Next time you go to the gym, look around you and observe who’s doing what.
Some people go to the gym just to pass the time. It’s Friday and they ain’t got no job, so why not?
Some people are there purely to get hench. They don’t care about being balanced, in proportion or none of that breeze! The bigger, the better.
(They’re usually the ones wearing pyjama pants like below.)
Some people just to be ripped. They don’t care about size.
Some people train purely for athleticism. How they look is unimportant – the only thing that matters is how they perform (lots of serious athletes are like this.)
Some, like myself, train to be athletic-aesthetic – to feel good, move good, and look good, all at the same time.
(There is a small minority of guys who train purely for aesthetics yet are still highly athletic. These guys usually have superb physiques with low body fat, great size and superb balance.
Although I don’t want to use ‘the g word’, alot of these guys are genetically blessed.
They’re naturally athletic-aesthetic. No matter what kind of training regimen they use – pretty much any type will work. Lucky mofos.)
For me, training to be athletic-aesthetic is the most rewarding style of working out, and the one that most suits my personality.
I’ve always been a naturally ‘sporty’ person, so being physically fit is very important to me. So is looking good and being in shape. That’s why I strive to be athletic-aesthetic over anything else.
Sticking to one style of training is extremely dry unless you have a specific reason or goal for doing so (like if you’re an athlete or bodybuilder).
One approach to achieving this aforementioned athletic-aesthetic physique is to train for every eventuality.
What do I mean by this?
I mean that you should be a man prepared for any physical situation that may arise during your life.
I’m ready to go for whatever. The other day I did Krav Maga and I felt more than capable of handling the physical demands.
I was on holiday recently and walked up to 10 miles some days like a goat herder, but it was all good. I barely registered any soreness the next day.
I’ll be able to last the whole game for sure, all because I train for every eventuality.
Lifting weights, for example, is great. It’s a fundamental requirement for a powerful, durable physique.
However, it’s only part of the puzzle.
If you only lifted weights, you’d definitely be strong and highly-developed, but your agility and fluency of movement would most likely suck.
You’d be the guy with the turning circle of a bus on the football pitch.
You would lack the ability to turn, snap, and punch quickly. Like this dude.
What about the basic ability to sprint? When was the last time you actually just broke out into a full-speed sprint?
Sprinting is one of the best ways to increase testosterone, growth hormone, and make you feel good.
Make it fun – go to the park or beach with a friend and race them like you’re Rocky and Apollo. I raced my friend on the golden sands of Zanzibar and lost. Grrr. But not only was it a great way to stay in shape during our holiday, but as corny as it sounds, it remains a fun memory we hold to this day.
Plus, you never know when you’re going to need to sprint – to save your life, to save someone else’s, or just because it feels good.
When was the last time you hit the heavy bag so intensely that your heart was beating out of your chest and your hands quivered for an hour afterwards?
When it comes to crunch time, are you going to hold your own or get a beat down because your stamina was shot to pieces?
I can’t stress the importance of heavy conditioning work enough – for your health, your fitness, and your physique.
Playing a sport, any sport, keeps you young. Hitting the gym is great, but playing sport develops other motor skills.
For me, there’s not much that beats playing football on a summer’s day with my friends.
Always, always include bodyweight exercises in your training.
You don’t need to be a gymnast but stay on your push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and dips. These movements develop co-ordination and strength.
Adopt the mindset of preparing for every eventuality and you’ll separate yourself from the pack.
Build an authentic physique, where if the shit hits the fan, you’ll be able to handle it.
If I had to boil it down to 4 guidelines, I’d say:
Rule 1: Train in the 4-8 rep range for your main barbell lifts.
Rule 2: Do high intensity conditioning 2/3x week
Rule 3: Play a sport
Rule 4: Do bodyweight exercises
That’s the recipe, now go do the work.