Now that racing season is well under way, it is time to learn some tricks on how to look good in photos. Although your main reason for racing or exercising may not be looks, everyone cares about how they look in photos on some level. Although pre/post race will allow for better utilization of these techniques, some are also applicable mid-race. These tips and tricks are common practice in the supplement industry for “after” photos and techniques you will see on the bodybuilding/physique stage. Most require little effort but when combined can have a dramatic effect to enhance your appearance on film.


Empty LungsShave (aka Manscape):

Getting rid of body hair is a major step for seeing definition of your muscles. When you secretly sneak out to go watch Magic Mike XXL, you are not going to find Channing Tatum or Joe Manganiello with a thick coat of fur. Shaving off body hair will bring out definition on all body parts. Besides improving appearance, it will also keep you cooler during races and make it easier to clean off mud. If you are a guy, this is a little weird the first time you do it, but in sports like cycling, swimming and triathlon it is the norm. Trust me on this one, you will soon be walking around telling people that being smooth like a baby seal is not only good for appearances but efficient for racing. If you need some moral support with no body hair, you can always just find me so you fit in. If this one is too much of a lifestyle change, do not worry, I have some other steps you can still use.



I am not an advocate of using a tanning bed or getting a fake tan, but the bottom line is having a tan will make your muscle definition more visible. I am not suggesting you spend all your free time tanning like tanning mom Patricia Krentcil (feel free to Google that one), but having some color will help. This effect is more dramatic the brighter it is outside. The reason bodybuilders tan is so the bright stage lights do not wash out the definition in their muscles. This same concept is applicable outside under the bright sun of OCR. Without spending more time working on this, try just doing some of your workouts each week outside with no shirt or in just a sports bra.


Use proximity to the camera:

This is one you can save for pre or post race pictures. If you are taking a picture and want one part of your body to appear smaller or larger, use proximity. If you want your upper body to appear bigger, lean your upper body towards the camera. If you have been skipping leg day all year, put your legs closer to the camera. Likewise, if you are trying to make a body part appear smaller place it farther away from the camera. So if your forearms now look like Popeye’s because you spent the last 8 months training for the Platinum Rig, try moving them farther away from the camera. For my fellow nerds out there, here is an example that should hit home. Much of Lord of the Rings was shot using perspective to emphasize the size differences between the normal sized humans and the hobbits. This worked even without digital effects in most of the camera shots.


TwistExhale and Flex:

This one and the next one really have a dramatic effect. No one wants a bloated stomach in pictures. By exhaling, you will physically make your stomach smaller in addition to bringing out definition in your abdominal and oblique muscles. Add in flexing of any visible muscles to make your muscles pop. This one can even be used mid-race if you notice you are passing by the photographer, just try not to blackout as you go speeding by the camera man with no air in your lungs. If you do blackout, just make sure Mud Run Guide gets a copy to put on our YouTube channel.


Twist your hips:

By twisting your upper body it not only brings out your oblique muscles but it also makes your waist appear smaller. This helps with the X frame that most males desire (wide shoulders, a small waist and bigger legs). Even if you do not want an X frame, ladies can use this trick too because it makes your waist appear smaller. For ladies, it is often accompanies by the one leg up angled lower body and a twist in the upper body to face the camera. It can even be used mid-race, like if you are running by the cameraman carrying a bucket.



Finally, do not forget to smile. Even though you are flexing all your visible muscles, a smile sends the impression “This is what I always look like and I am definitely not flexing super hard”. It fools the larger world into thinking that regardless of the amount of air in your lungs or what you are doing, your body always looks this ripped and that despite the mounds of mud, gigantic obstacles and fire, you make OCR look easy.


Feel free to try these tricks for yourself by practicing them in front of a mirror (this also works great for selfies). Whether your goal is racing or just taking pictures at the beach, these steps will boost your likes on your next Facebook profile picture.


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