Fitness is a huge business nowadays. Everybody wants to be fit and look like a fitnessmodel  and that’s in my opinion really dangerous, as more and more people getting cheated on their way to their dreambody which most of the people probably never will achieve. During my trip to the United States I’ve encountered a lot of people from this business and I could see behind the scenes.  I’ll offer my personal opinion about the industry in the following lines.

Fitness centers are booming all over the world. Just think about how many gyms are located near your area and how crowded they sometimes are. There are teenager who just turned sixteen, but also grandfathers who got retired 5 years ago. There are bodybuilders with huge muscles, but also  sexy girls with slim bodies. There are guys who jump from machine to machine without a break to breath and also guys who’d rather watch Inception between their sets. There are all kind of people, but they’re all aiming for the same goal: get better, bigger, stronger, leaner, faster, fitter!

Especially teenager work out in hope to look like fitness models on fitness magazines. They work hard, follow a customized diet plan and take tons of supplements and after 6 months or even a year they notice that they don’t look like their role model at all. What are the reasons for this symptom?

  • Does the guy on the cover work harder? I think so as they often have their own personal trainers, but I guess this is not the main factor.
  • Is the cover model on the magazine older and has more training experience? Probably, but there are also models in their young twenties.
  • Is the guy on the cover blessed with super genetics? No, I don’t think so. Just check pictures from their teenage years.
  • Did this model take any performance enhancers like steroids? I’m sure there are that kind of guys in the industry especially in bodybuilding, but I don’t like to say EVERYONE is on steroids.

People are often not aware about the probably most significant reason of how they look on the magazine cover. It’s called photoshoot preparation and I’m not talking about getting hair done before the shoot or choosing the right clothes (of course it’s also part of the whole thing), but about the extremely strict diet, water & sodium manipulation and also get tanned weeks or even months before the shoot. They follow a rough program to look perfect on that special shoot-day. The process must be terrible and you probably feel like shit during the days before the shoot. If you have thought they’re in this condition all year round, you’re completely wrong and if they really do so, they’re pretty sure using “something more than just whey protein”. And of course are the shots photoshopped but I guess I don’t have to mention that.

I don’t blame those models. Their job is to look fit and strong and that’s the way this look can be reached. Keep reading those fitness magazines and get motivation from the cover models, but don’t be disappointed when you don’t look like them even in 5 years. I personally follow various people from the fitness scene on social networks. Some of them provide free advices which I can adapt in my fitness program. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed when I met all the “stars” from the scene at the Olympia expo in Vegas. I mean, they always look super aesthetic like superheroes on pictures, but then in real life… Well – they’re ‘just’ humans.  Some of them are pretty arrogant and all they share is a mad look. Only Americas number 1 fitness model Greg Plitt  was quite sympathetic. Even though I only asked for a photo, he reported how he won money in the casino the night before and how much fun he had with his friends . I like this guy. 🙂

There are a lot of fake people in the industry! When I speak about “fake people” I refer to all those who do this whole fitness thing just for money. People who got fame on social networks for giving free advices and tips suddenly advise for teeth whitening and tea. This phenomenon usually happens when the person reaches a large amount of followers. I know some guys in the scene who’re selling penis enlargement devices. And all I ask is where the fuck is the relation to fitness? There are companies who offer you money to post pictures of their products like headphones, clothes, shoes, tea and just pretty much everything. I understand everyone who’s aiming for an income but I guess this is the wrong way as it often ends with losing followers.

Another method to generate money is to sell workout programs. Have you ever checked how many different programs are available on the market? Almost every guy who has decent muscles sells a program and everyone claims to revolutionize the industry with their program. They’re called “lean bulking system”, “massive muscle gainz”, “8 pack in 3 weeks”  or “summer shredz all year” and they all promise the body you ever wanted. A complete program including basic workouts and also diet suggestions can definitely be useful but most of them are just crappy and massively overpriced. Moreover is the content of those programs often the same. Ironically need most of these bodybuilders their own coach to create a workout program, so don’t think just because you purchased a program from Lazar Angelov it’s his real workout and you’ll look like him in a few months. That’s definitely not the way it works!

Let’s talk about all the “fitness experts” on youtube. There are so many youtuber who provide free knowledge all about fitness and health. The only problem is that they all claim conflicting things. There is one big topic for example called “meal timing” and it’s about when to eat what kind of food. Unfortunately there are so many views on this topic and everybody thinks they know better. It’s just too much information. Every average fitness enthusiast like me gets confused instead of taught.

And then there’s the supplement industry. A million of different products, some with unknown chemicals in it. In case you’ve watched the movies “bigger, faster, stronger”  you know how easy it is to bring a new product on the market without getting checked or approved. In case you don’t, watch the movie. It’s about performance enhancers and it really open your eyes. However, I could easily create my own supplement label and sell flour or other bullshit for a lot of money. All I needed are some huge guys who advertise for my product.  Every supplement manufacturer has to write a list of the used ingredients on their products. If the list is correct or not is one thing, but they don’t have to list the exact amounts of mg per ingredient. Especially on pre workout products you often see “Special Blend 500mg: Creatine, Beta-Analine, L-Arginine, Caffeine” and you have no idea about the proportions of these products. Basically, this product could contain 10mg creatine, 10mg beta-analine, 10mg l-arginine and the rest could be caffeine. I wish everyone good luck who consumes over 400mg of caffeine at the same time. To be honest I think they still have to list the ingredients in order of their amount (in this case most of the 500mg should be creatine then) but I’m sure you got the idea.

And do you know what I hate most? Everyone in the fitness industry claims to be “all natural”. Some of them are just too big. Some of them look like gorillas and they claim all you have do to for it is “work hard” and “eat a lot of proteins”. There are various forums in the internet in which is discussed if someone is on steroids or not. Just try to answer the following questions: Why should someone who makes a business on fitness or bodybuilding not take steroids? Wouldn’t you take some chemicals if you know you could be on every fitness magazine cover and earn a lot of money with it?

The fitness industry is full of cheaters, liars and of course it’s all about money. I hope you still have motivation to workout and stay fit after this article 😉 I want to mention again, that this is just my personal opinion and everyone has make up their own mind! Keep pushing yourself. Keep motivated. DO whatever you think is right and don’t lose the passion for it.

– Tinu

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