How you’re being deceived by body transformation photos

For years I’ve been eagerly trying to get cut up, bulk up, push up, eat up, bla bla bla only to injure myself into feeling I have to work full time as a bodybuilder or, ugh, fitness model, and eat like a bird in order to achieve my goals. What average person has that kind of time?

I appreciate learning about the video above (hat tip to I’ve frequented bodybuilding forums over the years where everysooften a guy would share his experiences in posing for a bodybuilding product ad. The story was always the same – a few days before the photo shoot, the model would change his diet so he was down to a dangerous bodyfat percentage in the low single digits. Meanwhile, the rules for advertising a gym product dictated that the model had to have used it at least once. So a few reps or a scoop of whatever it was he posing with, and boom, you’re duped into thinking you, too, could have an impressive physique if you use the product.

Yeah, I used this thing to get all big and ripped. Right.

Genius video. I like how Furious Pete used the visual medium to show how anyone can make themselves look like a fitness guru. Even I experienced this myself. After a workout, I’d be quite pleased with my mirror reflection post-shower, pre-drying only to be saddened after a few days’ hiatus from the gym.

So here’s your takeway:

  1. Don’t bother looking at before and after pics as this is the PhotoShop/Lighting/Filter Effects Age, after all
  2. Eat clean
  3. Keep consistent with whatever exercise routine you choose

That’s it. And the only other products you need are time and patience.



  1. I really agree with your perspective, Daniele. While I don’t think we men have it nearly as difficult with body image pressures as women do, the bodybuilders advertised to us are usually an unrealistic example. Especially given the tricks they go to just to make us feel jealous, no wonder it’s infrequent for people to look like that in real life!

    1. Agreed. That’s why I dumped the idea of working out for vanity’s sake and focussing on working out to build functional strength that I can use in every day life (moving furniture, helping others out, etc.). No one truly cares how I look as long as I can help them move their car in the snow! :)

  2. Great read. I’m right there with you. I should say that what really inspires me to train more than anything, is health and the feeling one gets with it.

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