Connect with us

Fitness

ChatGPT can design workouts — but Austin personal trainer cautions against them

Published

on

ChatGPT can design workouts — but Austin personal trainer cautions against them

FILE - OpenAI's ChatGPT app is displayed on an iPhone in New York, May 18, 2023. With companies deploying artificial intelligence to every corner of society, state lawmakers are playing catch-up with the first major proposals to reign in AI's penchant for discrimination — but those bills face blistering headwinds from every direction. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

FILE – OpenAI’s ChatGPT app is displayed on an iPhone in New York, May 18, 2023. With companies deploying artificial intelligence to every corner of society, state lawmakers are playing catch-up with the first major proposals to reign in AI’s penchant for discrimination — but those bills face blistering headwinds from every direction. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While ChatGPT and other forms of artificial intelligence prompt systems are growing in popularity, one Austin personal trainer is cautioning people to do their research before employing the technology to develop fitness programs.

Abel Koury has been a nutrition coach and personal trainer for six years, as well as works as a research and data analyst. He said he loves to combine evidence-based research into his nutrition and fitness work.


When it comes to personal training, the beauty of it is the fact it’s personalized to the individual client. That customization can be lost in translation, he said, when people turn to AI-powered algorithms to develop nutrition-based or fitness-related programs.

“If you’re just putting in, ‘hey, write me a workout,’ it isn’t going to ask, ‘what’s your health history?’” he explained. “You’re entering into this relationship, essentially, with ChatGPT where there’s no foundational knowledge upon which to build a program. So I think that’s a real risk.”

Abel Koury has been a nutrition coach and personal trainer for six years, as well as works as a research and data analyst. (KXAN Photo/Kelsey Thompson)

Anything ranging from a person’s medical history and existing conditions to their fitness goals are all relevant to the customization of a program, Koury said. Not only that, but trusting an AI program to develop a fitness regimen can also open clients up to injuries or burning out more quickly on the program because it isn’t as sustainable.

“If folks feel demotivated by what they think it takes to become [fit]…they’re like, I’d rather not do anything at all,” he said. “And that really does a disservice to the person because you can actually do far less than what’s prescribed on ChatGPT — because I played around with it myself — and get really remarkable remarks.”

So, for those new to the gym or developing a new fitness routine, how should they go about it? For Koury, being realistic about their existing lifestyle or fitness benchmark is key, along with knowing how to build habits.

A central starting point is being honest with themselves on how many days they’re realistically able to work out amid school or work, family obligations or other life factors. From there, you can focus on building out how long you’d like to work on your workout days, where you’ll be doing those workouts and what goals you have for increasing your fitness while still taking necessary rest days.

“What you do in a workout session has a recovery cost, and you want to make sure that you can recover from time to time so that way, you can be consistent,” Koury said. “Because otherwise, you run the risk of being super sore, possibly getting injured, and then again, it’s demotivating.”

On the nutritional end of things, he advised people to take a curious, not judgmental, approach to inspecting their average meals and seeing what is and isn’t on their plate. Some easy rules include drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated while also making sure each meal has some sort of protein, carb and fat source.

“If you think about [your plate] as a circle, if you cut it down the middle, half of it be vegetables or fruits and things like that, and then a source of protein, and then some sort of fat,” Koury said.

Now that isn’t all to say that technology like AI can’t be a resourceful tool for people to use. But for things less customized, he said people should seek out other options — like having another person check their form or record themselves working out to monitor it — to assess themselves and their work.

“[ChatGPT] breaks down some barriers that I see in the fitness industry in general, that it can be kind of classist and reserved for folks who have a little bit more money or resources or time,” Koury said. “I think on the flip side though, a heavy reliance on something like ChatGPT in particular, it might give you a false sense of high-quality [content].”

Continue Reading