidence that I’ve really hit it hard and clearly put a lot of effort in, after all signs of sweat is just fat crying.

Saturday, 7:00am. Gym: It’s the last day of the no posting fitness challenge, and I do have to confess today I failed. I couldn’t help posting that I was in the gym on a Saturday morning, something I never do, so I uploaded a Snapchat of myself entering the gym, with the caption ‘Gymin’ it on a Saturday for a change’ completely forgetting that I wasn’t supposed to be taking them kind of pictures. This in itself is just proof of how difficult this challenge has been, mostly because of how used to uploading such content to my social media accounts I am, that I just completely forgot I had set myself this challenge.

CHALLENGE COMPLETED

So, I may have had one slip up at the end of the challenge, but it was only once during the whole week. Putting that aside however, what exactly did I discover from doing this challenge in the first place?

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As you have read from my daily notes, I was able to stick to my no posting challenge until that little hiccup on the Saturday arriving to the gym. But why did I set myself this challenge in the first place? There was only ever really one reason, as this was more than just a challenge for me to write about for SELF, it was an experiment into why so many of us are starting to post more and more fitness related content on to our accounts. From not posting the usual things that I would normally upload during that week, it may sound ridiculous to say that it was difficult and that it did feel weird to me. In a generation where we upload and post about every area of our lives, our fitness lifestyles are becoming one area that we are actively posting and letting our followers know about much more than we used it. Just in this issue itself, I have found evidence of that exact statement, not only speaking to a professional but also someone who has an Instagram account purposely for progress posts, and all things fitness. And while many people, do

this for reasons in helping them keep track of their transformations and to help inspire and motivate themselves to keep going, what I myself found during this experiment, was that part of me not only wanted to create those posts for them same reasons of motivation, but also because I wanted others to know I had been working out. I wanted my followers and friends to know I had dedicated part of my day to being fit. Half way through the week, I started to feel so much better in myself. I was feeling healthier, stronger and more energized because I had kept at, it wasn’t just a one off visit to the gym that I will repeat in a month’s time and at that point, I wanted to post something on either Facebook or Twitter, expressing just how better I was feeling from working out so much. That’s then when I started to ask myself, ‘am I really even at the gym unless I post about it?’ ‘Does it really count if no one knows I’ve even been working out?’ ‘How will anyone know I’ve been putting all this effort in, if I don’t post anything?’ all of these

types of questions were running through my mind – pun intended – but that’s when I realised why I post fitness related content. I do it because I don’t feel I’ve actually exercised unless it’s out there on social media, because I want everyone to know what I’ve done. I want people to know how well I’ve been doing, because I'm ultimately more concerned with followers knowing my fitness lifestyle than I am paying more attention to it myself. This can easily be a more rooted issue of having a certain lack of self-confidence, something which I do struggle with, as well as other deep-rooted personal problems that many others will experience as well. This in essence explains exactly why I post what I do on my social media accounts, and why I found it so hard not to post my progress or fitness filled days. Photographed by MARYBETH SIMPSON & ANTONIA GIFFORD

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STYLE 3 1 8 7 6

2 4

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SE LF

GET WITH IT

Here’s what you need, to get with the latest trends and update your fitness gear wardrobe and all the accessories to go with it. Including the funkiest tech for you to post your latest buys on your social media. BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

SHOP EVERY ITEM on this page on our online platform, just go to Self.com for more info.

MUST HAVE BUYS

1 These comfy Nike running tights offer both style and resilience for your next outing, with the classic Nike logo and grey design displayed down the leg. £49.99; Nike. com. 2 Urban Decays latest eye palette can only be described as red hot, and the perfect addition to make you feel fire at the gym. NAKED HEAT,

to wear over your sports bra, its thin material is ideal for that sweaty session. £25; jdsports.co.uk. 4 You can't go anywhere without the right bag, the same can be said for when going to the gym. This Nike duffle bag is not only spacious for all your fitness must haves but is a simple stylish fashion to go with any colour. Brasilia

trainers? These Nike Free lime green trainers will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. Nike Free, £35; Nike.com 6 The iPhone pretty much speaks for itself! You can't create those gym selfies and progress posts without your phone, never mind listening to some top tunes while working out. iPhone 6,

3 This light grey cropped fitness top is the perfect piece

5 What is a gym outfit without the perfect pair of

7 For every girl finding the right sports bra is crucial,

£39.50; Debenhams.com

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Duffle, £27; jdsports.co.uk

£450-650.

and Charlotte Crosby's new active wear offers just that. Check out her stylish cut out zip up bra now! £16.99; Inthestyle.com 8 Finally, the Beats wireless headphones are the snazziest finish to your outfit, not only are they sound cancelling so you can really focus at the gym, but they come in a range of stunning colours for you to choose from. £249.95; Apple.com

Photographed by MARYBETH SIMPSON


s k c i W e o J Plan! s s o L t a The F

J

We take a look through the pages of Joe Wicks new cookbook to find out why people are going mad over the fat loss plan, and just how it’s been able to sell over 2 million copies. BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

oe Wicks is no stranger in the fitness world, as many of you will know that love to be a part of it also, you could almost go as far to say he is the guru of fitness and nutrition. With so much success already under his belt with so many people taking up his meal plans and fitness regimes and seeing amazing results at the same time, what can’t the man do? In late November last year, Joe brought out his latest book named, ‘The Fat Loss Plan’ that includes at least 100 quick and simple recipes with the added bonus of workouts to go with, and here at SELF we fancied taking a look at his newest creation to find out just how good it is. Now I have to admit, I’ve never actually used a cookbook before so in terms of knowing whether or not it’s a decent one to own, I might not be the best to judge however, I think I can still work out what makes the body coach and his new fat loss plan so popular with his fans From opening the first few pages you get a lovely introduction from Joe as well as his knowledge of how to really apply a better meal plan to your life, which I think is one thing that immediately

makes this book unique, as you get to explore a little bit of the mind behind the man himself and it almost makes you feel that you can trust his methods and that his meals will be the ones to really make a difference. The images throughout this book are also something of which can only be described as simply stunning and really help in making the book what it is, the fact you are equipped with the images of these meals not only provide colourful visuals for the recipes but offer an example so that you know what to be aiming for when cooking. What I love most however and what I think sets this cookbook apart from so many others, is the fact Joe has included a section of workout routines at the end with easy to follow instructions and reps, meaning you are able to combine the meals you cook with your exercise sessions. Something that I myself struggle with most in my regime is knowing what to cook that will fit well with the workouts I do that day, and with this book you have guidelines and advice to achieve both. I know one thing for certain, I will definitely be giving the tasty looking meals in this book a go as soon as I can.

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F E AT U R E

SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE

FITNESS INDUSTRY

Self magazine goes on location in this latest spread, to find out just what social media does for the fitness industry, we get the inside scoop and perspective from a professional within the fitness world. Alix Boyes gives her view on just how social media has affected her and her profession.

Written by MARYBETH SIMPSON

26 SELF / APRIL 2018

Photographed by MARYBETH SIMPSON


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O ther than social media having the ability to have an impact on the public and their lifestyles, the fitness industry is not immune to its influences and here at Self we have taken it upon ourselves to find out how and why. Surprisingly, it’s a much nicer day than it was yesterday, which means I’m more than happy to make my way in the glorious sunshine to meet Alix Boyes at her workplace, The Gym in Leeds. It’s that warm outside I’ve walked straight past the entrance of the gym to the vending machine just outside to grab a bottle of water before I head inside, to my annoyance however they’ve completely run out. Alix calls my name then from the doorway, just as grab my money back from the machine and muttering under my breath that It was a good job I hadn’t kicked the stupid thing, or she would have been witness to my over dramatic outburst. I give Alix a quick hug as we exchange hello’s, and have a brief catch up since the last I time I saw her as I follow her into the staff locker room, I dump my gear and strap my camera around my neck and follow her back outside to the heart of the gym.

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“I can’t believe how warm it’s got” I proclaim thinking about that bottle of water from the vending machine, “I know it’s literally come out of nowhere hasn’t it” laughs Alix. Its currently the Easter holidays and for a Friday afternoon it’s a lot busier than you would think. I’m surrounded by big arms, toned figures, sweating men and women all working hard at the different stations around the gym, that all of a sudden, I become incredible conscious it’s been a while since I’ve been myself. Alix then introduces me to her manager who I get to sign a License Agreement form for

Once we enter the dance room, I take a quick scan of what I have to work with in terms of photographing Alix and the best places for me to position Alix, before I then give her a quick run through of the concepts and objectives of my magazine, and kick off the interview. How long have you been a part of the fitness industry, and how long have you been a PT? I am relatively new as a personal trainer and have been qualified since September so only around 7 months! In regard to fitness though, I am a professionally trained dancer, so I was always into fitness and health. Do you have any social media

'I THINK FITNESS AND HEALTHY LIVING IS NOW THE NEW TREND TAKING OVER' allowing me to shoot on site before I can finally get down to photographing and interviewing Alix herself. One of her colleague’s chimes in before we enter a separate room, “can I be a part of it, I want my picture taking,” as he shows of one of his guns and laughs, “If you want to, you’ve got to sign a consent form though first,” I point mimicking his laughter, Alix just hears his question and jumps in, “You’re not being in it, you’re not allowed,” she jokes as her colleague pulls an appalled face in response. It’s not hard to see just from this small exchange, that Alix and her colleagues get along really well, giving off a very banter filled and relaxed atmosphere.

accounts for your personal training? I have 3 social media accounts for personal training: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. What are they, and what do you mostly use them for and post? Instagram: alixboyespt, Twitter: alixboyespt and Facebook: Alix Boyes Personal Training. I will usually post videos and pictures of myself and of clients working out to motivate people and gain interest for personal training. Social media used well can be a fantastic business tool as it can get you in contact with lots of people at the same time.

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Do you feel that social media's a big impact on your industry and how? Social media has a huge impact on the fitness industry and we have seen this shown continuously. Fitness models and personal trainers alike are now getting more and more followers daily and some industry professionals have gained millions. With there being such scrutiny in the past to be skinny and look like the celebrities in the magazines, I think fitness and healthy living is now the new trend taking over with the strong not skinny mentality. Videos and pictures of fitness exercises and nutrition has turned into the norm when we scroll down our news feed. I think that the fitness industry has boomed within the last few years and I think that the majority of this is down to social media

and the impact of constantly looking at ‘perfect bodies’.

Do you think there are any downsides to social media when it comes to the fitness industry? Absolutely. I think you have to be really careful that you don’t become obsessed with comparing yourself to others. I have done this in the past and I now know to log off when I feel myself getting down about it. Social media revolves around the images and videos of someone’s best parts of their life, and rarely covers the days we don’t like to talk about. That’s why I love the photos of fitness models relaxed and tensed - it shows everyone that sometimes we aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly ok. As long as you’re healthy and happy, comparing yourself to others shouldn’t become obsessive. Do you think that more people are becoming more obsessed with fitness and the way they look due

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'THE ONLY PERSON YOU SHOULD BE IN COMPETITION WITH IS YOURSELF' to what we see on social media and why?

Yes, I do. Prior to social media, pressure was still there to have the ‘perfect body’ but it wasn’t constantly in your face. With social media, it’s everywhere. It puts a lot of pressure on us to look a certain way, whether it to be skinny or muscly. When you look


in the mirror and it doesn’t look exactly like that fitness model on Instagram; its naturally going to affect your confidence. This pushes people to get fit and eat healthier but it’s not always creating the greatest mindset towards training. Working out should be fun! Also, the fitness videos and diet plans aren’t always safe practise or effective for your body type – that’s why if you’re just starting out with fitness, you’re best to contact a personal trainer for help. As a professional do you think it’s healthy to constantly compare ourselves and to follow these fitness fanatics on social media?

I don’t think comparison to others is beneficial when it’s unhealthy. Healthy competition can be good, but the constant ‘my legs aren’t like hers’ etc. is definitely detrimental to mental health. The only person you

should be in competition with is yourself, and I think once you have really got into fitness, it becomes more natural, and it’s all about your own progress than looking at what other people are doing. Other than fitness fanatics, what’s your opinion on all these celebrities that bring out these DVDs that state you can lose weight in the matter of days? Because a lot of people look up to these celebs and follow them on social media and see in their posts how they have these fitter leaner bodies. I think the celebrity fitness DVD’s are not reality. They all have proper nutritionists and trainers who keep them on track and pressure them to be slim every day. It has recently come out in the media that they restricted themselves to 700 calories per day and went to a boot camp for hours! This is absolutely not the way to lose weight and the DVDs are a false representation of what they did

to get fit – people get disheartened when they don’t have the same effects. My advice would be do some proper research, find out about fitness and what works for your body and focus on a healthy path to getting fit or losing weight. Consult a personal trainer and get some good advice. Do you yourself ever post your progress on your own personal social media accounts not just your professional ones, and if so why? Yes, I have done. There aren’t loads on my social media, but I am proud of what I have achieved and like to show that it’s good to be proud. It also keeps me motivated when I’m having a bad day – although I’m not overly sensitive to people’s opinions, it’s nice to be recognised for the hard work you’ve put in.

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Do you think that posting progress on social media can help motivate yourself more and others? Yes, I do absolutely. Done in the right way, progress pictures can motivate other’s in an effective way as they look at this as healthy competition but it’s important to remember that everyone including yourself has bad days and not to punish yourself by looking at what other people have achieved, where you have not. If I need motivation to hit the gym I might get some of this from progress pictures of fitness professionals to push myself into the best shape I can be, and make sure I hit that extra burpee. Lastly, other than the fitness industry itself do you think that social media has a huge impact on the public to work out moreand crave a better figure and lifestyle? If so why and how? Again, I think the pressure of looking at other peoples’ bodies has really affected us as a generation. We feel as though we have to live by the same rules of healthy living as everyone else, but no person is the same as the next. Healthy living includes having a treat within moderation and I think we are very strict on ourselves due to what we see other people doing on social media. The photos people post can be altered, photo-shopped and angled to make someone look completely different, which I think lots of people forget. All in all, though, I think this is a positive change. People are really learning about fitness and how important it can be for body and mind. We are no longer looking at celebrities eating low calorie diets for advice and taking this from the professionals instead which I think is really positive. When you feel down about it, take some time out from social media – log off and hit the gym instead, you’ll thank yourself for it later.

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THE NEXT CHAPTER BEGINS


F E AT U R E

r

JUST HOW

D O O G IS JOE WICKS r

Joe Wicks is no slouch when it comes to the world of fitness and wellness. With being such a massive hit with fans however, just how good is The Body Coach? We ask a fitness enthusiast all about her social media lifestyle and as a fan and follower of the man himself, we find out if Joe is all he lives up to be… WRITTEN BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

SELF / APRIL 2018

IMAGES SOURCED FROM INSTAGRAM @GYMBUNNYSS

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K

irsty Wiseman, is a Sales Administrator for KIA Motors UK, an avid crafter, professional photographer, mum, wife and overall fitness bunny that has a flare for being theatrical. She has a very charming wit about her and never fails to make you laugh. Unfortunately, Kirsty lives all the way down in Wigan, and as I am not able to reach her in person this interview has had to be done over email of which she has kindly allowed as well as the use of her social media accounts. Kirsty has three Instagram accounts overall, one being her photography account, one for her personal use and the final of which her user name is @gymbunnyss is her fitness account, and you can clearly see from first glance its one she uses often. Other than posting her progress, delicious food creations and home equipment, a noticeable mention that Kirsty includes in a lot of her captions, is Joe Wicks aka ‘The Body Coach’. Something of which became of great interest to me, and in finding out Kirsty’s opinion of not only the man in question himself and his fitness plans, but also of social media and its effects on the fitness industry.

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So Kirsty, what social media accounts do you have exactly? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Which one do you prefer to use for fitness related posts and why? Twitter hands down. It's a more positive and encouraging environment. The pictures help me mange progress. I’ve noticed from looking on your Instagram account that you actively post your progress, do you find this helpful and why? Yes, I can assess where I’m struggling and make adjustments just by tracking my weekly activities. What is your opinion when it comes to posting fitness related content then, because there are a lot of people out there that post all the time and get judged or receive very nasty comments if they aren't actually a professional within the fitness industry itself? I have several accounts on Instagram and each of them have a target audience. My fitness account is targeted at slimmer’s and fitness fans. My images are not for display in terms of vanity. I pin pictures straight after a workout - with a sweaty, red face. This is chiefly coupled with a workout result from my fitness tracker. Any negativity that may occur is a reflection of the commenter and not because of my content. I promote positivity unless I’m being honest about my lack of effort, but even that is not to promote further negativity. Do you think social media has a huge impact on the fitness industry? and how? I wouldn't say it’s a huge impact, but it certainly can be encouraging. It is down to the individuals to stay focused and be engaged. Social media is

there to inspire. How has social media influenced any part of your fitness lifestyle? Have you yourself been subject to negative comments or feedback from posting fitness related content? Social media, for me, is about sharing. I’m not an influencer, per se and I wouldn't say I am influenced entirely. I follow various accounts about diet and fitness. Their journeys inspire me, but they do not influence me. I am a person who will research as much as possible and put it in to practice, taking various peoples journeys and applying to my own method. I am not, what people would say, a "sheep". What is the main reason you choose to have a more fitness lifestyle in the first place? I needed to lose weight, but I also wanted to relieve anxiety, improve my well-being and be strong. So, I've seen from some of your fitness posts that you have mentioned Joe Wicks and his Body Coach Cookbook Guide, roughly how long have you been following him and what made you try out his book and methods? I had, up to two weeks ago, been following his 90-day program. It’s incredibly effective. However, part way through cycle 2, I learned that elements of this cycle did not suit my sensitivity to carbs. So, I took a sabbatical to research further how I can combat this struggle and will restart. I can’t imagine ever following a different plan; with such effective results.


How have you found using his cookbook and workout advice? I’ve used his cookbook in the past but not on this plan. This plan is tailored to your body weight and his training program. The plan does NOT include any of his cookbook recipes. The food on this plan fits around my lifestyle at both home and work. Which

How has it helped you in your fitness journey? It hasn't, to be honest. I already trained hard and intensely before I started. I think his training encourages me to do LESS than i did before. But I still do one activity more than I should. I am comfortable about this.

He is engaging, focused and on the money with his varied media outlets. If I was to gauge what has made him successful is Instagram and Facebook. On the back of that he has managed to roll out videos on YouTube, cook books and a DVD. He has remained engaged with his followers, even at the height of his popularity.

'I AM A PERSON WHO WILL RESEARCH AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND PUT IT INTO PRACTICE' means the meals can be enjoyed by my family. His training plan has had ill effect to my previous regime. I was already fit when I started. I just needed to monitor my food intake - his food plan works for me, so it’s a good fit.

Would you say that the hype Joe Wicks gets is deserved and why? Hype is a word that is used in journalism, with such a negative impact. Hype means "a trend, short lived" I think his branding and marketing is absolutely key to how successful he is.

I firmly believe that this will become diluted, somewhat, as he participates in other outlets (He is currently working on kitchenware - which I feel is over-priced and completely left field of what he is about).

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'I JUST FOLLOW HIS MEAL PLANS, THEY'RE HEALTHY, TASTY AND CAN BE DONE AT LITTLE COST TO THE BUDGET ' But I can see where he is going with kitchen ware. I can foresee active wear, training equipment and a range of foods and fitness supplements. It’s an entrepreneurs’ version of exploiting the brand - so why not? If he was to stick to recipes, hit videos and his Instagram outlets, he will feel more accessible to his followers. In time he will become an industry with little engagement to

the initial start. But I do not deny him any success, he has started a following which, until the next person comes along, is to be enjoyed to the full. Your success (both rise and fall) is based on needs and demands - a trend. Keeping himself at the forefront of social media will purely be down to how people respond to his program and engagement. What is it about Joe Wicks workout and meal plans that you like and enjoy the most, and why? I actually don't follow his workouts, they're too repetitive. I train in my own way (just as intense, of course) I just follow his meal plans which can be prepared and cooked in 15-20 minutes. They're healthy, tasty and can be done at little cost to the budget.

Do you think you will keep using Joe Wicks advice, methods and cookbooks for the foreseeable future? The Plan is sustainable, but I will choose to have off plan dinners and nights out - even he admits to that, twice a month. Life is for living, not restriction. So, there we have it folks, the opinion and inside scope of an avid fitness enthusiast on Joe Wicks and the use of social media when it comes to our fitness lifestyle. Why don't you check out Joe Wicks meal plans, and give Kirsty's posting progress positivity a go for yourself, I know I will.

IMAGES SOURCED FROM INSTAGRAM @GYMBUNNYSS

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SELF.COM SE LF

GET MORE FROM SELF ONLINE Check out our SELF website now for even more fitness, style, health and food. Just go to self.com and go digital with not only this issue, but many more.

TOO COLD, NO PROBLEM! Don't let the horrible weather put you off your fitness regime! Go to self.com to learn the perfect home workout routine now no matter the weather outside, at self. com/story/at-homeworkout

HEALTHY, HEALTHY FOOD! READY SWEAT, GO! Get all the best tasty meal inspiration from the best Instagram accounts now, check out the article at

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The self fitness se ction has everything you could ever wish for! From workouts, shape ups and running, to celebrity insp and style. We can offer it all at self. com/fitness

SELF / APRIL 2018

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CAN CELEBRITY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS BE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON OUR FITNESS LIFESTYLES? SELF dives into the social medias accounts of numerous celebs, to investigate just how much of a positive impact they can have on our fitness and nutritional lifestyles. BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

In a world where social media brings us closer to not just our friends and family, but to the very celebrities that we watch on our TVs, listen to on our phones and read about in magazines, we are now more connected to our idols and those that inspire us even more. This certain level of admiration and following however holds an amount of power where these celebrities are able to influence and inspire us. They have this responsibility that comes with their status to be careful what they do in the public eye, as well as what they may say and post on their social media accounts, as this can have huge ramifications on the public and even more so on those that follow and support them. Now, I myself just like everybody else have those specific stars I love to follow on social media, some way more than others, mostly due to being a fan but also because of the content they post. In this case, I use Instagram more than any other platform for both my personal use but to also keep updated with what these stars are doing, and posting themselves. However, when it comes to the fitness lives we lead on social media, can the very stars and celebs we follow be a positive influence on us? I take a look at a couple of accounts of celebrities that I follow and support in particular, and asses whether or not their fitness related posts can be encouraging and positive to our own lifestyles.

One idol of mine that I have been following for quite a few years now is Nina Dobrev, mostly known for her role as ‘Elena Gilbert’ in ‘The Vampire Diaries’. I started following her in the beginning due to being a fan of the show, however this then progressed to being more of a fan of her herself, and her attitude and way of life. Nina’s online presence in general is extremely positive anyways, she posts very frequently and always seems to be smiling. She also has so much diversity in what she posts, from onset shenanigans, times spent with friends and families, showing the love of her pet dog Maverick, fire selfies from photoshoots, adventures and trips, and finally her fitness and health lifestyle.

"Inspire with passion & lead with confidence. #ReebokAmbassador #ShareYourStrength @reebokwomen @lesmillstribe" 48

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As of late last year, Nina herself became an ambassador for Reebok Women, which is a well know active wear brand, and due to this over the last few months she has uploaded images of herself during workout photoshoots of her wearing the brands products. However, instead of just advertising the products, Nina always aims to motive and inspire her followers with these images with the captions she puts alongside of them, as this is something that can help to encourage her fans. What is also noticeable in these images, is that it’s not just a typical shoot to look good and advertise for, you can tell by a few of them that she is genuinely working out, and as someone who posts other fitness related content from dancing videos to her various personal training sessions, you know that fitness is genuinely important to her, just like instigating and inspiring that importance to her followers and fans is also. What I really believe Nina promotes more than anything with her fitness related posts, is fun, she makes working out and exercise look more appealing, and tries to get the message across that it doesn't have to be this horrible thing we have to get over and done with. She makes you want to join in, and really go for it, and I think that's pretty positive if you ask me.

"My very own @LESMILLSGRIT Cardio workout launches TODAY! Are you ready? You can do the full 30 minute HIIT workout for free at lesmills.com/likenina (link in bio). #likenina #ReebokAmbassador @ReebokWomen @ LesMillsTribe"

"Birthdayyyyyyyy dance detox and followed by retox w the Baez" The other celeb that I have been following for quite some time now as well, is the actress Julianne Hough. Julianne is mostly known for her work in Safe Haven, Footloose (2011) and Rock of Ages, as well as being a TV judge for the popular US entertainment show, ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Much like Nina, she is very vocal on her social media accounts about the importance and her love of keeping fit, so much so that she and her brother Derek Hough created their own live fitness interactive show named, ‘Move Experience’ which offers people chance to attend and have an exciting, active and fitness filled day, to meet and learn from experts in the field and to overall have a fun experience, dancing, working out and feeling good. Julianne can be often found promoting this event throughout her Instagram, and just like Nina, she makes you want to get involved and give it ago. From looking through both of these well-known and inspiring celebs Instagram accounts, I’ve learned that what I believe makes celebrities online presence so influential is the very captions and aim of the content they post. If they upload images of themselves working out, or advertising an event that they are involved in, and then support it with motivational words trying to encourage there follows to not just get fit, but to enjoy it and engage yourself in being more active, not just for a visual effect, but for a health and enjoyment one. This is how the stars we look up to and follow on these platforms can have a positive effect on our lives. It doesn’t have to be all about getting a better figure or body, it can and should be simply for enjoyment, fun and learning how to live a more healthy and active lifestyle. IMAGES SOURCED FROM INSTAGRAM SELF / APRIL 2018

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THE WAY TO LIVE


F E AT U R E

SOCIAL MEDIA'S INFLUENCE ON FITNESS

y e v r u S ses! n o p s Re

THE PUBLIC TELL ALL We sent out a questionnaire to find out if society believes that social media and other social influences, really do contribute to the growing popularity of our fitness and nutritional health. Here is what they had to say… WRITTEN BY MARYBETH SIMPSON

PHOTOGRAPHED BY

MARYBETH SIMPSON

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T he very purpose, of this special edition issue is to provide crucial evidence to support the extensive research into the effects and influences, that social media and other social attributes have on the public when regarding their fitness and nutritional lifestyles. Self magazine is all about our health and fitness, to motivate and inspire, to give advice and keep you updated on all the latest fitness styles and trends, but in a generation where technology and social media is at the forefront of our lives, we wanted to find out just how this may affect the world of SELF and the fitness lifestyles of the public. And what other way is their than to ask them ourselves?

This survey was undertaken in late 2017, with an overall amount of 34 respondents whose answers remained anonymous throughout the questionnaire. Luckily, I have been equipped with lovely photographs over the years of some of these kind people who offered to partake in the survey, however as to which answers they in particular gave, you will never know. Which personally I really love, because you can easily look at someone today on social media or in person and be in complete awe of their physique and appearance, but little do you know that, that person whose figure you wish 52

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you had, has other insecurities and see’s so much they hate about themselves. They, just like many of us, may look in the mirror and see a million things wrong, a bit of fat there, a bit of cellulite here, stretchmarks everywhere, and yet the rest of the world will hardly notice. And just like that, this piece offers that wonder, that unconditional awe. We get to witness normal people answering questions about themselves, their bodies, their insecurities, their fitness and social media lifestyles, while at the same time inspecting images of these people totally unable to know who has said what. While one person, may admit to attending the gym because they feel pressurised to be and have the perfect body, you yourself right now, could be looking at that person, and be in utter admiration of their figure. So, without further ado let's see what they had to say. Out of all the respondents it seemed that most were between the ages of 18-25, with a total of 25 people answering this to be there age group, the remaining participants were between the ages of 30-35, 36-40 and 40+. Clearly, this shows that the questionnaire in general was of more interest to the younger generations but had a nice mix of older opinions at the same time, which provided crucial age diversity and balance to the survey’s results. After asking which age group the respondents were in, it was then important to find out how active they were in going to the gym and what social media accounts they had, before we could really get down to answering more in-depth questions.

When answering how manytimes they went to the gym, there were quite varied responses, however most said that they attended the gym at least three times a week with 10 out of 34 respondents, the second most response was once a month with 8, and the third being four times a week with 5, overall revealing most participants are consistent in visiting the gym. Next, when finding out which social media accounts the applicants had, it was discovered that most with 26 responses had all platforms, out of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. After asking these fundamental questions, we then started to gather reasons as to why people started working out and going to the gym in the first place, what exactly motivated and inspired these people to start engaging their fitness lifestyles?

78%

of applicants have and use, all of the most popular social media accounts.

15% only have Facebook.


It was found that most applicants answered that they started going to the gym ‘to lose weight’ with a total of 14 responses. The second with 12 answers was because they simply wanted to get fit. We then gave the respondents a chance to explain in more detail any other reasons as to why they started the gym, instead of just the options we presented for them to choose from, meaning they could put their answers in their own words. Here are a few of the reasons the participants gave,

These few answers were just a small selection, of the most common responses the applicants gave as a whole, indicating people began exercising mostly due to wanting to lose weight and feel better about themselves, however many also claimed they went as it became a hobby to them that they could fit in after work and other responsibilities. Moving on, we then found that 55% of the respondents - with a total of 19 answering yes - believed that social media had affected why they went and started going to ‘I wanted to gain some muscle as have al- of applicants the gym in the first place. We then offered stated they ways been slim build but was apprehensive them a chance to go in to further detail about joining a gym as I always imagined it began attending about this, and how social media was able would be full of body builder types, looking the gym, due to to have this influence over their lifestyles personal down on me. Like you don't belong there but With this question offering the parinsecurities. then realised they had not always been built ticipants to give much more extensive like and had had to work for it, so gave it a go.’ answers, and due to the subject matter, we received quite large and interesting ‘I started going to the gym mainly to lose responses that prove and help support weight, I also started going as a hobby and the overall purpose of this issue. As you something to do most days after university.’ can see from below, these are among the more in-depth replies that we gathered, ‘To feel better about the way, I look. To feel comfortable that put forward extremely insightful and genuin my own skin. To look in the mirror and not feel crap.’ ine comments as to the power social media has had on their way of living, and bravely provide the ‘I am currently not happy with my fig- truth of their motivation in attended the gym and ure and desire a more slim and toned body.’ takin up more of a fitness and healthier lifestyle.

30%

RESPONDENT #34

"There are a lot of pressures on people to look a certain way" "It seems that whenever you see pictures of guys/girls they all have the 'prefect' body. Nobody ever uses an 'average joe' in their advertising campaigns and I think that rubs off on people (almost propaganda like) and it becomes engraved

in the mind that this is what the typical man/woman should look like. Clothing for example, you may see something that you like the look of but then not buy it because you don't have the build of the model wearing it 'thinking oh

it won't suit me'. There are a lot of pressures on people to look a certain way which stem from advertising/social media." This is just one answer out of many that brought forward crucial points and facts when regarding social media, and the visuals of body image that are presented to us on a daily basis due to the platforms of social media, and how these can be (as this applicant states) 'engraved into the mind.'

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RESPONDENT #17

"IT'S ALSO AFFECTED HOW MEN LOOK AT WOMEN" "There are so many images and personas on social media these days that there’s a bar. If you don’t reach that bar you’re not “beautiful”. Tammy Hembrow is someone who I look at on social media and just think “I want your life.” And I bet there are so many other people like me that think the same

or have an idol like that. Girls are shamed these days if they have a bit of belly fat or chunky legs because of how many “perfect” personas there are on social media. It’s also affected how men look at women. They see these models on Instagram and want every girl to be them."

"SEEING PEOPLE WITH THE BODY IMAGE THAT I WANT GIVES ME MOTIVATION" - Respondent #11

"SEEING HOW OTHER PEOPLE LOOK ONLINE AFTER STARTING THE GYM MAKES ME FEEL AS THOUGH I'M TREATING MY BODY COMPLETELY WRONG" - Respondent #1

Collecting and reading answers like these made us realise how much pressure social media puts on its users, while putting aside all of the reasons we love using them so much, proving that sometimes social media isn’t all its raved to be, and that it does come with negative side effects in the ways we personally view ourselves. Other than these participants, many others also commented with similar notions and explanations as to why they started working out more, most claiming it was down to what they saw from others progress and body images online, with a few mentioning celebrity accounts as influences. 54 SELF / APRIL 2018

This is then when we asked them whether or not they believed- in a more simpler term - if social media has the power to impact the way we live our lives in general, because surely if some of these applicants were influenced by social media to have a more interactive fitness lifestyle, then social media has the ability to affect our lives as a whole? 32 of the respondents answered yes, with only the remaining 2 people answering no. For the final descriptive question, we then wanted to find out how the applicants felt that social media was able to influence the public in general (not just themselves) to work out

more and eat healthier. Again, just like the previous detailed questions they gave exceptional thorough responses that this time gave not just a negative outlook of social medias impact, but also a positive one as well with many of the people using words such as ‘inspire’, ‘achievements’ and ‘motivate.’ Which is exactly, what makes this overall survey and it’s results so interesting and diverse, as there are many opinions and views that highlight the ways in which social media can make you cast a negative light on yourself, as the applicants have stated, it can make you think and see yourself as


imperfect, but then, it also has this reverse side of it, almost like the two sides of a coin, you get the bad and the good; the good resulting in people being inspired and motivated to achieve their goals, better their lifestyles and never give up. Here are what some of the participants had to say below:

82%

of applicants stated that healthy eating was just as important as working out.

RESPONDENT #34

"SOCIAL MEDIA THROWS FITNESS AND HEALTH IN YOUR FACE" “Social media throws fitness and health in your face on a daily basis, even if you may not follow anything to do with it. There will be some way that it is still able to be seen by you (may be a clip from a tv show you watch that mentions a newdiet or other healthier lifestyle etc) there is no escaping it.

Diets in particular gather pace rapidly, people like to see results and if they see someone has tried it and got results they are instantly grabbed by it and want to try themselves, snowballing. Endorsements from celebrities (many of whom probably haven't even tried the product they are endorsing).

“In some ways it can motivate “By showing people with pictures us, there are a lot of pages to of people in the fitness industry help people on their fitness jourto show them what they can neys. But there are also a lot of achieve through hard work dediways it brings out insecurities in cation and consistency” - Respondent #13 ourselves which makes us ‘diet’” - Respondent #24

17%

of applicants don't believe it is as important.

We live in a celebrity obsessed world these days, everyone wants to be a celebrity or live the life that celebrities lead and if that means buying/eating something just because a current celebrity says it tastes good and does wonders for your body (regardless of whether they've eaten/drank it) people will buy it and still continue to buy it even if they don't like it because they believe that it is working (even in some cases if it is not) because a top a celebrity said it does”

“It can be used as motivation and it can be used to inspire as well. If you see someone online making progress, then it can help motivate you to get up and put in the effort too.” - Respondent #22

"You can find new tasty recipes and exercises you can do it at home if you can't make it to the gym. It can also be misleading though." - Respondent #18

SELF / APRIL 2018

55


And there you have it folks, real opinions and insights from real people reflecting on all the ways social media can have huge ramifications on our fitness lifestyles. So many people took part in this survey offering so many different useful thoughts and perspectives, not only applying their own experiences but also regarding it on a larger scale and how it can affect society as a whole. So, what exactly have we learned? Well, it’s safe to say that social media without a doubt has the power to impact us as these participants have highlighted throughout the questionnaire, but is this a good thing or a bad thing? Taking in everything these respondents have brought forward to help us answer this issue, we believe that it is both. It is neither good or bad, it is simply a combination of both in how social media can influence us especially when it comes to our fitness and nutritional lifestyles. It equally has the power to make us feel motivated and driven, so that we are able to keep going until we achieve our

desired goals, it offers inspiration and advice, as well as a platform to learn new techniques, methods and recipes from professionals and others who have taken up this way of living, without even having to leave your front door. But then it also has this more negative affect, that it can specifically have on our mind and outlook. It unfortunately makes people basically deem themselves as imperfect and even worse, makes them believe they aren’t beautiful if they don’t have this perfectly toned, and sculptured figure that social media bombards its users with every day, it makes it impossible to get away from. This in result can then eventually drive people to push themselves to hard and too much, to try and make themselves this materialistic version of what social media deems the perfect body image, when in essence we should be learning to be proud and confident in our own skin while trying to live and achieve a healthier lifestyle, not a preconceived notion of a ‘perfect body’.

56 SELF / APRIL 2018


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SELF Sub Magazine (Final Product)  

For my final year studying Photographic Journalism at Leeds Beckett University, I have created a sub magazine to pitch to the well known fit...

SELF Sub Magazine (Final Product)  

For my final year studying Photographic Journalism at Leeds Beckett University, I have created a sub magazine to pitch to the well known fit...

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