T Nation

Social Media and "Inspiration"


Reading “Stop Whoring Yourself Out…” posted today I was inspired to join and write this Topic for discussion.

I am on here as I workout and need help, advice and ideas.

Social Media such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter…all have a massive opening for inspiring fitness. I follow 2 people because of their fitness and physique. To look at they are beautiful…virtually perfect and in fairness a picture on Instagram of them is enough to inspire me to pick up the weights and work out.

HOWEVER, they miss the real opportunity, which is to help us. Much as they have achieved their figures, it is a mystery as to how they got there. Maybe they are too ashamed to say or maybe they are just self indulgent showing off their figures and a few stretches.

So, don’t just post a picture of yourself many times over, post your workout regime (even if its a photo of it on a piece of paper), post a video of workouts (maybe speed them up so they fit onto a short video) and post food and supp tips. Rotate these round on your daily blogs and selfies, but keep the picture of you half naked to once a week perhaps. Yes we think you are beautiful, but make it deeper than just flashing a smile and your buns.


lol, man, I bitch about this phenomenon all the time. It’s certainly very cool to hear that you’ve inspired someone, make no mistake, BUT, I think the whole situation where anyone who has ever lost a few lbs, or snapped a good looking photo now uses it as a way to satisfy their need for attention.

There’s also the whole angle of “do you actually need to have accomplished something difficult in order to inspire?” When IG was first a huge thing, you saw a handful of very accomplished bodybuidlers from the 90;s (Yates, Levrone, Ray) whining about how avergae looking, just lean looking guys had insanely huge followings, yet hadn’t ever stepped onstage or won a single contest. Heck, I get barraged all the time by people on IG, who follow me, so I follow 'em back (I’ll all for mutual support and encouragement), and then I find myself receiving countless offers for me to hire them to coach me… Seriously? From average looking, just not-fat physiques? Not to disparage anyone who actually trains and is somewhat aware of what they eat, but when did the non-elite suddenly decide that they were people to be looked up to?

Okay, maybe that last bit sounded a bit arrogant, not my intention, but I thing you all know what I mean.



I’ll coach you if you’ll do my diet. It’s totally fair. I promise.

Also, awesome work with Bradley. It was so cool to see him compete AND be so successful, after he’s been involved in the sport for so long without competing. I’m definitely going to make it up to NY this year, it’d be great to meet you and him and a few others in the area.


I think you’re expecting too much from people. :grinning:


I should have addressed the OP. Forgot to do that in my first post.

OP, the things you’re asking for ARE done by a lot of people, on IG, on blogs, and in other places. It sounds like you’re wanting things to be spoon fed to you. Just because the folks you choose to follow don’t give helpful info doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of athletes who do.


Thank you very much! I’d love to meet up!


I also think some people are unaware that many people receive all kinds of gifts and “sponsorships” for posting their titillating photographs online. Even some obese women who satisfy the fat fetish of some men have thousands of followers. Do ya think they’re able to be photographed in the far-off exotic corners of the earth for free, or that they have registries on Amazon.com and other shopping sites while no one fulfills them?

It’s not all about exercise and diet instruction. :slight_smile:


That’s the new trend.

Take a bunch of steroids and take alot of pictures of yourself for the internet.


That’s been shown to be an effective strategy.


I do find it strange that people need to advertise every aspect of their life on social media. Other than bitching and moaning when Im in a bad mood or messing with the sensitive crowd here on t-nation I dont like people knowing what I do with my time.


That’s funny because you are one of the first posters I would put in a sensitive crowd.


I think it is great that the opportunity to tap into the internet and be in position to make money from it is a great development in our time.

Of course there are individuals that abuse this new resource for income. But, in all fairness, that has been taking place for decades and decades. Let’s not forget when most of us were growing up and we had top teir people in the bodybuilding scene directing our focus on buying the supplements that they took (sponsored by) with the possibility of reaching their development because of them.

My point is, there are a lot of negative and unqualified people using the Internet to make money off of uninformed people. But, the greatness of the opportunity outweighs this in my opinion. The World is full of abundance, go get yours with honesty and results.


So do I.


Gossiping and voyeurism are likely the oldest pastimes on earth! So I actually don’t find it surprising that people state every damn move they make and that works in getting loads of attention. I personally don’t give a rat’s ass about what some dude is eating all day, but many people find this amusing, hence the common video theme of “a day of eating” on You Tube. Even a guy like myself, not the most flamboyant around, has pictures of meals meals on my IG account. I love food, and people are consistently asking me, “what do you eat?” While I was prepping I got this question nearly everyday.

And let’s not forget that many people who got into the pastime of bodybuilding, the good looking ones amongst them likely are used to getting attention all their lives, and the ones who went from getting no attention to loads of attention, are likely intoxicated by their newfound attention! As I starting resembling a bodybuilder and then a few months ago actually becoming one, I got more and more attention, both in person and online.

Let’s get this straight, I am not ogled at as I walk down the street in the way that Brad Pitt or George Clooney or as are other exceptionally good looking men. But if some guy is decent looking and is a full-blown bodybuilder, the attention will come, online and offline, despite the whole notion that “women don’t care about muscles”. Now, having muscles is not going to make some guy a great partner or husband, but having a killer body and a passion for something, ANYTHING, bodybuilding included, is going to open the door to meeting women and befriending other men, not to mention all the people who want to “come along for the ride” when you compete because it all is an interesting, unusual, and exciting process. Part of what garners such attention in bodybuilding is being able to do what others cannot.

As someone who did not have much attention as younger person, I can see how the wide reaching attention that one can gain from social media can be intoxicating for people who did not get much attention in the past.

I also can’t fault people for their followings, despite the bitching and envy of others. Yes, someone like Mike O’hearn does pedal a lot of bullshit, but at the same time I cannot fault him and many others because people simply like looking at them or want to buy their products or use their photographs simply because they are attractive! Although mass attention whoring can become distasteful, I also think there is a great deal of resentment out there by people who can’t attain such enormous followings.


I know this guy is never gonna come back here again and I imagine he won’t read any of this, but ultimately I find this stuff way more destructive than it is beneficial. Newbie lifters are absolutely convinced that success in lifting is the result of correctly arranging the 1s and 0s into some sort of super optimal mega configuration that maximizes results. They’ll see the routines and diets of these instagram “Mr. Wonderfuls” and determine that it must be this EXACT routine that creates the results. They end up missing the reality that the 3 things that are really driving success are effort, consistency and time. The successful people train hard, they train often, and they train for long periods of time. You do it long enough and you get results.

People like to come online and complain that “everything contradicts everything else”, but that’s just further evidence of this point. There are SO many ways to succeed, as long as you follow those 3 principles. HIT, Bulgarian, Westside, DoggCrapp, 5/3/1, Instinctive Training, Waterbury, Thibs, Sheiko, etc etc, all totally different, ALL successful, so long as the trainee buys in.


It is also worth mentioning that the human body is unique to each individual, and rarely are you going to find a program that is optimal for your genetics.


This social media fitness fuckfest would be seriously depressing if it wasn’t so laughable

This whole hustle, chase your goals and crush them, self-help bullshit that seems to rip out of these narcissists as well. What the fuck is that all about?

I’ve unfollowed all of these clowns on FB. Way too much white noise out there.


Who else follows James Harrison on Istagram?


If I were more connected, I would. I just don’t like all of the linking of profiles and data collection that social media as a whole has become.

As a tool for people to promote themselves, their products, and companies, it’s second to none, but that whole back end of the business is downright creepy.