Friday, May 22, 2009

Function over Aesthetics

Anywhere you look these days, you’re bound to see images of lean, beautiful people in the media enjoying their lives and selling you every product under the sun. Our society has put the image of a svelte, toned individual on such a high pedestal that it has become an obsession for countless individuals. As a result of this, the multi-billion dollar fitness industry has exploded as so many people get in front of the mirrors in gyms across America doing bicep curls to try to look pretty.

Please don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m saying improving your physical appearance is a poor or misguided goal to have. I think it’s an excellent aim to want to lose a little fat or gain a few pounds of muscle and increase your overall level of health, and I realize that everyone who walks through our doors has a different and valid reason for doing so.

Rather, I’m saying that our brand of high-intensity workouts utilizing compound, multi-joint exercises (and not in the fashion of bicep curls with both arms) such as squats, deadlifts, and presses will lead to a much greater level of fitness and health than any circuit of machines at a traditional gym. And here’s the best part—the aesthetics will come with it. They always do. Your body will transform as you become stronger, leaner, and faster, and you’ll be developing the whole package of fitness while doing it.

The difference with our brand of training is that while training on a machine or in a way to isolate a muscle will work that muscle and make it look nice, that’s not how the human body is programmed to work. Our muscles work in concert with one another, and for the best results, that is how you should train. Training your muscles in isolation is kind of like buying a Lamborghini with a Geo Metro engine or going on a date with Paris Hilton. They both look nice, but when you go searching for the substance there’s just nothing there. That’s why you can see a big, buff guy injure himself picking up a 70 lb. box (something any of our ladies can do) because he has never trained to deadlift properly.

So the next time you’re up to your neck in a beast of a workout and you happen to get a lucid moment and wonder why you’re training the way you are, just know that you are stepping closer to your goals, and in a much more effective and valuable way than those guys and gals watching TV while they leg press.

-Written by Mark Riebel

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! So relevant!!

    Have a great weekend!
    CrossFit By Overload member, Murrieta, CA