With seven-day gym classes and unregulated instructors on Instagram, is our appetite for exercise getting dangerous?
Lisa Andrews was looking for a quick fitness fix. The 34-year-old had “a bit of weight to lose” a year after having her first baby and, being both time-poor and on a budget, she decided to do it with the help of an online 12-week training programme she’d seen advertised on Facebook. “There were hundreds of transformations on there,” Lisa tells me. “I was so excited to start. The programme had several different levels so you could begin at whatever level you thought worked for you. Stupidly, I picked intermediate. It was really challenging, with daily sets of high-intensity exercises, and I would frequently feel exhausted and totally out of breath by the end of it – but I was on a high. As I got fitter, I began to really love the training. I looked forward to it, talked about it all the time, got friends to sign up. I became quite evangelical. Sometimes I’d even do two sessions a day. I’d skip other activities to work out – because if I had to miss a session, I’d feel depressed and worried it would derail my progress.”