Is Bodybuilding Really Functional? Is training the gym as effective as they want you to believe?

Millions of people spend hours in the gym every day, thinking that they are really performing one of the best activities a person can do to improve as an individual. This is correct, but only to a certain extent.

There is no doubt that going to the gym and training effectively is far better than most things people do in their spare time such as: watching TV, going to the Mall, working late hours and still getting the same paycheck, eating bad food, going to the movies…etc.


What makes working out better is that you get to out your role as an obedient working drone and a happy consumer a.k.a. happy slave, and get to communicate with matter that doesn’t lie to you – iron.

However, not many people realize that the gym is a sterile environment. The machines and the exercises are designed to make different body parts work in a generic way. With small differences most people look the same when they do bodybuilding exercises. Different body types account for slightly different executions of the movement, but the end result is the same – there is almost no style, just generic muscle flexion.

This is also one of the reasons bodybuilding is not attractive to the general public as an activity. It’s boring. People may appreciate muscle men but it’s far more interesting to watch “real sports” instead of muscle worship shows.

The way I see it the gym was never the end goal. What’s the point of working in a workshop, if you never take the car out and take it for a spin?

That’s why when people lose motivation I usually advise them try and incorporate skill goals besides just improvement of body composition.

For example, you may direct your training towards improvement in other sports. It can be absolutely anything from becoming a pull-up master to improving your sprint times. The idea is to stop thinking in terms of “what should I do to build more muscle” which is a rather depressive though, especially when you’re natural.

Once you start accomplishing “functional”goals, your motivation as a natural bodybuilder will have no choice but to increase.

Of course, “functional” is an absolutely subjective term and what is functional for me may not be very useful to you. A computer is useful when you are looking for information, but not so much when you are drоwning. People have different interests and ideas of beauty which makes choosing your path a personal preference.

All of this makes bodybuilding training semi-functional. It has some carry over to sports and “real life activities“, but technically training in the gym is just that – training. What makes life more exciting is actually applying your training. That’s why people usually experience more satisfaction when doing compound exercises. It makes you feel alive.

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