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We all want to put the best version of ourselves on social media. That version of ourselves that is effortlessly cool and for athletes this also means effortlessly athletic. Maybe you want people to know that you are finally seeing results or you just want to tell the world how great of a run you just had. There's no harm in that, right? WRONG. Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even MySpace, you need to consider one thing: do people want to see this? How do you figure that out? Ask yourself if you would want to see that post from someone else. If you don't ask yourself this key question, you'll end up looking like a guy who is trying to hard and coming up short.
We know that for some of you, this warning won't be enough. For those of you who are more savvy on the squat rack than the smart phone, we have put together a list of 25 Athlete Stereotypes to Avoid on Social Media to prevent you from being That Guy.
No. 25 - The Closer
Unless you run the twitter account for your local gym, spare us the updates. While it may be an inconvenience to you that your local gym is closed for maintenance, no one, except maybe the dude standing outside the locked doors with you, cares at all. While you may think this is a clever way to casually let us know you are working out, it is actually a casual way to let us know that you are a self-centered douche who didn't notice fliers warning him that the gym would be closed on Tuesday.
No. 24 -The Casual Flexer
"Oh, Carl, I hadn't noticed you were working out until you bent your arm like that in your fb pic!" squealed NO WOMAN EVER. Look if you are getting jacked, the ladies are going to notice, you don't have to prop your bicep coyly against your pillow or take on a rigid stance every time someone takes out their iPhone. Ladies troll Facebook just like we do and they are going to notice when you actually get results. They'll also notice when you are faking it.
No. 23 - The Entrepreneur
It is quite possible that you are an excellent personal trainer. But, when it comes time for you to build a real client base, it isn't going to come from the pity of friends and family. So, if you think that a status that reads something like "Yo, I'm trying to get into the training game. If you wanna get swole, hit me up and we'll talk detailz." is a savvy marketing move, then maybe you should just apply to the position of towel boy at the local gym until your understand the finer nuances of marketing.
No. 22 - The New Years Resolver
Even the most seasoned athletes recommit themselves to their fitness after holidays, but they know they don't have to tell everyone about it. Just as all of us pay taxes in April and try desperately to get laid before the end of summer, we all resolve to drop pounds and put on muscle after the fatty holidays come to a close.
No. 21 - The High School Hero
You may feel compelled to remind us that your high school baseball team was way better than the current high school baseball team. You might think it is a good idea to post a fond memory of the "07 Bearcats" who "ruled the school" and that you "miss your brothers" and the "good times on the bus home after a W." If you do this, the other people you went to high school with who have moved on to real jobs and accomplishments will think it's a good idea to mock you behind your back.
No. 20 - Mr. No Pain No Gain
The only person who is concerned about the scrapes you got in your recreational softball league is your mother. While you may want desperately to show us how tough you are by Instagramming that bruise you got from an errant volleyball during open gym, we suggest you keep these pics to yourself. Now, if you have a comical video of yourself getting injured, post that on YouTube for our comedic enjoyment.
No. 19 - The Clothes Don't Fit
We are extremely proud of you for losing all that weight and/or putting on all that muscle, and letting your loved ones know from time to time is fine. Just don't over do it. In the end, just take your duds down to Goodwill and donate them to someone in need. And while you are on your way, keep your phone in your newly slimmed down pockets where it belongs.
No. 18 - The Tough Mudder
While you and your boys surely had a dope time wearing color coordinated bandanas and running around in the mud, there is no need for you to populate your Facebook with 7 albums of you caked in mud, scowling. This goes double for any off-brand knock-off obstacle course races you might get into. Do the race, share the occasional I'm-wearing-my-headband-at-the-office pic, but don't over do it. It's all about moderation.
No. 17 - The Barefoot-ophile
Yes, it's amazing, shoes that were designed be comfy are ... really comfy. While you're at it, please tweet about how your steak tasted good or beer got you drunk. Just as Crocs taught us before the rise of barefoot runners, no one would wear shoes this ugly if they weren't comfortable. We're okay with sharing your shoe views online (encourage it, actually) but tell us something new.
No. 16 - The Historian
While posting your statistics may push you to become a faster, more committed runner, be mindful of who you are sharing with and how often. Nike+ makes it so you can befriend people within Nike+, so there's no need to share each and every workout via Twitter and Facebook. If you do, kuddos to you, but be mindful that everyone doesn't want to see a contant stream of your daily active life. Be mindful of your audience and talk running with other runners for maximum results.
No. 15 - The Motivational Retweeter
If you are the kind of person who gets a jumpstart from motivational platitudes from fitness gurus, good for you. But, we saw enough posters with animals on them featuring similar phrases in grade school, so, please, spare us. If we want to see quotes like that, we'll go back in time and buy those stupid "No Fear" or "Big Dogs" shirts we wore in middle school. Again, moderation.
No. 14 - The Mayor
So, you are still using foursquare. And only at the gym? If you insist on checking in a flattering places like the gym or that exclusive club your cousin got you into, you should have to check in at McDonalds when you get a craving or the clinic you get your STD tests done at in the spirit of fair play. If you can imagine a woman being impressed by your title of "Mayor of Planet Fitness," then we'd ask you if you can imagine that being a woman you would want to spend any meaningful amount of time with.
No. 13 - Fitness TMZ
Oh, you think that this person who is famous for being attractive is "too skinny" or "out of shape" or "not that hot"? Do you think that your position as a dude who goes to the gym twice a week and runs a couple miles a day makes you a good judge of these things? There are actually dozens of websites of magazines and websites that we choose to ignore who make these judgements on celebrities for a living. And if we choose to tune out these gossip rags, we certainly don't need your opinion on the subject.
No. 12 - #gymetiquette
So, you were disgusted by something someone did at the gym and decided to share it with us? Can you describe any circumstance in which we would care? Think before you tweet. There are so many better hashtags out there like #becauseofchrisbrown and #stuffifoundinmynose that will make you seem infinitely more intelligent if you employ them in your lovely 120 character poems.
No. 11 - The Run-blebrag
You are proud of yourself for waking up early and getting a serious run in before the workday grind begins. That's fine. If you are going to tell us about it, we aren't going to suddenly forgive it if you tell us how "slow" or "tough" your run was. You are still pointing out your superiority in rising before the rooster crows and we will resent you for it. We prefer a straight up brag to a humblebrag any day. If you are confused as to whether you are humblebragging or not, check out Harris Wittels, who runs @humblebrag and has now written an entire book on the subject.
No. 10 - The Sore Loser
As an athlete, you probably take sports very personally. Your favorite college or pro team may feel like an extension of yourself. If your team loses, please don't take to Facebook or twitter to make excuses. You don't play for the team. If you did play for the team you would likely tweet something like "no excuse for that loss." Listen to your boys and don't make excuses for them.
Also, if your team wins, maybe keep the bragging to text messages with your friends who were on the losing side. We don't need to get caught up in your social media trash talk ... unless it's really funny.
No. 9 - The Workout Hater
You do your thing. Whatever it is: running, swimming, weight lifting, mountain climbing, you do it because it works for you. So, if some dudes dig Zumba or rollerblading or nude jello wrestling, let them do their thing. No one is making you dive into a kiddie pool of jello, so let people workout however they want. Who knows, you might just find your way into a rollerblading Zumba class one day and love it.
No. 8 - The Fact-Free Defender
It sucks to see our heroes disgraced. No one likes to see a man who once hung on posters in our childhood bedrooms fall from lofty heights. But ... facts are facts. You might not like what happened to certain football coaches or cyclists in the past year, but blind defense of them is not a good look. If you are going to cling to a false reality, keep it to yourself.
No. 7 - The Do-it-All
We understand it is hard to make time to go to the gym on a busy day. There are so many things to juggle, and you took care of yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back. The good thing is that while you are patting yourself on the back it is physically impossible to tweet about how you found time to work out. See, you made yourself feel good without making us hate you.
No. 6 - Showing off That Hard-Earned Butt
Okay, so maybe this one is for the ladies, but it bears mentioning. We already told you gentlemen not to flex at the club in hopes of being muscularly immortalized in photos from the night. Let the ladies in your life kindly know that we know what they are trying to do. Turning sideways, arching the back and sticking out the butt is not the natural way to respond when some one pulls out a camera and says, "smile." Like we said before, we all get on facebook sometimes to see how people's looks have changed. If you have put the time in at the gym, your commitment will speak for itself without you sticking it right in front of the camera. Stay classy, y'all.
No. 5 - The Mean Girl-Guy
We don't know where this comes from, but so many folks on the internet just want to hate on overweight strangers. Whatever you may think, the fact is that everyone has a different metabolism and obesity is usually at least partially medical and hereditary. No one ever read a tweet of someone insulting the over or under-weight and said, "Damn, I need to message him for a booty call." It's hard enough being copping with self-image issues without idiots like you tossing random insults around the interwebs.
No. 4 - Diet Martyr
Food is maybe the worst part of social media. No one cares what your dinner looks like. No one cares that you are out to dinner with friends. No one cares what restaurant you are at. NO ONE CARES THAT YOU ARE ON A DIET. Let's let the fact that eating lots of eggs and peanut butter gives you a protein boost be our little secret, okay? Remember, eating, like breathing and sleeping, are essential components of human life, so pretty much everyone does it. Try to think of something else that sets you apart from the pack you hungry hungry alpha male.
No. 3 - The Workout Evangelist
It's great to try new things and to share that you are a fan once or twice. But be careful not to sound like you are pushing product after a while. Let your results speak for themselves.
No. 2 - Mr. Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Do not take out your phone and take a picture of yourself flexing in the gym mirror. Do not. Do not. Do not.
No. 1 - Do It How The Pros Do
If there is one thing we want you to take away from this list, it's this: mindless "at the gym" updates are meaningless. What we at Sneaker Report look forward to more is a dialogue. Tell us about your new sneakers, foam rollers, stretches and techniques. Be mindful that people will be more willing to listen if you offer new or interesting information more so than a backdoor brag. The best trainers out there are inspiring and educational in their constant stream of workout updates, so do it how the pros do next time you decide to share.