It's all smoke and mirrorswrites Andrew Dixon about the fitness industry. Many of us knew, or suspected, that, of course, but who knew that a before photo and an after photo that look like an interval of "months of hard work and dieting" could be produced in only one hour?!
There is no doubt that we live in a world of manipulation, false promises and exaggerated claims. This is especially true in the fitness industry.
… The reasons these programs become so popular is because they are presented and marketed very well. These marketing campaigns use testimonials and before-and-after transformation photos. Before I claim it's all bullshit, I want to make it clear that there are definitely some very impressive, genuine physical transformations out there. What I do take issue with are the transformations that are manipulated with Photoshop, professional lighting, postures to degrade or enhance their look, pro tans, sucking in or pushing out a bloated belly or flexing muscles vs. not flexing to obtain an optimal look.
I decided to take my own transformation photos to see what was possible with just a few easy tweaks. About six months ago I was around 185 pounds and about 16 percent body fat. I was feeling particularly bloated on the day, so I asked my girlfriend to take a before shot. I then shaved my head, face and chest and prepared for the after shot, which was about an hour after I took the before shot. I did a few push ups and chin ups, tweaked my bedroom lighting, sucked in, tightened my abs and BOOM! We got our after shot.
As you can see [two photos above], I'm no bodybuilder, but I had enough muscle on me to catch some shadows from the all-important overhead lighting.
Just a few weeks ago I took another series of photos in an attempt to be a little more deceptive. I wanted to show a series of progressions that look like a few months of hard work and dieting. I'm about 200 pounds and 19 percent body fat in this photo series. This took under an hour to produce.