This is an idea to improve the forum community, but this thread absolutely does not reflect any type of “official” T-Nation site membership requirement. It’s an idea that’s been percolating for a while, and I’m just some schmoe on the forum who figured I’d start a thread about it.
It’s a check-in, not a call-out. The idea is to improve the sense of community and remind us all that, no matter what we post about here and what initially brought us to the site, the one common thread that every forum member should have is a consistent drive to attack our training and see results, period.
Whether our goals lie in bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, strongman, MMA, or some variation of those, every single person signed up to this forum should be training for something, trying to improve something, and this is the thread where we can step up and be reminded of that common ground.
I’m asking for all forum members to post a current snapshot of themselves. And let’s try not to get too distracted or off-topic with critiques of what gets posted. There should end up being more posts with images attached, than not.
If your goals are physique-based - you want to get bigger or get leaner or get bigger and leaner - toss up a current pic.
If your goals are performance-based - the powerlifter, the fighter, the Olympic lifter, etc. - you’re not excused. You’re invited to post a short video clip from a recent training session.
Let’s even say that you don’t “have to” post today, or even tomorrow. Let’s say you put up a picture or video sometime this month. So, if you want to run “Shredded in 6 Days” to drop some water and look even more awesome, go for it. You have a big ME workout next Monday where you’ll hit a squat PR? Cool. Video that sucker and show us what’s what. You happen to have a meet or competition coming up in the next week or two? Even more perfect.
Just, please, I’m asking you to participate and play a role in improving the quality of the forum as a whole by reinforcing the idea that T-Nation members know how to do more than just rack up high post counts in the non-training-related sections of the site.
Now, I know that some (most?) will be hesitant and have a handful of excuses at the ready, so…
"I’m a newbie, so I’m embarrassingly weak and underdeveloped. Posting a pic will only make me a target for jokes. "
First off, everybody on this site and every single pro athlete you admire was weak and underdeveloped at some point, so that’s a crap excuse. If you’re showing up at the gym and lifting a few days a week with a particular goal in mind, you’re miles ahead of the average person.
More importantly, though, my idea is that this thread will be recurring twice a year (August [end of summer] and February [end of winter]), so absolutely post a current picture now, and when the next thread comes along in a half-year, make sure you post another picture then. That way, your progress will be even more dramatic and noticeable. (You are going to make visible progress over the next six months, right?)
“Everyone knows I give awesome advice, so I don’t need to post a pic.”
While this is a frequently debated topic on the forums, it’s another crap excuse. Even if you do dish out more great advice than The Buddha quoting Dalai Lama quoting Mark Twain, your “reputation” is built on sand if you’re not practicing a fraction of the awesomeness that you’re preaching.
Think of posting a picture just like giving advice without having to say a word. (Oohh, that’s deep and all metaphorical and stuff.) As the saying goes, the best leaders lead from the front,
“My avatar is already a picture of me, so I’ll sit this one out.”
I’m seriously glad to hear that you’re using a picture of yourself. I wish more people would. Funny how many times someone will have an avatar that’s a pic of a well-developed but unknown bodybuilder or lifter and then not correct people when they presume it’s the actual member.
Anyhow, since you’re already comfortable showing your progress, I’d think you’d be comfortable adding a current picture to this thread. I do understand wanting to rely on your avatar in general, and that’s cool.
If that’s a snapshot of you on your best day, more power to you, but if your avatar is when you peaked for a contest in 2010 and since then you’ve sworn off the gym in favor of the Shake Weight, is it really fair to let people think it was taken a few weeks ago?
“I don’t want to post a picture of me in my underwear for all the Internet to see.”
Good, me neither. Fortunately, competitive bodybuilders don’t pose in their underwear either. And in any case, a pic in a t-shirt and jeans, shorts and a tank top, or whatver you’d wear to the beach will show plenty of your physique to give folks an idea of where you are.
“I don’t own a camera.”
Fair enough, Admiral Amish, but Wal-Mart, CVS, and similar “five and dime” stores or online retailers now sell disposable “digital cameras” and even disposable video cameras for a few bucks. Consider it an investment in yourself, since documenting progress is never a bad thing for your own records.
Also, if your cell phone can take pictures, you should also be able to e-mail yourself those photos via text message. Type your e-mail address in the “Send To” field where the phone number would go, and you’re set. I believe usual text charges apply.
“If my boss/spouse/children find out I posted a picture of myself online, I’m screwed.”
Tricky situation, but still not a valid excuse, sorry. Sites like http://www.pixlr.com and http://www.fotoflexer.com are free Photoshop-like websites that make it ridiculously simple to edit/blur/obscure your face, identifying tattoos, birthmarks, background detail, or anything else that might threaten your anonymity.
I think that pretty much covers the biggest obstacles, so let’s go.