Function > Looks
December 13, 2010
Posted by on
At some point of time in history people lost their marbles and around the same time fitness became synonymous with looks.
I don’t know what the hell happened but when I read stuff published in the 30s, 40s, 50s and even the 60s, all I read is about strong men doing stuff to improve and exhibit their strength. They trained smart, exhibited their strength very frequently and got paid handsomely. Fast forward to today and I read BS like “Six pack abs in 6 days” or “Acai berry = Ripped abs without exercise” or “Contour Abs: Too good to be true?”. Makes me sick.
- People did not do hundreds of repetitions of isolated abdominal thrusts (except in the bedroom of course).
- People trained primarily for strength and intensity.
- People ate a lot of real food (meat, eggs, vegetables, dairy) and did not eat donuts for breakfast.
- People did not sit on their asses all day looking at food porn and fantasizing about dinner.
- People looked great and could do awesome stuff.
- People lose sleep if they did only 328 crunches out of the 330 they were asked to do by dimwit trainers.
- People freak the shit out about eating egg yolks but have no issues downing cereal bowls by the gallon.
- People spend all their gym time in front of a mirror doing either bicep curls or ab work.
- People drive 30 miles, have their cars valet parked, take the escalator and spend 45 mins running on a treadmill while sipping on
energy drinks sugar syrups.
- People are skinny fat, weak and can’t lift their own suitcases.
Don’t get me wrong here, wanting to have a nice body is very healthy. But, unless you are a body builder or aspiring to be one, you have no business doing hundreds of situps or 30 sets of bicep curls everyday. Body builders, for one, have successfully lost a shit load of body fat and are already super lean and, for another, have possibly reached their max muscle growth potential and hence go for crazy training protocols like low weight and super high repetitions. For the average fitness enthusiast, these high rep workout programs are useless to say the least. You know how a dress looks bloody hot on a celebrity, but you look like a hippo when you wear it?
Similarly, what works for bodybuilders wont quite work for you!
Realize this and focus on what you want to be able to do instead of what you want to look like. In other words, get your priorities right.
- 16 strict pull-ups > 16 inch biceps
- 3 min plank hold > 100 situps
- 1 arm chin-up > 250 lbs bench press
- 6 min mile > 6 mile run
But here’s the kicker – With performance comes looks. Once you understand this and start training for functional goals aesthetics will follow. I, for example, lift for strength not for mass, sprint for endurance/conditioning not to burn calories, eat right for health not for abs and all this is because I train for life not for looks.
Let’s keep it sane and simple folks – Eat clean, train smart, sleep much, repeat often.