Not long ago, I binge-watched a few episodes of a TV show on Amazon called The Boys.
It’s all about a group of individuals with super powers who are seen as celebrities by the general public. But it’s all fake. Behind the scenes, they’re actually corrupt superheroes who abuse their powers rather than use them for good.
While they present themselves as wholesome, crime-fighting do-gooders, in reality they’re arrogant, sadistic criminals, who care little about the well-being of the people they claim to protect.
The whole thing reminded me of some of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes in the fitness industry.
You Tube fitness celebrities filming themselves lifting fake weights to appear stronger than they really are… Instagram influencers pretending to use whatever dietary supplement they’re being paid to plug this week… doctored before and after pictures.
Back when I was working in the supplement business, I remember a girl who was sponsored by the company. In her bio, she claimed to spring out of bed first thing in the morning, eat a protein bar, and then make her daily pilgrimage to the gym.
The reality went something like this:
She’d wake up… smoke a cigarette or two… then eat pretty much whatever she wanted for the rest of the day. Her training program involved nothing more vigorous than the occasional stroll through a local park.
While she was in great shape, her physique had more to do with favorable genetics than it did anything else.
Be wary of the stuff you see on social media, where everyone is in peak physical condition all the time, and their entire life is amazing and perfect. What you see in the pictures and what goes on behind the scenes are often two very different things.
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About the Author
Christian Finn is an exercise scientist and former “trainer to the trainers” based in the UK. He holds a masters degree in exercise science, and has been featured in or contributed to major media on two continents, including the BBC and Sunday Times in the U.K. and Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness in the U.S.