#PostcardsFromParas

Two birds, one gym: Why the Instagram generation is hitting the gym

And what they are not telling you in their Insta posts.

 |  #PostcardsFromParas  |  4-minute read |   03-04-2019
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It’s hard to navigate through your Instagram feed without running into perfectly chiselled abs, toned thighs and strategically placed towels — that walk the thin line between hiding what they’re supposed to and showing off more than they’re meant to.

Truth be told, while I do enjoy bragging about stamina and good cardiovascular endurance, the fact is, when it comes to winning the game of 'likes' across social media platforms, a shirtless picture is THE way to go!

And for THAT, I need to hit the gym!

Vanity is a powerful tool. Arguably, a stronger one than health. I’d have no luck if I told my 16-year cousin to join me for a 5 am run or hit the gym after a long day. My speech about good health and nutrition seems to put even me to sleep! Thankfully, I don’t need to resort to giving him any motivation whatsoever. He’s seen enough pictures of boys and men who enjoy a huge male and female following —  simply because they’ve got the pecs, the abs, the quads and a muscle tone that’s making people go weak in the knees.

He’s at the gym 2 hours a day — Monday through Friday — not because he cares about his physical well being. But, because he wants more Instagram followers which will get him more work. You’ve guessed by now he wants to be a "megastar" — his word, not mine!.

Popularity will get him laid a lot more —  and if you don’t have your private DM folder with at-least 200 messages every day from strangers wanting to touch you inappropriately, you clearly haven’t arrived. Take away the gym, and you take away everything else that stemmed from it.

Call me the eternal optimist, or someone who’s looking for the bright side with a dumbbell in hand, but if people are making exercise a part of their lives — even if the motives are questionable — I think we’re on to something here! 

While for a large part of us watching what we eat, Instagramming that delicious salad (which admittedly photographs better than it tastes) and heading to the gym seems like a small and sometimes final step to enjoy some vanity and being able to fit into clothes comfortably, let’s not forget there is also the parallel universe that exists in almost every locker room. The universe of needles, pills, hormones and burners.

That’s where the trouble begins!

If the rationale is anything to go by, instant gratification is the name of the game. Vascularity is hard to achieve if you are “all-natural.” It’s hard to get a six-pack without some thermogenic and getting your body fat percentage below 11% is hardly an easy task for anyone who has a 9-to-5 job.

inside_040119064912.jpgchiselled looking guys are often unable to deliver a big finish because they can barely rise to the occasion. (Source: Reuters)

“I’ll pop a pill which will make everything twice as fast, thank you.”

I smell trouble.

Irony creeps in when a lot of my gym stud buddies achieve the body they want to flaunt. They’re all set to fling their clothes off and make people’s toes curl under the sheets.

Here’s the trouble — they’re hardly able to deliver a big finish because they can barely rise to the occasion — if you know what I mean. THAT is the part they conveniently leave out of Instagram posts.

So many chiselled looking guys I know have to recalibrate their libido once they realise that looking good got them what they wanted —  but they’re hardly able to enjoy it!

No one told you, you might lose your boner! 

Double-edged sword, eh? 

I love the gym.

For someone who doesn’t smoke and drink (and is usually on a diet), the gym is a great place to spend 2 hours a day with friends. Some of my closest buddies over the last few years have been my workout partners. If there’s one thing I’ve always invested in, it is a gym which has a lounge because when you’re spending time at a juice bar surrounded by people trying to look fit (for whatever reason), it’s bound to have some impact on your life.

I’ve had relationship chats with buddies while we were on an adjacent treadmill. I’ve lifted weights angrily on days that didn’t go so well. I’ve had the runners high on days when I probably started out low. And with every Instagram story I put up in the gym, I have people who tell me I’m looking good which, in turn, motivates me to work harder! Whatever your reasons are, if you find yourself working out, I’d say you deserve a 'like!'

For everyone who complains about things like peer pressure and the social obligation to look good, why not take this in your stride? Two birds, one stone. Hit the gym to look and feel good. Your body will send you quiet thank yous for years to come!

Also read: How to be an actor in a Netflix-Amazon age of openness

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