For those among you who are only aware of me through my pretentious writings on the art of the moving image, prepare to be surprised. I lift.
*Cue the weight lifting montage set to a thumping Deadmau5 track and peppered with dramatic, over the top explosions.*
Realistically this should come as no shock. Look around you. That quiet, seemingly unremarkable guy you knew from school? He’s now a tank. The bespectacled girl from the library? She hits body balance each week. Your Facebook feed is littered with gym check ins that find you angrily muttering “didn’t ask” to some of your closest friends and family. Love it or hate it the gym is very much in.
Despite this, obesity statistics are at an all time high, with around two thirds of adults classed as overweight or obese. Coupled with the objectification of the fitter male and female form in film, television, and music, strenuous pressure now exists particularly among teens and young adults for a “functioning member of society” to be at their optimum physical shape. Unnecessary societal pressures aside, for those new or experienced to the world of fitness it is essential to keep your intentions for taking up the iron or treadmill in the first place at the core of your workout regime.
A better state of health is an obvious perk of getting fit, and is often the primary reason for gym-goers to gym-go. Beyond the patent physical benefits, regular exercise offers tremendous and near limitless rewards for mental health. However, the dirty little secret for anyone engaging in fitness is how prevalent the aesthetic gains are as an encouragement for getting and staying in shape.
For the uninitiated, the pursuit of a better physique brings forth connotations of douchiness and vulgarity, but – pardon my French – fuck those guys (to a certain extent). Vanity in moderation is a good thing and is an important component for healthy self esteem -just remember not to lose yourself inside the fitness monster you create. Many of us have tragically lost a friend to endless streams of shirtless Instagram and Facebook posts.
Ultimately, get the right kind of fit for you. Just because all of your “bros” are bulking up or your “hoes”(is that politically correct?) are slimming down does not mean you have to. Engage with the area/areas of fitness that appeal to you, whether that’s bodybuilding, yoga, or even cross-fit. You’ll feel better about yourself and see the results you want much faster.
As long as you’re practising proper form in your exercises you can’t really go wrong. There’s a vast library of things you can do to get fit so go out and find the routine that makes you happy, because in the end as long as you’re of sound physical health, the ultimate state of health is to be happy with yourself.