Instagram isn't reality. We know it; you know it; we all know it. But still, that doesn't stop us from comparing our bodies to, what are often, unrealistic and unattainable physiques posted on the social media site. This is why it's good to be reminded just how misleading Instagram can be now and again.
To that end, bodybuilder and fitness influencer Matt Morsia, better known as MattDoesFitness, has weighed in on the issue. In a recent Instagram post, Morsia took his followers through a seven-minute transformation, which saw him go from in good shape to shredded without the aid of much more than some clever lighting, a high camera angle and a well-timed breath.
Now, it goes without saying that Morsia is pretty ripped anyway, but as he explains, with plenty of natural lighting flooding into the room, even his physique can look washed out. Plus, in his before image, he's not contracting his abs, which means that his abs aren't as defined as they could be.
But then comes the 'transformation'. Morsia starts by shutting the blinds in his home gym so he can control the lighting, he also turns up the lights in the room and turns up the heating while he's at it. The next step though is where the magic really happens.
"Crucially, I'm going to get a pump," says Morsia. "Now, this is going to come from press-ups, arm curls and dumbbell lateral raises. Only a couple of sets, and very, very light, just to get some blood flow in the muscle."
Morsia finishes his transformation, by spraying himself with water – "Pretty weird," he says – moves the camera higher to accentuate his V-shaped torso and contracts his abs as hard as he physically can.
"And here you go, a before and after body transformation. It took around seven minutes" says Morsia. "So before you judge or compare yourself to someone on social media, just bear in mind that is them in their best possible light. It's not a reflection of how they look most of the time."
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