How To Pretend You’re In-Shape Without Actually Being In-Shape

How To Pretend You're In-Shape Without Actually Being In-Shape

My father instilled two things in me as a child. The first? “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” which is why working a room is an absolute must in any modern man’s repertoire. But the second might be even more important, and that’s, “Fake it ’til you make it.”

Life isn’t about actually knowing how to do things as much as it is pretending you know how to do things as a means to make others around you intimidated. If you establish yourself as the lead dog in a pack (whether it’s justified or not), people will not only look up to you but they’ll remember you with a glimmer in their eye. And in this dog-eat-dog world, being the alpha is one of the only ways to get what you want.

Unfortunately, when it’s all said and done, no one wants to take directions or look up to a lazy slob. But, in the same breath, not all lazy slobs want to kick it into gear and spend the time working out that’s necessary to keep their bodies toned and in-shape. Which is why one must follow the five pillars of pretending your in-shape to ensure others actually think you might actually be, well, in-shape.

Acquire all the athleisure clothing your bank account can afford.

“He wouldn’t spend all that money on workout clothes if he doesn’t actually workout,” they’ll say.

And that’s exactly what you want them to think. After all, when you’re spending $108 on some Lululemon City Sweat Joggers or $85 on an Outdoor Voices Merino Mockneck Longsleeve, you have to ask yourself one question — can you put a price on your health? Nevermind that they’re incredibly comfortable. Screw the fact that they’re not actually all that acceptable to wear in public if you haven’t actually worked out. People are going to look at you and say, “Wow, he’s invested in his health.”

And that? That’s all that matters.

Buy wildly unnecessary health foods.

You can’t expect to put out a healthy vibe if you’re shopping at low-level grocery stores where they sell everything in bulk. Nope. It’s essential to spend unnecessary amounts of money on health foods that you’re not totally sure the benefits of. Everyone knows that Whole Foods is less about actually being healthy and more about being a social scene full of people who want to publicly show that they can afford overpriced salad and hot bars.

When someone asks why you’re drinking so much Kombucha, throw it in their face that you’re doing it for the probiotics even though you have no idea what probiotics actually are. When someone inquires about the benefits of the Maple Water you’re drinking, express that it’s the new coconut water despite the fact that you have no idea why coconut water is more beneficial to your health than regular water.

It’s less about actually nourishing your body and more about showing those around you that you can afford to pamper yourself.

Always be judging.

There’s no better place to judge people and gain the upper hand than in the workplace. It’s difficult to pack a healthy lunch every day, and even more difficult to locate a healthy lunch on the fly. But you? You’ll have the healthiest lunch out of everyone because of your aforementioned runs to Whole Foods and local co-ops.

But when you see a coworker enter the office with a bag of fast food in their hand or leftover lasagna from the night before, you need to immediately offer commentary on their meal choice.

“Wow, that’s healthy,” you say with raised eyebrows and a smarmy smirk.

“Man, I don’t know how you eat that on a daily basis,” you remark while slightly shaking your head at their preposterous lack of care of their bodies.

“Eating that for lunch would ruin the rest of my day,” you comment while warming up your steamed kale salad with overpriced freshly caught wild sockeye salmon.

Complain of baseless injuries.

Earth to everyone: you can’t get injured if you’re not active. It’s pretty hard to tear a muscle in your leg sitting at your desk or pull something in your back binge-watching on Sundays. But people are going to become skeptical of your athleticism if you’re not either 1.) bulking/leaning or 2.) nursing an injury from your non-existent workouts.

If you’re asked to run in a charity 10K that you haven’t trained for, reference your nagging Osgood-Schlatter. If you’re struggling to get the ball off the tee, drop a mention of that recurring back injury you got while playing high school tennis. Your girlfriend wants you to do a yoga class but you know you’ll be hungover from the night before? Mention the crick in your neck that’s still lingering from the time you played (or didn’t play, whatever) a game with the club rugby team in college.

Remember: people don’t actually have to see you at the gym in order to think that you go to the gym. Excuses are everything in the game of pretending to be in-shape.

Get tan.

If you can’t tone it, tan it. Tan skin says the following: you either went on vacation (#luxury), you’ve spent a lot of time playing golf or boating (#luxury), or you’re a manual laborer (something no one will actually think about you).

Getting your bronze on signals that you’re active in some way, shape, or form. Sure, you might’ve gotten it from sitting drunk at the pool or in the stands at a baseball game while scarfing down $9 hot dogs and $12 beers, but everyone knows you can’t just get tan by sitting on your couch like the lifeless oaf you actually are.

Get out there, get tan, look fit, remain fat.

Image via Unsplash

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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