Do You Want To Train For Aesthetics Or Performance?

This is a good question to ask yourself when aligning your training with a certain program or trainer, as not all is equal.

For me personally I have never been into aesthetics based goals, yet have also never had an issue with my body image. Because my background has always been in sport & performance these objectives have always consumed my focus.

I have found being consistent and disciplined to achieving at sport, hard work, as well as having correct nutrition to meet these goals, and the aesthetics just comes. I know when I feel heavy, and I know when I feel light, all based on how I am performing and so make the necessary adjustments as I wish too. Which can sometimes really be as simple as eating less gluten free cake 🍰

In addition, being a trainer for over 10 years I have seen so many people get obsessive about body stat numbers, to the point where it stops complete motivation and progression. Although this also happens in the sporting world, I realised along the way that I am not as passionate about meeting numbers towards body image. Even though I train people after fat loss and muscle gain, as a coach my reward comes from seeing more specific improvements within their performance along the way. This can be the ability to now lead a more active lifestyle, increased mobility, less joint pain, learning new movements, more efficient technique, sorting daily habits, correcting mindset, and so on.

Often I will find when people come in to see me for personal training, at first their goals are always aesthetic based. There ideology of a gym is to come and lose fat or put on size, most commonly when they have had a long period off the radar. But when they actually start they realise actually, yes it’s nice to shred a few kilos, BUT how more rewarding is it now that I can get up and down off the floor without assistance, can touch my toes and do 10-20 mins continuous Aerobic activity without feeling out of breath.

Only recently my client Graeme came to me wanting X weight by X date. As soon as we started and he could see the bigger holes in his mobility, movement, strength & fitness, he instantly adapted his focus to performance-based goals. As an example, one of which was to be able to do his first strict pull up. To me, such goals require similar dedication and effort to reach, but the end product now develops more whole-body attributes he will benefit from, such as relative pulling strength, coordination, core stability, etc. And funnily enough in order to do this goal he WILL lose his weight in the process. WIN, WIN!

By the way, this is not to say aesthetics based training should not be done, as it’s completely the right way to go for some people to get their head in the game. Not to mention the performance world can be just as equally frustrating if numbers are not being met.

Just for me personally I am fascinated in seeing what the human body can be physically & mentally capable off in their movement and function within training & sports. Hence why aiming for a beach six-pack, doing body image transformations, or wanting big biceps to take insta selfies…it has never been my style 🙌

Performance every time!