I recently stumbled across this video where some guys try recreating magazine covers of celebs like Channing Tatum and Cristiano Ronaldo, and then get photoshopped to match the original pictures. They talk about self-confidence and being happy with their body, all the warm and fuzzy stuff, but they also admit that they would like to look like the photos they see. So which is it? Accept your current body, or want to look better?
To begin, let’s get one thing straight. The pictures in magazines are ALL photoshopped. Even so, the photoshopped pictures of these guys are completely realistic and doable.
Second thing. Is it wrong to want to change your body? Should you just do some self-therapy to convince yourself that you’re happy with how you look? Will that develop self-confidence? Or is having a 6-pack the only way to feel good about yourself? Do you develop confidence then the body, or build the body and confidence comes with it?
I think there is a chicken-or-the-egg scenario here. I think they go hand-in-hand. What better way is there to develop confidence than to measurably improve what you’re capable; to get stronger, to get faster? Of course you’ll feel better about yourself because you are better. You have improved. And when you improve your strength and speed, your body is going to look different. It’s going to look like a stronger and faster body. Duh. You’ll be proud of the work you put in, how much you’ve improved, and that you look better. It’s win win.
One guy had the right idea. He said, “Having good muscles means that you’re also healthy and strong. That’s what I want to be as a man; healthy so that I can provide for my family, so that I can carry children up stairs.” Boom. Nailed it. Be strong to be useful. Unfortunately, after seeing his photoshopped picture he went on to lament, “If I wanted to look like this, and have my job, and spend time with my family, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Dude. You were so close.
Another one of the guys expressed a similar belief. “I am of the opinion that these things are attainable, if you have the time and the money and the team to constantly workout and get that 8-pack abs. And no one is that rich or has that much time unless they are celebrities or actors.”
This makes me angry/sad. This is an absolutely pervasive and destructive LIE. And I think it is so popular because, in reality, it is a veiled EXCUSE. (If you don’t already know my opinion on excuses, you can check it out here.) By telling yourself that it takes tons of time and money and trainers to look the way you want, you remove the responsibility from yourself. “Yea, I could do that too if I was a rich celebrity.” BULL!
Here’s the truth, and I’m not just feeding you a line. You can build the physique you want IF you step up and do the work. You don’t need a high paid Hollywood trainer or hours a day. You already know what it takes. Everyone knows what to do, they just don’t want to do it.
- Start eating real food and eliminate the crap.
- Stop drinking so many calories.
- Commit 1 HOUR A DAY a few days a week to working out HARD.
If you consistently push yourself with high intensity workouts, utilizing basic movements - push ups, pull ups, bodyweight squats, lunges, jumps, carries, and sprints - you are going to see serious change. If you add in squats and deadlifts you will pack on muscle.
And the changes won’t just be physical. You build self-confidence. We see this and talk about this with kids joining sports all the time. Why wouldn’t that apply to grown men who are doubting themselves? Athletics, exercise, movement all actually change your brain. THE #1 treatment for depression and mood disorders is EXERCISE! So if you’re feeling down on yourself, lacking confidence, go find something heavy and pick it up! See how many push ups you can do. Go sprint as hard as you can. BUILD YOUR BODY TO BUILD YOUR BRAIN.
IT’S SIMPLE, BUT IT ISN’T EASY
That is why people don’t do it. Because it isn’t easy. It takes hard work. Not a high paid trainer, expensive equipment, or hours a day. Just consistent, intense, HARD WORK.
I’m not mad at these guys. It isn’t their fault. They, and everyone else, have been fed this garbage lie. And all the crappy ‘10 Minute Abs’ and the ‘Get Ripped Fast’ shenanigans you see on infomercials and magazine covers just adds to the problem. People try them and, big surprise, don’t get ripped, reinforcing the belief that they can’t do it.
I realize that some people have deep emotional issues with this stuff, and there are people out there to help them. But for the majority of people it comes down to HARD WORK. Are you willing to do it or not? If not, that's fine. But stop complaining about ‘unrealistic ideals’ and start accepting the body YOU have built with YOUR habits.
If you are ready to put in the work necessary to make the changes you want, then let’s get after it! I’m here to help. Sign up for my newsletter to get all the awesome info I’m putting out. If you’re looking for help making your changes, join the 6 week Strength And Faith Challenge, or for more long term training the Beards Barbells and Bibles coaching team.