A single at-home TikTok workout made me too powerful

“I followed their instructions: 10 toe wiggles, a scoobideewoop, 15 belly taps.”

Photo courtesy of Kon Karampelas via Unsplash

Written by Hannah Davis, Peak Associate

Once all the gyms closed, I was at a loss as to where to find easy at-home workouts. Should I look to qualified trainers online? Local gyms holding free or reduced cost classes online? Friends who can provide fitness inspiration and accountability?

Doing absolutely none of these things was a grave mistake. I turned to some teenager giving workout advice on TikTok, and now . . .

I’ve become too powerful. 

This bleach-blonde, Gymshark-clad TikTok influencer I stumbled across seemed inconspicuous enough. Aside from their inadvertent and misinformed promotions of unhealthy and potentially dangerous diet culture, facilitated by presenting undereating and undernourishment as normal and healthy — not to mention their makeup skills being better than mine despite the fact that they are almost eight years younger than me — I still had a feeling that I would find exactly what I wanted on their account. 

The teen’s minimal knowledge of fitness seemed to be founded solely on other TikToks by other teens with minimal knowledge of fitness. 

Perfect! I thought. These kids don’t seem to have any sort of professional background or qualifications. So surely I won’t be gaining anything from these workouts!

You see, when I exercise, I want to exactly . . . maintain the level of fitness that I am at. I do not want to get stronger or faster! Proper form is a snooze and a scam! So Tik Tok was the perfect platform for me to find exercises and workouts that do absolutely nothing! 

Or so I thought . . .

I followed their 15-second instructions: 10 toe wiggles, 10 seconds of walking around the room, a scoobideewoop, 15 belly taps. That single squat at the end wiped me out. And that’s when the transformation happened. 

My jeans ripped clean off my body! My shirt disintegrated from the sudden increase of muscle fibers in my chest, arms, and shoulders. I went for some water and my water bottle SHATTERED. I took a regular step and sent myself straight into the ceiling! 

Confused and panicking, I soon began my research. 

“How are these TikTok fitness people not as powerful as I am . . . especially after doing these exercises everyday,” I asked Google. “Is there something wrong with me? Have they not also experienced the effects of these workouts and the undeniable, terrible strength they instill within those who complete them?”

I visited some of the accounts of some of the more popular fitness TikTok-ers and noticed something strange in the background of every TikTok exercise icon. 

On first glance, their homes look normal. But on closer inspection, I saw evidence of hastily done home repairs, the exact type of home repair you might do if you, say, accidentally ripped off your closet door because you didn’t realize your own strength. These TikTokkers assumed that there wouldn’t be anyone like me looking closely enough at their videos to sniff out their bluff. They assumed WRONG. 

I even noticed that these TikTokkers’ clothing was altered, almost imperceptibly, with velcro wraps and straps . . . I can only assume these modifications were to avoid the embarrassing fate that awaited me after completing my TikTok workout. 

So. Let us band together and help these teens become less powerful. Let us empathize with the horror of being too strong for your own good, crushing coffee cups in your upsettingly powerful grip, swinging doors straight off their hinges.

We need these TikTok workouts to be banned. They are turning ducklings into gorillas, gorillas into King Kongs, butterflies into butterflies with huge biceps. In other words, people who were otherwise perfectly happy with their bodies are becoming unbelievably and surprisingly swole, against their will. 

Let us bring awareness to these TikTok workouts — not for their inefficiency, but for the fact that they work terrifyingly well.