How Morit Summers Is Making Those Advanced Workouts You See On Instagram More Accessible
The personal trainer is on a mission to prove that modifying tough workouts doesn't make you less capable.
Instagram is a great place for workout motivation. Badass personal trainers like Kayla Itsines, Anna Victoria, and Emily Skye take to the 'Gram daily to share workout tips and tutorials that inspire and challenge millions of women around the world. But sometimes these workout videos, while visually mesmerizing, can seem nearly impossible to replicate—something trainer Morit Summers wants to address.
Summers has been a personal trainer for 12 years. She's spent that time inspiring people to believe that they're all capable of reaching their fitness goals, regardless of shape, size, or weight. Because of that approach, she's earned clients like Ashley Graham and Danielle Brooks—and has since become the founder of Form Fitness, a training studio that's "dedicated to movement and strength for all," according to its Instagram page. (Related: Morit Summers Shares Why She Fully Plans to Indulge On Thanksgiving Despite Being On Whole30)
While Summers posts plenty of her own workout videos, she recently took to Instagram to share a series of "copycat" videos. The concept is simple: Summers films herself doing workouts from other star trainers she's inspired by on Instagram to help regular folks realize that they can do these workouts, too. "There are so many badass fitness influencers and trainers on Instagram and if you are anything like me, you sometimes think, 'But who can actually do that?'" Summers wrote in one of her "copycat" posts. "Well, I'm going to try." (Related: Try These Modifications When You're Tired AF In Your Workout Class)
In Summers' first "copycat" video, she's seen doing a series of workouts from Kaisa Keranen, a personal trainer known for her insane balance skills, strength, and agility. "There are a few moves that I modified and made work for me," wrote Summers in her post.
Summers' second video, posted earlier this week, shows her following a workout by celebrity trainer Kira Stokes. If you don't know Stokes, she has a fun, no-excuses attitude toward fitness and has worked with stars like Candace Cameron Bure, Lindsey Vonn, and Shay Mitchell.
Summers' goal in sharing these videos is to help people realize that there's no shame in modifying some of the challenging workouts you see online. "Making adjustments doesn't make you any less capable," Summers wrote on Instagram. "If you have a goal, you have to start somewhere."
Turns out, Summers has wanted to create these "copycat" videos for a while, she tells Shape. "I watch all of these amazing athletes [share] workout videos that are truly motivational," she explains. "I truly believe that you can do anything you set your mind to. However, there are a lot of exercises that get posted that are very advanced, and not everyone is at that level. So, I wanted to show people that we can all do it, that different body types are capable, too, even if you have to modify."
As Summers noted on Instagram, she does simplify some of these "copycat" workouts to make them less intimidating. "I really hope that people will see my variations, or my body doing the same workout as someone who doesn't look like me, and realize that they can try it, too," she shares.
ICYDK, Summers has played a pivotal role in proving that you can't predict someone's fitness level based on their looks or body type. Even after she became a trainer back in 2007, Summers dealt with her fair share of body-shaming and felt that she didn't fit the personal trainer mold at first. "There just weren't many people in the industry who looked like me," she previously told us. "Even though I was fit and strong, I was never 'thin.'"
But after years of doubting herself, she realized it was time for some self-acceptance. "I didn't want to spend the rest of my life looking at the scale and getting frustrated with the numbers staying the same," she told us. "I wanted to get stronger and learn to love my body the way it was."
Since then, Summers has been showing people that aesthetics don't (and shouldn't) matter. Your body is capable of doing amazing things, regardless of what it looks like, she shares. "Most of the people who follow me, follow me because they see a body like their own doing movements that they didn't think they could do," she explains. (Related: What People Don't Realize When They Talk About Weight and Health)
Summers also shared an important reminder for anyone who feels intimidated by the advanced workouts they see on Instagram: Those videos often show people who've been in the fitness scene for years, even decades in some cases. In other words, it's not fair to compare your fitness level to theirs, explains Summers. (Plus, wanting what others have will rarely make you happy, as Kayla Itsines once wisely said.)
"The internet is definitely a place where people can show off their skills and abilities, which is very motivating," shares Summers. "[But] people forget that it didn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to be able to do [something like] a jumping pistol squat."
By sharing her "copycat" workout videos, Summers wants to show that everyone has to start somewhere, "but also that my body, a plus-size body, is just as capable as someone like Massy Arias," she says.
For those who might doubt their own abilities when they see advanced workouts on social media, Summers advises going back to the basics. "The hardest part is getting started," she explains. "Pick one thing, and stick to it for a month. Check in with yourself and respect the decision you made to do that one thing. It can be as simple as walking half a mile to a mile four times a week, or drinking eight glasses of water a day."
"[Take things] one step at a time," adds Summers. "Be mindful and be nice to yourself."