What Happens When Regular People Copy Sports Stars’ Workouts?

Credible source or should we leave it to the professionals?

What Happens When Regular People Copy Sports Stars’ Workouts?

Many of us will get our workout inspiration from online sources, which can cause problems if the source isn’t fully accredited. But what happens if we want to imitate our favourite sports stars? Is it wise to copy their workouts or should we leave it to the professionals?

We document a high number of sports star and celebrity workouts here at DMARGE. Just take Chris Hemsworth, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Milner as examples. In these pieces, we break down the various exercises they’re performing and provide simple instructions explaining how to do them yourself (we also make sure to provide some warnings and other information to indicate you should always consult with a health or fitness professional before attempting either a new exercise or before you want to increase the weight).

But what could happen if you simply went out and copied your favourite celebrities’ vain Instagram workouts with no instruction? We did a little digging to find out.

The first thing to remember, before mimicking your favourite celebrity’s workout, is that heavy weight doesn’t necessarily equal greater gains. You can still get strong lifting lighter weights (and even in as little as 3 seconds). So, when you see Sergio Ramos performing Romanian deadlifts like it’s nothing or James Milner completing what appears to be a simple leg strengthening workout, but in reality would be far from it, it’s wise to think twice before racing to the gym to try it for yourself.

And, it should be said, athletes don’t always get it right. Formula 1 hotshot Max Verstappen shared a workout at the beginning of 2022 (which you can watch below), but as we pointed out at the time, it was one you should avoid mimicking because his form was incredibly poor.

WATCH: Max Verstappen’s Workout That Is Best Avoided

DMARGE spoke to former NRL player and owner of Flow Athletic, Ben Lucas at the time to get his thoughts on Max’s workout. While he said “the exercises are fine,” he added “they need to be done better to not only ensure that Max gets results, but they keep him injury free.”

The overarching question, then, is should we mimic these workouts or just use them for inspiration?

DMARGE recently spoke to former NRL great Anthony Minichiello to hear his thoughts around athletes’ off-season workouts, which tend to be the ones they share on social media. We wanted to find out if these workouts are ‘safe,’ since they’re usually performed without the guidance of a coach.

Mini told us, “in my experience professional athletes these days are well versed in strength and conditioning and fitness regimes, as they do this for a living every day, so high-performance comes natural.”

“I don’t think it’s a disaster waiting to happen to be honest during the off-season, you might do some workouts by yourself in a gym or with a PT, but you never train as hard as when you’re preparing for something. It’s always a light session to tick the body over and keep your general fitness up, before you go back into harder training with pre-season starts.”

Of course, a ‘light workout’ for an athlete could be more intense for the Average Joe, but in general, the exercises they perform are likely to be more akin to what is feasible for us to perform in the gym too. They’re not going to be as sport-specific as their pre-season training, but as Mini says, are just there to “tick the body over.”

The takeaway? It can be perfectly fine to use athlete workouts as inspiration for your own. We’d argue they’re going to be a far more credible source on the whole (not you, Max, sorry) and so can be more educational than some random ripped dude on Instagram who shares his “top 5 exercises to lose fat.” This is mainly because, as Adam Sullivan of Evidence Based Training has previously said, “no exercise directly results in fat loss,” but it can when combined with a calorie deficit.

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As with any information you find online, if you’re unsure as to its credibility, then run it past one of the trainers at your gym or another qualified health professional.

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