Pumping iron on the daily for the Gram in the hopes that your sexual attractiveness will peak? You’re better off letting mum set you up with Aunt Mavis’ second cousin.
The male body image game has seen a massive surge in recent times with the proliferation of social media apps like Instagram beaming chiselled abs, ripped chests and bulging quads to millions of impressionable young men around the world. Whilst the choice in physique isn’t an issue, Sydney personal trainer Nick Cheadle told news.com that underlying motive was.
“Women don’t particularly care for the shredded look,” says the fitness coach with over 700,000 followers.
“You get more compliments from mates and guys at the gym than from women.”
For guys who are trying to mimic the ripped physique of fitness models and gym influencers on social media, there arises an even greater question: If there was no Instagram, would they even bother with the gym?
Cheadle says that at the peak of his physique he didn’t experience any level of increased interest from women and even avoided showing off too much skin in front of them.
“When I first got into lifting, I thought it was the ‘secret’ to a successful life, popularity, women & what I thought happiness was,” he said in the Instagram post below.
“I don’t regret chasing the conditioning on the left even if that picture is edited AF (I originally posted it as a comparison photo edit vs no edit) because it taught me a lot, but there’s going to have to be a damn good reason for me to do that again in the future.”
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This issue which may surprise men also raises other concerns like a compromised sex life.
“The leaner you get, the less some things work for you,” Cheadle told the publication.
The Sydney personal trainer has been in the fitness industry for over a decade and says that he’s seen it all from the lows of extreme dieting and gym routines, to the men who continually approach him asking for help to build muscle and drop fat as quickly as possible.
Cheadle reckons that this is a direct result of social media and heavy Photoshop editing which has reinforced unrealistic expectations onto today’s men.
“Things we see on social media are nothing more than a highlight reel,” he adds.
“Comparison can quite often be the thief of joy.”
His fitness advice for anyone is simple: stay away from diet fads and extreme gym workouts, and instead focus on your personal goals.
“If you’re happy to prioritise your training, your diet, your cardio & hitting your macros above EVERYTHING else in your life – then enjoy that – 5% body fat life. If that doesn’t sound like much fun, then aim for something in between & have a tonne of fun whilst doing so.”