Performance Training vs. Aesthetics


If you’ve been here for a while, you’ve likely heard me say F*ck weightloss, let’s get strong. It’s something I personally live by because the happiest I have ever been in my life had everything to do with how I felt and nothing to do with how I looked. Ironically, the time in my life where I felt my lowest, was when many people thought I looked my best.

I’ve spent a lot of time throughout my life thinking about my “why” when it comes to exercise and how I can best honor it.

I move my body to celebrate what she can do, and how she has shown up for me every single day of my entire life.

I move my body to get strong.

I move my body to FEEL my best — mentally and physically — for as long as I can.

It took a lot of trial and error to figure things out, but it always came back to this: Performance training honors my “why”.

Your “why” is deeply personal and it isn’t something anyone but you can decide. How you honor your “why” is equally as unique to you.

What’s the difference between performance training and training for aesthetics?

Performance training and training for aesthetics are two common ways people tend to add structure toward reaching their movement goals and honoring their “why”.

Performance training:

  • Programmed to help an individual meet performance-based goals.
  • Goals are set and evolve to progress a person’s performance level.
  • Examples: Improve strength, speed, power, flexibility, mobility, endurance, balance.

Aesthetic training:

  • Programmed to help an individual meet physique-based goals.
  • Goals are set and evolve to change the way a person’s body looks.
  • Examples: Increase muscle mass size or appearance, reduce body fat percentage.

The reality is, these training styles usually overlap. If you are moving often and consistently (along with sleeping, eating, and hydrating well!), you will likely see both performance and aesthetic changes. One is not better than the other, and both can be used to improve your health with a balanced approach.

How do I find a balanced approach to both?

Finding a balanced approach to performance and aesthetic training can feel like searching for a unicorn, especially when the fitness industry tends to push extremes.

Start with finding your “why” and Just Move! It’s okay to try new things and readjust as you find what feels best for your body. Movement is a lifelong journey that should be enjoyed, not a means to an end.

While I can’t tell you what a balanced approach will look like, I can provide reliable information and resources to help you find what works for you.

If you need a place to start, check out the Athletic Glutes program! It’s a performance program targeted for your glutes designed to help you move safely, feel good, and find a balanced approach. Try the first 15 Minute Glutes class, and let us know what you think!