By Ken "Skip" Hill
We all like to hang around and associate with people who have the same interests as us. It’s human nature. And it’s no different in the world of bodybuilding. Bodybuilders like to hang out with other bodybuilders, and figure competitors like to hang out with other figure competitors. And because much of this camaraderie occurs through social media these days, I thought I might provide some pointers on how to increase the number of bodybuilding friends you have on Facebook. You might have a hard time locating these elusive profiles, so pay close attention to the information I’m about to provide.
You’d think that you may have to type in a search term to find bodybuilder friends on Facebook, but you’d only be wasting your time. My first recommendation is quite simple and takes only seconds: Just find one profile picture that shows someone posing in the gym locker room with their underwear bunched and rolled up to imitate a thong, and you’ve accomplished the first and most important step in gaining thousands of new bodybuilding friends. From here, it only gets easier.
After locating your first bodybuilding profile, you’ll need to “friend” him. After he accepts your friendship, click immediately on his friend list and you’ll notice that it doesn’t contain anyone who isn’t a bodybuilder or who doesn’t work out. Why? Because bodybuilders don’t talk to people who don’t at least work out. I’m sure you’d find this rule in the Facebook fine print if you looked hard enough. If a bodybuilder sends you a friend request, you have no choice: You must accept him as a friend. After you locate his friend list, simply mass message everyone on the list, and your own friend list will grow quickly.
You’ll find that some of your friends will have blocked their lists so that you can’t view their friends. This usually happens when the person in question is slightly embarrassed about being known as a bodybuilder and prefers to hide it from his normal friends. What are normal friends? They’re the people who can pass by a mirror without looking in it three times, backing up to get another look and then turning, only to scoff at the chick who had the nerve to roll her eyes at you for admiring yourself in the mirror. You have to get slightly creative and do a bit more work when the list is blocked, but here are some tips you can use:
- Look for key words and phrases like a name that starts with “IFBB Pro.” No one in any other sport will have a title listed before their name, but not everyone is as insecure as a bodybuilder and needs everyone to know that they are, in fact, a pro as opposed to a mere amateur. Another word to look for that’s a dead giveaway is the irritatingly repetitive use of the word “bro.”
- Another label you’ll find on most bodybuilder pages is the term “Food Porn.” In short, this is where people fixate so much on food that they take pictures of every meal after a show so that everyone knows what naughty things they’re eating. Oh, we are so naughty sometimes. Often there will be an entire photo album titled Food Porn.
- Check a new friend’s photo albums for bodybuilders who are tagged in their pictures. This is a big one, as you’ll never find a bodybuilder who doesn’t post pics of himself posing, training, and posing some more. Most of the pictures will be posing pictures or photo-shoot pictures, but there are always a few meathead, gang-sign pictures in every album. You know, where you MUST take a picture with someone in the gym or at a show where you both have to hold up your hand to flex the arm and throw some stupid-looking gang-sign thing. Sometimes it’s holding up one finger like “number one,” or sometimes it’s the “V” for victory, but usually it’s the closed fist (because it’s easier to flex the arm this way). Note: If you come across a picture of people who aren’t throwing a meathead gang sign, it won’t matter if they’re wearing gym gear or not — they are clearly not bodybuilders. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- Don’t forget to friend as many pros as you can. I’m not talking as much about liking their fan pages because that would make you look like a fan. You want to look like you know them and you are friends with them. To do that, you need to get them to accept your friend request. If they accept your request, at least once a week you’ll need to post something on their wall so that it appears your relationship with them is personal. This will show up on your wall as you posting something to them, which will impress the rest of your friends.
One major rule that I can’t forget to mention is you absolutely cannot friend any spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends who are in any of the bodybuilder’s picture albums. This is considered more of a criminal act than selling steroids to an eight-year-old. Keep in mind that bodybuilders watch out for their “bros,” so you stand to lose a lot of Facebook friends when word gets out. This isn’t the most secure bunch, so you can admire the pictures — but do not, under any circumstance, send a friend request. If you don’t know what an insecure bodybuilder looks like, trust me: You don’t want to.
The last pointer I can give you is to check out the groups that your bodybuilder friends have “liked.” These will most often include gym pages, website pages, supplement pages, and what I like to call “vote for me” pages. Vote-for-me pages are pages that people have posted their pictures on, and they then shamelessly beg their friends to vote for them so that they can win an online contest and finally land that lucrative sponsorship deal that has eluded them for so long.
With the invaluable information I’ve given you today, you should feel confident that you are that much closer to maxing out your friends list despite having no idea who those friends really are. You won’t care, though, because in this game it isn’t about who your friends are — it’s about how many friends you have. One of those friends could be the owner of a large supplement company that wants you as their spokesperson. It happens all the time, doesn’t it? Yeah, it sure does. Hey, just sayin’.
-- The Skipper
Ken "Skip" Hill has spent 30 years in the trenches of bodybuilding. He owns TEAM SKIP Nutritional Consulting, where he specializes in conditioning for bodybuilders and high-level athletes. You can reach Skip through his website, TEAMSKIP.net and follow him on Twitter (@IntenseMuscle).