A letter to my future grandson: why i post shirtless selfies

“Legacy over currency”



One day, my grandson will stumble across a picture.

A younger grandpa. Just 27 years old. Standing shirtless and flexing his muscles in front of a poorly cleaned bathroom mirror.

He’s gonna ask, “Grandpa, why were you doing this?”

This is something I think about every day.


selfieAre Selfies A Good Thing?

Let me be clear, I think the selfie was born out of a craving for external validation.

I think we human beings care too much about what others think of us. It limits our ability to achieve, grow and be joyful. Too many of us determine our worth based on the opinions of others.

This is clearly a bad thing, here is why.

But, I’m not posting shirtless pictures for validation.

I don’t care if I get 15 likes or 150 likes.

I’m not doing this for gratification or to improve my emotional state.


Then Why Post Shirtless Photos?


I quit my desk job and moved away from home for one reason: to help as many people as possible. To simplify fitness stuff. To make it easy and actionable. To change your life, like I did mine.

That’s it. That’s what I do. Period.

Now, shirtless pictures draw attention to me.

While being lean does not always imply vast knowledge of a subject,

in this case it does

(that’s me be being an insanely arrogant douche, by the way)

Posting bathroom selfies and hash tagging them like a 14-year old girl puts me in front of a new audience. It drives people to my website.

Here, I can provide content to change lives.

I get an email every single day saying my Beginner’s Fitness Guide is amazing, or it made fitness “click,” or someone is on day three of counting macros and loving it.

Or I get an email from someone’s mother:

Mike, you have SO inspired my son. I just had to look into your website and read as much as I can. Thank you for helping to change my son’s life.

Posting shirtless pictures lets me do more of that.


Further, I polled my Instagram followers:


54 replied yes.

1 replied no.

Why is this?

Why does anyone care how I look, how many carbs I eat or how I train?

Because people are interested in whether or not trainers, coaches, and leaders in the fitness community actually walk the walk.

Do you embody this life that you preach, or are you just some internet marketer trying to make a quick buck?


What’s my point?

Everything we do in the internet era is documented.

And it is important to me that my grandchildren understand my thought process.

So, one day, when you find a shirtless picture of your grandpa and think “WHAT A DORK! (but, wow, he was jacked!)”

I hope you also find this article.

I hope you understand that my decisions are not made on a whim or in pursuit of positive feedback. Rather, they are carefully calculated moves to leave a legacy that accomplishes one central goal:

To help as many people as possible use fitness to make their lives substantially better.


You can follow me on Instagram.

Or, grab my Free Beginner’s Fitness Guide.

Comments for This Entry

  • Romeo

    #LikeA14yrOldGirl, lol, awesome post. I always tell my Marines that I can make them perform day in and day out, but what I can't give them is that give a f@#! factor! If more people were like you and genuinely cared about others, this world would be a better place. Keep doing what you're doing. Stay motivated!!

    October 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Piggy

    Just had to say that I do agree with why it's important for you to post those selfies. I was in your Fitocracy Summer Body group and the main reason why I had chosen your group over others was because "He has abs and I want abs so that means he possibly can help me reach my ab goal!" Seriously. You were hired by Gary at during the group so you had to leave but I did choose Dick Talens as my new Fitocracy coach for the same reason I had chosen your group in the past. Shirtless selfies make sense for you and other trainers/coaches! Love the new equals videos btw!

    January 13, 2015 at 3:05 am | Reply to this comment

  • Joe Weaver

    Good article, Mike. I've had a little experience with this issue, also. And I AM a grandpa! Huge difference btw posting a shirtless selfie just to get attention and posting one to inspire or inform. It's obvious you do the latter.

    January 9, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Reply to this comment

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