Should you train for looks or function? Why not get both. You can look good and still perform in and outside of the weight room. The simple answer to how to get functional aesthetics is to train like an athlete. The problem is you see people performing circus tricks in the gym and calling it athletic training.
Even if you’re not training for a sport or an event, you still want to have some athletic ability. There are several keys to making this work.
You want to be as efficient as possible when selecting exercises. If you’re spending 30 minutes doing different curl variations, you’re not being efficient. One of the keys to efficiency is choosing exercises that hit multiple muscles at one. This is important because most of the physical things you do outside of the gym require you to use different muscle groups at once. Isolation exercises have their place too since they’ll address any weak spots. Just don’t make them the main part of your workout program if your goal is functional aesthetics.
Variety is the spice of life. When it comes to achieving functional aesthetics that variety comes in the different training methods you use. For functional aesthetics, you want to use the different training systems ( strength, speed, mobility, conditioning, and nervous system training). The key to making this work is choosing exercises that compliment each other.
Strength: Strength is a crucial part of having functional aesthetics. Training for strength the type of muscle that turns heads. Even if your goal isn’t to build a large amount of muscle mass, strength training will force your body to develop some muscles. If you do want to gain a large amount of muscle mass, developing strength will make that feat easier to achieve. When doing high volume mass building exercises, the person who can do 10 reps at 225 will most likely have more muscle than the person who can only do 10 reps at 135. The main exercises to maximize strength bench Press, squat, deadlift, and farmers walk.
Speed: Training for speed is a perfect example of form matching function. When you train for speed, your body adapts to allow you to be more efficient at expressing that speed. Your body will do things like build dense muscle fibers and remove unnecessary fat. This will help you with the aesthetic aspect functional aesthetics. For the functional aspect, speed will help you tremendously in most athletic activities. When it comes to training for speed, nothing beats sprints.
Conditioning: Fatigue can make a coward out of anyone. When you’re tired, you don’t perform as well as you should and you have a higher risk of getting hurt. Working on your condition is functional training because it allows you to do more of any activity without getting tired. It helps you with aesthetics as well because conditioning exercises help you burn unnecessary fat. Similar to speed training, your body will burn extra fat so you can be more efficient at the activity you’re doing. Carrying dead weight will tire you out faster. There are different ways to work on your conditioning but the most useful ways are swimming, hill sprints, and punching bag exercises.
Mobility: You need to be able to move if you want to be functional. Everything is easier when you know how to move. Being a good mover allows you to express your speed and strength in a more efficient way. Being a good mover will also improve your posture. A strong posture is visually appealing.
Nervous System Training: The most overlooked type of training in the fitness world is nervous system training. Yes, every form of exercise trains your nervous system. When I talk about nervous system training, I’m talking about exercises with the specific purpose of making the nervous system efficient. By making the nervous system more efficient, you’ll be capable of performing better in the other training methods like strength, speed, and conditioning. This will support your aesthetic goals. Two exercises I use to support my nervous system are the dead hang stretch and the leopard crawl .
On the functional side, making the nervous system more efficient will help your brain function better. A better functioning brain will provide benefits like improved memory and better processing of information. This can come in handy when you’re learning something new. This is functional training at it’s truest form.
One of the main reasons people get into fitness is to improve the overall quality of their life. Getting functional aesthetics will definitely help with that. You don’t have to be obsessed with your appearance to know that you feel better when you like what you see in the mirror. In addition to feeling good about your appearance, developing functional aesthetics will let your brain and body perform optimally in the different activities of your life.
If you’d like a personalized program for developing functional aesthetics, please email me at email@example.com