Are Gym Mirrors Different?

We’ve all been there in the gym- staring at ourselves in the mirror popping some bodybuilding poses with a sick pump.

But, I think most of us can agree, our mirrors at home make us look like we’ve never stepped foot in the gym, yet the gym mirrors make us seem like we just won the Mr.Olympia competition.

So, are gym mirrors different?

Yes! Gym mirrors are different! Gym mirrors are angled so the top rises out more, which gives an optical illusion your upper body is bigger than your mid-lower section. Lighting is also placed right above the mirror, making your body look sharper and more defined. Also, our muscles temporarily look bigger when we workout, so there’s that too.

These mirrors give that ‘Superman’ look. Contrary to popular belief, gym mirrors are not made out of special material, it’s just how they place the mirror!

Let’s cover this more in-depth.

Are gym mirrors different?
Are Gym Mirrors Different?

Gym Mirrors Lean Forward At The Top

You can actually see this with the normal eye, although it’s a little tough.

The mirrors don’t like come out 45 degrees exactly or anything, it’s barely noticeable. But, if you look closely enough you’ll see that many gym mirrors are slightly angled out.

Now, not every gym does this- and not all mirrors are done like this.

Many gyms do the “down the middle” approach. They take 3 mirrors next to each other- and make the one in the middle angle out a bit. This means if you’re standing in the middle, you’ll look absolutely shredded.

Now, it doesn’t have to always be 3 mirrors or anything. But the point is, many gyms take the approach of angling SOME mirrors- but not all of them. I think some do it to save money, and some do it to make the mirror alterations be more ‘discreet’.

When Gym Mirrors Do This, You Look Way Bigger

When the mirror is angled up like this, it causes you to look way bigger.

So, the mirror is angled out at the top right? This causes the light to reflect differently.

Picture your muscular and jacked self- standing in front of the mirror. Because the top is angled out, the upper part of your body is going to look distorted- bigger. 

At the same time, the lower part of your body is now going to shrink because it’s distorted. This means, specifically, your upper shoulders to head region are enlarged and everything under is shrunk.

Now, you get that superman look- where you get that ‘V shred’. 

But, that’s not the only reason the gym mirrors make you look better. The lighting also plays a big part.

The Gym Lighting is Placed Above The Mirror

Typically in most gyms, the lighting is placed above the mirror. (Although, slightly away)

This lighting is also much stronger, as it needs to beam all the way down from the ceiling and basically be on 24/7.

This is much different than how most of our mirrors operate at home.

First of all, our lighting isn’t always good. Some of us have a weird arrangement of lights in front of the mirror that sometimes works well and sometimes doesn’t.

For the most part, in our homes, we will have a few light bulbs of random color on top of our mirror, and a weirdly placed light in the bathroom.

This isn’t the ideal lighting situation, and gyms know this.

That’s why most gyms will have super powerful lighting right by the mirrors.

The Bright Lighting By The Mirror Sharpens You

One of the good things about all that light is that it ‘sharpens you’.

That bright light will highlight your defined muscles, body shape, indents on your face, and the way your muscles shape your body.

If you’re in flimsy lighting- just forget it. Those muscle striations, indents, and the way your body is shaped will just not show at all.

Here’s the truth, whenever you see one of those bodybuilders looking so jacked in a photo, the trick is usually lighting.

Most people don’t realize how one perfect angle of lighting can seriously change how you look in a mirror.

All of those famous Hollywood photos and everything? It’s all primarily lighting. If they move that light anywhere else, the entire photoshoot is ruined and the celebrity looks ugly.

When you get that perfect lighting, everything good about your body is brought out- and the bad is concealed.

For instance, in perfect lighting, my entire upper body will look absolutely shredded and it hides the fact that maybe I dirty bulked a little too long.

Seriously, try it. If you think you take bad photos, take some time and set up some good lighting. You can go out and buy a lighting stand for a few $$, or you can just mess around with different lights in your house and your phone’s flashlight. You’ll see a massive difference and suddenly look 1000x better.

You Get a ‘Pump’ At The Gym, Making Your Muscles Look Better Temporarily

When you work out, your muscles grow in size temporarily. This is called a ‘pump’ and will go away 20-30 minutes after your workout is complete.

This is a good thing. When you work out, blood rushes into your muscles to support them during exercise. This forces more nutrients into your muscles- and is a core concept of Rich Piana’s feeder workout (how anybody can put on inches to any muscles in months).

Because of this, all the blood rushing into your muscles makes your muscle size grow massively temporarily. With all that blood increasing your muscle size, your shredded physique becomes way more visible than it was before.

This contributed a lot to the ‘gym mirror’ effect- where people say they look better in the gym mirror. Simply put, when you’re working out- your muscles get bigger temporarily- and this causes you to look much bigger in the gym mirror.

Ultimately, if you could work out, then suddenly teleport home and look at yourself in your home mirror, you would look a LOT bigger.

Conclusion of Are Gym Mirrors Different?

Yes, gym mirrors are different!

  • They are angled differently, highlighting the upper portion of the torso and making the smaller half look smaller.
  • The gym lighting is way better.
  • You’ll often have a pump making your muscles look bigger.

So, yes! Gym mirrors are different, but that isn’t the only reason you look so shredded.

Let me know in the comments below, do you think you look more shredded in the gym mirrorS>?

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