A personal perspective

October 14, 2013

I have a love-hate relationship with the ‘fitness industry’.  On one hand ‘we’ do some great work and there are coaches, groups and networks that are helping many people beyond measure.  On the other hand, there’s an opportunistic and commercial element to it all that makes me uncomfortable.

Part of this is the huge focus on aesthetics.  There’s far too much emphasis placed on how people look.  Who really gives a shit?  Ok, fine, we all do to a point, but do most people really care about the striations in their delts and how ripped their trainer is?  Or are they more concerned with being healthy, feeling good and moving well?  (Probably half and half sadly!)

Now I’m not saying that looking good isn’t import, it is.  For no other reason than its a by-product of being healthy and active.  And I’m not suggesting that people who have purely aesthetic goals are flawed individuals who can’t move. But I am suggesting that the industry is too entrenched in appearance and it’s often a case of style over substance.

I’m personally unmoved at the prospect of seeing my lower abs (sacrilege I know).  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t hate it either, but I’d rather look pretty good (if not cover model material), be fuelled to train like an animal, enjoy a beer occasionally and be able to share an ice cream with my kids without having to ‘consider it in my macros’.  Which I guess makes me the same as 99% of the population… I’d also rather be the guy who can actually move some heavy stuff, move fairly fast and move for a long time, than the guy who looks the part but has no go.

‘Results’ to me isn’t about abs, it’s about output, how I feel and the freedom my training and nutrition choices afford me in my day-to-day life.  I might not be 6% body fat (I currently circa 12%) but I’m not restricted in my foods choices, I’m fit, I’m strong and I have a good training/life balance (a result).

I think people should be encouraged to focus on output, not purely aesthetics.  Forget about a specific look or body fat level. Get stronger, get fitter, eat better and sleep to recover.  Who cares if you’re not shredded?  You’re lean (enough), you’re strong, you’re fit, you’re healthy and you feel good, which is how it should be.