If you work out at the gym, chances are you have taken at least one gym selfie. Even if you haven’t you probably have noticed other people taking them. First we’ll start with why even bother with gym selfies? Then I’ll help you figure out how to start or improve your gym selfie game.
Why Take Gym Selfies?
- If you don’t take progress photos, comparing gym photos can help you see progress
- Gym videos can help you see where your form needs improvement.
- Content for your fitsta
- Make sure everyone else at the gym is aware you lift. (Kidding, but sometimes we see people come in to the gym, take a buttload of selfies and never come back again..so that must be their goal)
How to Start Taking Gym Selfies
If you want to start taking gym selfies, but haven’t, one of the reasons is probably self consciousness. You don’t want to seem awkward. You don’t want to look shallow to other people at the gym or be judged by them. You don’t think you look like the fitness influencers on Instagram and are nervous about posting them.
If you’re nodding in agreement to at least one of those things, then the first thing you’ll need to work on is not caring what other people think. Will it feel awkward? Yes, if you make it awkward. If you just seem confident, then your photos will turn out better anyway. Will people at the gym judge you? Maybe, but why should that make a difference in your life? Do you look different than fitness influencers? You betcha, but everyone who posts on Instagram looks different. Identical twins may be harder to tell apart, but trust me, everyone out there has a different body type and a different look. Yes, people on Instagram may judge you, but they aren’t the kind of people you want to attract to your account.
I don’t take as many gym selfies as I used to. I’m usually just not feeling great at the gym, so I’m not in the mood to take photos. Even after over a year of taking gym selfies, I still feel awkward taking them. I usually only take them when there’s just a couple of other regulars around because 1. I don’t want randos in the background. 2. I know the regulars have seen me take selfies before and already know I’m a weirdo.
Once you’ve gotten past the self-consciousness part, now you’re ready to start trying new things to get the perfect gym selfie.
Find the Best Spots in the Gym
The best places for gym selfies are based on a few things.
- What exercises can you do in that area? (if you need exercise ideas, check out this post)
- How is the lighting?
- What is the background like?
- Are there a bunch of other people there?
- Are there mirrors if you’re taking mirror selfies?
There are three places in our gym where I usually take selfies. The first is in a corner next to the squat racks. I feel like I’m more out of the way there and not in the middle of the gym when I’m taking leg-focused selfies. The second is between two machines in the room with more cardio machines and typically fewer people. The third one is the stretching corner. It has a grey wall without machines, so works well as a background.
Determine Your Gym Selfie Style
Do you prefer videos of yourself working out? Do you like mirror selfies? Would you rather have someone taking photos of you while working out? There are many options. My selfies are usually mirror selfies. Sometimes I post videos of Evan’s or my PRs. Generally, it’s just mirror selfies primarily due to time constraints on our workouts. Mirror selfies are quick and easy. I don’t have to interrupt Evan’s workout and I don’t have to set up a tripod or other equipment. Your style will depend on your goals. If your purpose is to create content for Instagram, videos and photos of workouts seem to do well, with an occasional mirror selfie thrown in. If you’re using them as substitutes for progress photos, then mirror selfies or flexing photos are great.
Use a Good Camera
This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” tips. My phone camera is pretty bad. I must’ve dropped it one too many times. I use it because I don’t want to fork out the dough for a nice camera and I can’t really steal Evan’s phone every gym sesh. But the quality will be better for Instagram and they’ll really just be better overall. iPhone cameras can be good enough for this, as long as you don’t have mine. I have no idea about Android phones, so that’s your call if you have one.
Get Equipment, Hire a Photographer, or Ask a Gym Buddy
Once you figure out your style, unless it’s mirror selfies, you will probably need one of the above to get the selfies you want. If you don’t mind taking up space, get a tripod you can use with your phone or camera. You’ll need to get really good at self timer for photos or get one of the ones with remotes. Remotes can be difficult to hide or hold when taking workout photos though.
Ask a gym buddy to take photos for you. If I really want a photo or video of a lift, Evan would take it. Just make sure your gym buddy is chill with taking photos. For instance, ask them between exercises when you know they have longer rest period. If they’re also into gym photos, offer to take photos of their work outs too.
Hiring a photographer or finding a new photographer who is interested in TFP for their portfolio will probably result in excellent gym photos. A photographer at our gym took photos of people for the gym’s marketing. Even though I’m not doing anything particularly interesting, the photos are much better than any gym selfie I’ve taken.
Practice Posing/Work on Form
You’ll feel less awkward if you practice posing at home before trying new flexes at the gym. It’ll also feel more natural if you feel comfortable with the exercise you’re trying to get photos or a video of. If you’re not really sure what you’re doing, having a camera pointed at you will probably make that feeling stronger.
Finding inspiration will help you take better photos and videos. If you know which angles look coolest to you, you can incorporate those in. Make a Pinterest board of poses. Save Instagram workout videos you love. Watch yourself in the mirror while lifting to see which lifts accentuate your muscles the best.
Everyone has a different reason for taking a gym selfie. No matter your objective or starting place, these 6 tips should help you get the end result you’re looking for.