Why they don’t matter?
The first thing to remember is that fitness is an INDUSTRY. This means a lot of players in the game will do whatever it takes to stand out, show off and try to get as much money as possible, in the shorter amount of time as possible. The shorter the promised result is, the faker the picture results are.
Having that in mind, it is easy to understand that before/after pictures prove absolutely nothing. There are countless fake or biased picture examples online. A lot of those include people actually in shape who pretend to look fat (think drinking a litter of coca cola, eating a full bag of salty chips with ice cream the night before the shoot). Others can also be photo taken over years of training. These can actually be real (when they are not the ones described above) but they imply hard work and long term consistency. They are therefore not the result of whatever they usually advertise. I won’t even talk about photoshopped pictures. This speaks for itself.
Last but not least, they are deceiving to a lot of people who can’t achieve the same results in real life. It tends to discourage people by making them think they’ll never be able to have the looks they see on those pictures.
What are they posted for?
Before and after picture are ADVERTISING. The vast majority of these pictures are posted to sell a product or service or both. Unless they are posted by a non sponsored individual, they should be seen, considered and understood as commercials.
Visual results shouldn’t be something a fitness professional needs to advertise. It goes without saying that if you are a good trainer, you do provide results, which end up making their clients stronger, look leaner, have more stamina and look younger!Advertising should rather focus on educating people, explaining training methods, promoting holistic health performance and get people to be their best selves.
For a concrete idea of what is out there, simply Google “Fake before and after picture”. You can also check out this video that shows it all.
How to get actual results?
Results are a basic equation: Proper Hard Work X Time = Results.
Practice common sense, do your own research, find out what is real and not, follow what you like and be dedicated for a lifetime, not 3 weeks, not 3 months, not 3 years.
Start by learning and mastering your own body, learning as many movements as possible, as best as you can.
The words that everyone needs to remember are INTENSITY and FOOD. Mixing High and Low intensity (HiT training) is one of the best way to train, burn fat and build muscle. Your workout and lifestyle intensity level should rise progressively and can be produced for a short, medium or long period of time (if you can!).
The attention you give to the food you eat will (it’s a no brainer) impact your looks and health on the long term. Being smart about nutrition is more than half of the results. By combining those two factors, anyone can start witnessing results within three to six months.
Practicing bodyweight training such as calisthenics on a regular basis offers amazing results. Try to achieve a muscle up, a front lever or human flag. If you can’t yet, then the world is your playground and you have a lifetime to train! Let’s get to it!