Time to answer a question I get asked weekly. “Why don’t we have before and after photos?” It’s not an exaggeration I get asked this at least once a week, so I thought it would be a good idea to answer this through a public forum.
Before and after photos have been said to be the most powerful advertising tool in the industry, so why do we not push them. We do have some amazing physical transformations and these could sell lots of programs. Anybody who has been in the gym while watching somebody train hard will attest to that, it is a great deal of fun to see somebody change their physique.
It’s important to look at Aspire and what our priorities are. We’re not a gym that only trains clients with similar goals. If you ask around you will find that many of the people here are training for lots of different reasons; some want to keep up with their grandkids, some want to cycle across Canada, some want to attempt their first triathlon. The point here is everybody has different goals and a before and after picture doesn’t even come close to getting their goals across.
Touching on Push-Ups to Pinups specifically here, many people would say that it’s a program designed for vanity and before and after pictures would be perfect fit for it. It is true that the people who do this look fantastic, but that’s not the goal of the program. The whole of idea of Push-Ups to Pinups is to feel confident in your own skin. Now this means something different for everybody. For some it’s not having a muffin top, for some it’s knowing they can take on physical challenges that were out of their reach before. Like everybody else in here, people do Push-Ups to Pinups for different reasons. I feel the strength of the program lies in its broad strokes. What I mean by this is that there is an emphasis on body composition but doesn’t stop there. When somebody finishes the program they will have added many feathers to their cap, so to speak. Upon completion they will have done a whole smack of push-ups, hopefully done a pull-up and be a master at planks. These accomplishments can’t be seen in a before and after photo. Here’s a quote from somebody who just completed the program, I can’t say who because she will know I found her blog but it goes like this “I kept comparing myself to them. Thinking about how a six pack wasn’t going to happen for me. How I might still be super chubby. But then I realized, this was about my journey. My results. No one else.“
What I think can be seen in an after photo is confidence, I’m going to call Sherri out here. Yesterday we published Sherri’s 2nd round photos. The most common thing I heard about them was that Sherri looks confident like she can take on anything. Sure a before and after might show that Sherri in fact lost 43lbs of body fat, but what won’t come across is that she now runs her fastest half marathon times, she takes on every physical challenge with a grin and smile and she’s about to attempt her first Spartan Race. People’s accomplishments run much deeper than two photos.
There is also a concern with comparing apples to apples with before and afters. If I were to do a before picture in the gym of somebody it would probably be with a camera phone, with florescent lighting, and without hair and make-up done. While in contrast the day of the shoot, there are cameras there that cost way more than my first car, lighting that can only be described as heavenly and hair and make-up professionally done. In no way is this comparison even remotely close to being fair. Even if we were to standardize both photos, more often than not before pictures are usually taken when somebody is down in the dumps or just aren’t happy with themselves, which isn’t going to make for a very nice picture. Another thing, most before and afters for magazines are actually shot on the same day, don’t believe me; check out this video.
So I guess the TL;DR of this whole thing is that Aspire isn’t about before and afters. We’re about people being happy with themselves and having that sense of pride that an unfair comparison of two photos can’t properly see. It’s important to remember that sexy isn’t measured by a scale, it’s not even measurable. It’s a state of mind.