The ‘Fitspo’ Trend Is Dumb And It Needs To End

iStockPhoto.com / PeopleImages
iStockPhoto.com / PeopleImages

A few weeks ago I stopped following every single person on my social media feed that is involved in the world of fitness. I just cannot take the narcissism, shameless self-promotion, nauseating displays of selfies and worst of all, the constant pictures of their meals anymore. Seriously guys and gals, enough is enough. Every day, people that are friends with those in the fitness industry are bombarded with videos of workouts, pictures of food showing you’re clearly an orthorexic, lame affirmations and of course your “expert” workout advice. Don’t even get me started on the amount of athlete pages people put up on Facebook and ask all their friends to like when they’ve never even stood on a podium.

In the real (i.e. non-fitness) world, there is this concept called mastery. Mastery takes a long time and is not easy. In the fitness world, this concept has been thrown out because apparently popularity rules. Why do difficult things for a long period of time when you can put pictures of your arse up on social media and pretend like you actually know something about something? Jenn Selter is my favourite. She was named the 29th most influential person in health last year because she has millions of followers on social media. She dishes out workout advice to people who want an arse like hers despite the fact that she has no qualifications at all in that area. Having a great arse doesn’t mean you know anything about nutrition and exercise science. The worst thing about people like her? When anyone points out their lack of qualifications or the fact they don’t know what they’re talking about, they throw out the asinine “haters gonna hate” line, as though everyone else is just jealous and they are so above establishing any kind of credentials.

Zyzz was another great example. The amount of morons that put him above professional bodybuilders actually winning titles because he “had a huge following and inspired people to chase their dreams” is breathtaking. Here’s a tip — it isn’t an achievement to inspire a few people to get into the gym just because you’re shredded and you used steroids to get there. If you truly think that, you need to stop believing your own press and maybe read up about people like Martin Luther King Jr for example. You know, people that actually were inspirational and did important things for humanity. Having a mad body and pairing it with some stupid line like “if you believe it you can achieve it” on Facebook is not for anyone else’s benefit but your own. Please spare us all the eye roll and go masturbate in the bathroom instead.

There is also this trend of people wanting to become “fitness icons”, whatever the hell that means. Well, we do know what it means, it means that you earn money for nothing else than your highlight reel of narcissism on social media. Here’s a tip: get an actual job. If you don’t like your job, find a better one. If you want to make a living based on your arse, become a model or a porn star. For all you wannabe fitness icons, you need to know something really important. When you have millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but your entire feed consists of selfies of your arse and tits hanging out, more than three quarters of them are guys that just enjoy ogling your bits. Don’t even get me started on your lame workout videos, with you doing hamstring curls with close ups of your arse or your deadlifts with 40 kilos on the bar. Wow, that’s some impressive shit right there! It’s right up there with those stupid motivational posters that say “strong is the new sexy” when the person is shoulder pressing with 5kg dumbbells.

The one I love the most is when a woman is there in her extremely revealing clothing holding, wait for it…fit tea. Hahahaha. Does anyone actually buy this shit? Oh yeah, I’m sure that’s all it takes to get that Instagram famous body, don’t you know all the celebrities are doing it? Don’t even get me started on this thing of posing for a picture with a green smoothie in hand. Please, stop pretending like that shit actually tastes good. I tried some kale last week and you know what? It tasted like something that grows in a swamp. I was then told “it needs to be massaged to not taste terrible”. Sorry, any vegetable that requires massaging has no place in my diet.

This goes for all of you that clog up our feed with your constant updates. We don’t need a picture of you standing at the gym with the caption “let’s get it on!” Why the hell is that even a thing? Guess what, we also don’t care that you did a few cable flies because they “give you a mad chest pump and show your striations”, we’re tired of you posting photos of your food, as though “eating clean” is the absolute highest goal in the universe and like green vegetables actually taste good without butter. Finally, we’re really and truly tired of the constant selfies of your abs or arse or whatever your favourite feature is, as though your great body is the ultimate achievement everyone should be striving for in life.

This doesn’t just happen with the vapid fame chaser crowd though. There are some really smart, really qualified trainers that hold world records who clogged up my feed with videos of their clients. They say stuff like “Mary is 40 and a mother of two, she can bench 70kg, what’s your excuse?”. Seriously, shut the fuck up. I’m a lifter and it pisses me off, so imagine what non lifters think when they see it. Not everyone wants to lift weights to stay healthy, don’t start shaming everyone for it. Do you see science professors getting on their feed saying “Chris has 2 kids and is about to finish his thesis on string theory, what’s your excuse?” You don’t, because they’re not raging douches with an inflated sense of how important their pursuit is to mankind. Please, do us all a favour and focus on your clients and their needs, rather than the shameless self promotion on social media. If you’re a good trainer you don’t need to whore yourself out like this.

I want to finish with something really important — how many champions do you see out there cultivating a huge following on social media? Could you imagine Ed Coan ever putting up videos of his training a set of 3 on the squat? Of course you can’t, he was too busy doing shit. TC mark

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