A redditor asked me why my physique is the way it is. (“Why aren’t you concerned about getting lean? Why do you maintain the body fat percentage that you do?”) This was clearly another case of someone who has fallen into the trap of hyper-unrealistic expectations of what being fit or lean looks like. I made a YouTube video that turned out to be super popular with over 40k views and nearly 300 comments because I kept it REAL and genuine in true-Antranik-style fashion. Read the blog post below for a summary, but I recommend you watch the video as well.
Over the years I’ve often gotten negative comments online about my physique or comments alluding to me being average looking and as such, over the years, I’ve become hyper-aware of how I look on camera to the point where I don’t do as many shirtless videos. Before, I didn’t used to care whether I had my shirt on or off. I was even known as the “shirtless mod” at one point. And here we have someone genuinely wanting to know why I maintain the body fat percentage that I do and why I’m not leaner.
The reason I maintain the body fat percentage that I do is because I don’t care to have a 6-pack. I’m very happy with my journey toward building my strength, skills, and as a side effect: my body is a reflection of my capabilities. I don’t workout to look a certain way. I workout to have fun and I look better than average because of my better than average abilities.
Skinnier doesn’t mean healthier
I also mention how whenever I am leaner than usual, people at the beach will often mention that I’m “looking strong.” And they do so because they see more muscle definition because there’s less fat over the muscles. But that doesn’t mean I’m actually stronger due to having more muscle. It’s the opposite usually. When I’m leaned out like that, I am usually not at my strongest. In fact, I may look that way because I’m dehydrated, or worse, if I’ve been sick and not eating much. Or if I had alcohol and my body is dehydrated the next morning, I look more “cut” but in reality maybe I feel like shit. It’s all an illusion.
Conversely, just because someone looks fat, doesn’t mean that they’re not strong. Nor does it mean that they don’t know their shit. In the video, I show a clip of Eddie Hall (the winner of the strongest man in the world) because he looks like a really fat guy just to prove that you’d never be able to tell he’s the strongest man in the world.
The camera adds 10lbs
I also touched upon the fact that the camera tends to add 10lbs due to a wider screen lens that skews the body wider. This is why models and actors/actresses tend to be very underweight when you see them in real life because they want to make sure they don’t look fat at all on camera. Another somewhat related thing I didn’t mention is that the camera tends to zap 50% of your energy as well. So on-camera, you’re supposed to act more hyped up and excited than usual so you don’t come out as drab. I’m sure I come off kind of drab on camera, but people know when I’m at the beach I’m much more excitable.
Nobody is just one weight all the time.
I also say how our weight fluctuates all the time. I can be very bloated one day but very leaned out on another day. Everything in nature is cyclical and we go through our bulking and cutting cycles purposely or not purposely. I’m somewhere around 175lbs in the lighter/summer seasons and closer to 180-185lbs in the heavier/winter seasons when I tend to eat more.
Skewed Perceptions from Online Fitness Celebrities
I also talk about how people have very skewed ideas of what people actually look like because what they see online is really, really rare. Do you think fitness-celebrities always look the way they do in their photoshoots? No. Trust me, they’re not going to take their shirt off immediately after thanksgiving dinner and do a shirtleess photoshoot. Trust me they aren’t doing that. In fact, they’re probably fasting dehydrating themselves before photoshoots. If they’re indoors, they’re using spotlights overhead to exaggerate shadows and reveal muscles.
Drug use is rampant
And I didn’t even mention that many men (or even women) are on steroids or testosterone replacement therapy. The “fitness” industry is a drug filled world where many people do drugs just to look a certain way. It’s disgusting and nobody talks about that truth because it’s a stigma, nor about how they really feel. They’re often just trying to sell you a product with their image.
What you are seeing is not a reflection of reality and if you think I should look like those few rare people who look absolutely HUGE and RIPPED “all the time”, then you are in a world of hurt with your perceptions. The best coaches in the world don’t even look remotely athletic. Also, even in the YouTube world, there aren’t even that many people who look absolutely shredded and huge. So it goes to show you how rare it actually is.
You were all supportive
Now, with all this said, I got a ton of supportive comments that were agreeing with me and saying that they follow me because I look like a normal human being and promote healthy proportions. Thank you for that.
In the end of that video I proudly told it how it is: The reality is that if I go to a pool party where people are shirtless, I look better than most of the people around me. Sorry if that sounds douchey but most people are not in great shape and for someone asking me why I’m not leaner just sounds absurd. So if you think I’m fat, sorry, I’m not. I’m on my own journey and I like who I am.
So if you haven’t seen this video I’m talking about, go ahead and watch or listen to it now, and be sure to read the comments as they are insightful as well. Remember to at least give it a thumbs up and share this with others.😃