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The not-so-humble workout brag

Frankly, unless you have fallen off the treadmill and smashed your face in, you don’t need to tell us every detail of your workout routine.

The thing I’ve noticed as I get older is that my Facebook and Instagram friends post health and fitness photos far more than “look how wasted I am” photos that filled my newsfeed when I was 22.

Before the fitness brag, people used to “just casually” mention how much they were working. You know the ones. The ones who have been at work since 6am. Or the whinger who’s still clocking in the hours at 8pm, or the one who’s “so sick” of working Saturdays. No one cares about that stuff anymore.

Everyone works late. Having a ten-hour workday is nothing new, especially when you have more than one job. The anti-brag about your horrific work hours doesn’t impress anyone. It’s just making people think you’re a loser who doesn’t spend enough time with your kids. So now, instead of being at work since 6am, people have to “complain” how they’re up at six to go for a run. Please.

Yes, yes, the easy answer is to quit Instagram or Facebook so I don’t have to deal with all these things I hate and complain about, but that’s far too easy an option and means I wouldn’t have a job. What joy is there to social media if you don’t get to complain about it?

Some might say I’m bitter or jealous. That I just wish I could do these crazy exercise routines every day and have a bodacious bod to show off online. Perhaps. I do wish I could run 20 kilometres and had abs of steel and had the pride or vanity to show them off to people who haven’t asked to see it.

I guess people post these things because they are proud of what they have done or how they look. And so they should be. But do they need to be proud every single bloody day and show me their hot dog legs and “sweaty” collar bone? No, they don’t.

I’m sorry, but selfies in you short shorts and crop top or without a shirt is just using “exercise” to be vain and a show off. If someone posted a picture of themselves in their underwear they’d be given so much crap for it, but put some trainers on with a tagline about burpees and you’re golden. Stupid.

Now, I’m not a big fat lazy slob. I exercise a lot and I know that exercise gives you lots of happy feels. Especially when you have a goal. Achieving exercise goals gives you a high and a really big sense of accomplishment, so I totally understand the desire to let the world know when you do.

That said, the only exercise-related photo I have ever uploaded to Facebook was an ugly selfie with my face screwed up, my hair in a gross ugly mess and big red puffy cheeks. Thanks Bootcamp.

There are many health and fitness apps out there that use Facebook to share results. Bootcamp companies and personal trainers use Facebook groups to communicate with their members and share before and after photos, as well as a means of advertising. Seems there is money to made with the social media fitness craze.

The humble brag comes in many forms. Selfies at the gym, how many ks you’ve run. Beautiful landscapes with your trainers peeking in the corner. How sore your whatever is because of all those reps you did at Crossfit. It’s workout brag overload and it’s become an epidemic on social media. It’s not enough to use health and fitness apps to aid workouts; you have to share the results from said app onto a social media platform just so everyone knows how amazing you are.

“What were you doing at 5am?” asks annoying fitness friend with a photo of a sunrise and a water bottle. Sleeping, you idiot.