Prioritize Physical Performance Before Physique

physical performance

How many people approach fitness & exercise


When I was a teenager I had to take the physical performance test by doing 25 push ups at school. Now at the time I was very thin so the gym teacher wasn’t expecting me to do 25 push ups. Heck she wasn’t even expecting me to do 10 since I was thinner than my peers. But little did she know that I was more than capable of doing 25 push-ups thus she was in for a major surprise.




She said “Okay so all you have to do is at least 25 push ups. If you can’t do that then I’ll let you pass if you can do ten”. So I told her “just for that statement I’ll give you 45”. Humorously she accepted my challenge but what she didn’t know is that I was actually aiming for 50 and that’s precisely what she got. She was so impressed because I was able to do far more push ups than my peers despite our physique.




“You know you don’t look it but you’re performance is better than most of your peers. Even though they have more meat on their bones you’re performance is greater than most of theirs” my gym teacher told me. That right there is the problem which is that people prejudge your performance based off of your physique. What I learned from that experience is that many people approach fitness to improve their aesthetics and physique. In reality however shouldn’t one should actually exercise to improve physical performance and functional strength over their aesthetic look?




Having said that let’s observe at least 3 types of people who exercise to improve their physical performance first before thinking about their physique.






1) Athletes



When you look at athletes one of the first things we notice about is there physique. Often times when we see their build we can’t help but say to ourselves “Man I wish I was build like an athlete”. Now although their physique is very impressive do you think that they’re concerned with the way they look?




Well consider this, my brother use to run track and every morning he had to get up early to go to conditioning for an entire year. Even though the exercises he did gave him a lean muscular physique he was FAR more concerned with his physical performance over his physical aesthetics. Think about what’s more important, having the ideal physique or having the capabilities to physically perform better than your competitors?




You may not be an athlete but does that mean that you shouldn’t prioritize your physical performance before your aesthetics. No one is saying “stop trying to get the ideal body”. However you can either focus on training hard, eating healthy and getting plenty of rest to boost your functional strength or you can keep comparing your body to the next person’s.





In any case you always want to focus on your physical performance through the way you do you physical activity exercise before thinking about how you look.





It should be noted that gymnast (particularly male gymnast) use their body-weight for training. If you want to get at least a basic idea of getting started with calisthenics check out in the by clicking the link.









2) Dancers



You may or may not have noticed but dancers be they urban dancers (hip-hop, breaking, popping etc.,.) ballroom dancers or ballerinas are in TREMENDOUS shape. The other thing that’s note worthy of dancers is that despite their ideal physique the last thing that’s on their mind is having the “perfect body”.




What they’re concerned about whenever they train isn’t whether they have that beach body but it’s how well they can improve their performance every time they dance. For instance a lot of world class break-dancers will train for hours everyday before entering a major competition. After all it’s how they perform that’ll determine if they’re good at dancing not their physique.




Maybe you won’t do something as extreme as being a ballerina or breaking but much like athletes, dancers are in extremely good shape. So if you’re skinny or overweight and you want to have that ideal body approach fitness with the intent of prioritizing your physical performance first and foremost. The ideal body that you desire will just come as a result of consistent training and discipline.











3) Martial Artist



Have you ever noticed how well built boxers, karate artists, Kung-fu fighters, kick boxers and taekwondo fighters are? For example if you’re a Jackie Chan fan like me and you’ve seen his movies you’ll see that he’s no stick at all. Thus if there’s any reason why martial artists exercise it’s to constantly maintain or in some cases to refine their performance.




To illustrate, if you’ve watched some videos of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Coner McGregor, Bruce Lee, Donnie Yen and other martial artist train having the “perfect body” is probably not the first thing on their mind. Having strength, speed, agility, flexibility, endurance etc.,. are far more crucial capabilities to have than having that dream body.




After all it’s what you’re physically capable of that’s more important as opposed to what you look like. Take my experience for example; even though I was really thin in my gym class I was one of the only people who could do 50 push ups. Just goes to show that you should never judge a book by it’s cover.




Even if you aren’t into martial arts just as they train to improve not their physique but their performance it’d be in your best interest to start doing the same.





I mention Herschel Walker a lot on this site. If you read the post in the link you’ll understand why.




In Conclusion



Society puts a lot of pressure on men when it comes to having the “perfect body”. You see it in magazines, movies and commercials very frequently so it’s almost impossible to avoid this type of pressure. In fact for the longest time I use to work out just to get that so-called perfect body that I’d see being advertised.




This however was ultimately disheartening since I didn’t see any physical results so I stopped working out. That is a common problem that a lot of men face. Instead of trying to look like the next guy you saw on a magazine start approaching fitness with a mindset that athletes. dancers and martial artist have.




Whenever you start to work out focus on ways to improve your physical performance such as your-


  • Strength
  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Agility
  • Endurance
  • Mobility


because in truth that’s what’s most important. Always prioritize your health & performance first and foremost. Your physique will just come as a result of your hard work.



If your liked what you read and you got a lot out of this post share your thoughts in the comment section below/




As always remember to stay healthy & fit




Jovan Vedrrene