How often do we see our friends posting gym selfies and motivational quotes these days? Almost every day, right?

#Gyming is a trend that has really caught on in the past few years. If you haven't gotten yourself a gym membership you never use, you're probably one of the few survivors of this epidemic. The last time I checked even the neighbourhood Sharma Uncle was buying new running shoes for his #workout time.

Source: Sick Chirpse

Now, you see, this whole sudden awakening regarding one's physical self and the need for abs is totally fine. What is irritating is the semi-naked gym selfies all over my timeline. And guess what? There's no escaping them. The Facebook feed, the Instagram scrolling and even the Snapchat message from that random dude who used to go to school with you. It's everywhere!

One of these days, I went through all the nooks and corners of my social media without spotting a single gym selfie and just then a colleague showed up with his smartphone, talking extensively about his 'leg day'. The next thing you know, he is shoving his smartphone in my face where he has clicked a photo of himself without his shirt. 

He said, "Tere bhai ki mehnat dekh.'" 

Strangely, I could only see his pout and the Apple phone. He asks me if it is worth Instagram and I nod my head. However, his shirtless selfie showing his nipples has left me completely scarred.

And he isn't the first one to put me through such trauma. Celebs do it too. Remember Varun Dhawan's gym selfie?

I mean you're cute and all, Varun, but no one wants to look at that uprising right in the morning.

Source: varundvn

And what about the people who are not celebs? They also inflict just these kind of cringe-worthy attacks, only that no one talks about it. These people have a special kind of place in hell.

Like this one here. Abs or not, no one wants to look at you shirtless, buddy. 

Source: YouTube

Well, what is supposed to be and used to be a personal journey or a good habit for the majority has suddenly become a reason for indulging in extravagant pretension. Fitness activities have now evolved to being referred to as “Gym Culture”, a recent socio-cultural phenomenon which requires people to participate in fitness activities at dedicated fitness centres where one can do a little more than just exercise. 

Exercising, I believe, is something strictly personal and should be done for one's own physical and mental well-being. However, what we see these days is scores of people looking for validation on various social media platforms just to get the “likes” and the “hearts” as a reward for their #NoPainNoGain efforts. 

Source: Rebecca Skerne/AdventureFit Travel

The semi-nude gym selfies and videos showing a jaw dropping dead lift is nothing more than a result of commercialization of a disciplined activity. A strenuous work out should be followed with a protein shake and rest for the muscles to grow and not with a fake exhausted face and forceful flexing of still-to-develop triceps captured perfectly by a front camera and beautified further with the aid of Retrica, and of course, with a caption saying, “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”

Seriously?

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is extremely important but why must we trivialize a disciplined fitness activity to a level where the only reason we even go to the gym is because we want to show the world how disciplined and fit we are? The social media fad may be responsible for more people getting that gym membership but this is may take a dangerous and self - deploring turn for people who take that gym membership without realizing the intensity and seriousness of exercising.

Hopefully, on your next occasional visit to the gym, you'll do more of exercising and less of pouting.