Aaaannd the 1928th reason to feel inadequate: the before and after fitness shot. We’ve all seen them, we’ve all rolled our eyes and we’ve all wondered how on earth they’ve found themselves in the ever-growing ad bars of our browser. But are they always what they seem?

Not according to personal trainer, Sam Wood (he’s apparently in the Australian version of The Bachelor too). The 37-year-old posted on Instagram a quick before and after shot, which would usually stimulate a lot of thirsty heart-eyes emojis and ‘nice work, bro’ comments. Except these were taken only five seconds, not months, apart.

“Don’t get caught up in what other people look like. Photos you see on Instagram and other social platforms are not a real representation of what people look like,” Wood said online. “Lighting, posture, a different angle and every other trick in the book are used… Be aware of others but not fixated.”

All of which is good advice, especially as the Instacult of fitness swells as much as its members. Yes, body transformations do happen and some people do walk around with permanent six-packs but remember that a lot of so-called fitness influencers are paid to look good (and pay for the photoshoot treatment). Plus, as Wood proved, they’re definitely tensing.

This is me, 5 seconds apart. Don't get caught up in what other people look like. Photos you see on instagram and other social platforms are not a real representation of what people look like. Lighting, posture, a different angle and every other trick in the book are used. If it inspires then it can be a good thing. If it creates an unrealistic comparison or body of desire that effects your feeling of self then it is unhealthy. Be aware of others but not fixated. Spend that time and energy progressing every day and work on being the healthy, happy, best version of YOU! Head to the Facebook page for the full video.

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