I have a confession to make, I am fucking addicted to Instagram, I love it. Definitely, my favourite social media platform it has all the things I like about YouTube (video basically!) and way less of the downside being far easier to interact with and going from phone to the internet instantly is great. However, the fitness industry loves Instagram and that’s not something that is currently filling me with great joy.
When you post a picture of you in your underwear or with nothing but a snapchat filter covering whatever small amount of you isn’t exposed to the camera, I can’t help but feel you lose some credibility as a sagely fountain of advice. Some of the drivel that gets posted into people’s descriptions are fucking laughable.
Just stay positive and move forward every day! Yes, because life is so simple and every problem can be easily surmounted by smiling and quoting penny philosophers. People go online for two reasons generally 1) to be entertained or 2) to be informed. Posting nonsense like the only person you are competing against is the one in the mirror every morning isn’t going to serve either of these two problems.
As someone who makes their money off a combination of being born with pleasant enough looks, having enough of an obsession or being unhinged enough to be happy supporting an eating disorder and having enough confidence or lack of social awareness to post borderline pornographic content to social media I don’t think you’re a great role model for anyone. A porn star at least has the honesty to sell sex, most of the huge fitness Instagram “models” or “coaches” are making money off affiliations with products they have no belief in other than the paycheck that comes with it or selling cookie cutter diets and programmes and having the fucking nerve to call it coaching.
This whole side of the industry is completely vacant of worth or integrity. Walking around a fitness expo is a sobering experience. The words nutrition and health are plastered everywhere yet the people who inhabit these booths or supposedly embody these words clearly abuse drugs, have an unhealthy obsession with food and are narcissistic in the extreme. These aren’t qualities I would personally extol as healthy nor is the level of hypocrisy clearly on show something I would want to be associated with.
You can say all you want about fat lazy powerlifters or paleo eating cray-cray cross fitters but at least they are what they say on the tin. When Louie Simmons starts quoting Plato or writing motivational quotes under a video of one of his lifters box squatting than I might look for a change in sport or at least change the media I intake. You can see the same inane behaviour crossing over into powerlifting and other social media happy activities. You can have whatever opinion you want about Louie but at least he has the self-respect and integrity to present to the world who he is, a crazy roided up old man who loves shifting tin.
Oh you do powerlifting and are attractive/have a nice body at the same time! Congratulations on achieving fuck all of note. People seem to need constant reassurance or positive attention every second of the day, the world owes you nothing, so stop being surprised when you keep getting nothing in return for doing nothing of worth. Powerlifting is a sport, CrossFit is a sport, weightlifting is a sport, bodybuilding and fitness modelling are beauty contests. None of these things are noble endeavours they are hobbies or obsessions.
The reason I chose to go into powerlifting was I wanted to do something competitive since I couldn’t play any team sports anymore due to my working hours. I like the objectiveness of the sport, I like how it is clearly evident who is the best and who isn’t the best. What I’m not keen on is people trying to make out that competing is an accomplishment it’s not a fucking accomplishment anyone who has the money and spare time can come in and squat/bench/deadlift 25kg almost every human breathing can do that with absolutely no training.
I would love to see a community which was more of a meritocracy and less of a raging fucking circle jerk. You love your sport and training, that’s beautiful I have no intent on taking that away from you but don’t expect me to be impressed because you did a competition.
Also please stop referring to you or your lifters as athletes it’s fucking laughable just because you do a sport or have a physically active hobby doesn’t classify you as an athlete. When someone starts paying you a wage to lift or when you start placing in the top 10 of open competition in a federation or barbell sport with more than 20 people in the country then you can maybe start to think about using the term. Your mates who play pool down the pub or who play 5 a side football in the middle of the week seem to manage to remain undeluded so what is it about lifting stuff that makes people think just because you pay for a gym membership and are shite at a barbell sport 2-3x a week means they can lump themselves in with the likes of Usian Bolt, Floyd Mayweather or Sonny Bill Williams is literally beyond me.
Powerlifting, Weightlifting and CrossFit are sports they aren’t social movements and they aren’t your vehicle to everlasting fame. They are awesome pastimes which almost everyone can do. Please stop trying to turn them into some kind of social movement and just enjoy it with the rest of us.