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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

Form vs. Function

The most common thing I hear when I talk to a new client is that they want to lose weight. It’s no surprise considering our society’s sedentary lifestyle and abundance of processed food. What might be a surprise, however, is that when I design a program for them, fat loss is just about the last thing on my mind. It’s certainly not that I don’t want them to reach their goal, it’s that fat loss is a “form” goal. A “form” goal is one that is based on physical form, in this case, a thinner body. What people don’t think about, though, is what their desired “form” means as far as function.

What do I mean by that? Let me explain. It comes down to the things that your desired body can do that the body you have can’t. For instance, the thinner body is probably in better cardiovascular shape. How this applies to exercise is that if you train with the function of the body you want in mind, the form will follow. In other words, my primary focus as a trainer should be to get my client in better cardiovascular shape. If I do a good job at that, then my client will not only lose weight, but they will get the added benefits of improved body function, in this instance better cardiovascular health. On the other side of things, if my client wants to get bigger and gain muscle, I am going to try to get them stronger first. The size will follow.

What this all means is that you should think about what your goals mean to you beyond the flatter stomach or the bigger arms. If you lose ten pounds but can’t walk up a hill without losing your breath, how does that really benefit you? If you have huge guns but can’t move the couch, what’s the point?

Along with developing your body, training for function also develops your mind. Knowing that you are stronger or that you can make it up that big hill without a problem gives you confidence that can’t be obtained by just looking thinner or more muscular. That carries over into how you carry yourself which carries over into how you look. Everything is connected.

If you want some ideas on how to train for function call or email me and don’t forget to consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.

Mitch Rothbardt 510-754-7113 Discover Your Strength!

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