What ever happened to symmetry and looking good

What ever happened to developing a body for good symmetry and overall appearance.  Having a good looking physique where the abs are small, shoulders are broad, chest is well developed, arms are balanced and defined, legs full and balanced, diamond calfs, ripped abs, and the great looking V-taper of the back. I guess bodybuilding has lost its appeal to the masses. Today the young zealots are all into powerlifting and functional training.  It is all about how much you can lift, how many chains you can put on your back for push-ups, how much can you squat, deadlift and bench. There is no consideration on how the body looks.  You can have poor symmetry be thick around the waist, disproportionate legs and arms and be considered a God in the strength and conditioning world.  It is the “I lift things up and put them down” mentality.  I look at the sites of the so called “experts” of today and they are all the same. They all have tons of information on powerlifting and functional training but nothing much on bodybuilding.  How many articles are going to be written on How To Do A deadlift, squat, or bench press correctly? Many of these experts are elitists that claim that they have discovered some new way to train and that if you don’t subscribe to their methods than you are a worthless, naive, uneducated has-been.

But looking at some of these guys I don’t see a body that I would like to have. The problem is that bodybuilding is not being taught in colleges, olympic lifting techniques, rehabilitation exercises and functional training techniques are. So when the young overzealous student graduates they become advocates of this type of training. They don’t teach bodybuilding because they don’t know how to body build. If it doesn’t fall within their scope of education then they don’t teach it.

It is too bad that pure bodybuilding is out of style.  Anyone can power lift, but not everyone can bodybuild.  Perhaps that is why so many young guys gravitate toward powerlifting because they don’t have the genetics or the discipline to bodybuild.

Another reason for why young guys don’t bodybuild anymore is because of instant gratification.  Kids today are all about instant gratification. Computers, cell phones, ipods, etc.  all provide instant stimulation. This is how the kids are designed nowadays.  They don’t have the patience or the discipline to make small gains. Powerlifting is all about instant gratification.  Lifting a heavy weight 1-5 reps ignites the nervous system and releases hormones and endorphins.  This is a stimulating feeling and easily obtained.  The rush from the hormones is addicting. And this is what the young testosterone junkies want. They want to get an immediate response.  How they look doesn’t matter as much as the feeling they get from lifting heavy, heavy weight.  Performing pure isolated bodybuilding movements would be too boring and sedate for these high energy ego maniacs.

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about bodybuilding at the beginning of my career, when it was still fashionable.  Not only do I teach the mainstream weight training techniques that is being taught in schools, I can also teach pure bodybuilding.  I have always enjoyed pure bodybuilding.  The idea of deadlifting 600 pounds or squatting 700 pounds has no appeal to me.  My joints hurt just thinking about it.  To me it is all about an honest workout and symmetry.  Perhaps if I was a professional football player making millions of dollars I would only power lift. But since I am not a paid professional athlete I  realize that it is pointless for me to use such heavy weight to train.  I like the idea of isolating each muscle group and defining them.  At my age its about how I look and feel, not about how much I can bench.  When I see a good looking physique I don’t question how much the guy can lift, instead I ask the guy “how did you get your arms so defined.”  Once my athletic career was over, I realized that I didn’t want to train for baseball anymore. I wanted to train to have a great looking body.  That is why I will continue to teach true pure bodybuilding techniques, regardless if it is out of style and the young guys aren’t interested in it anymore.

Daryl Conant, M.Ed

tags: daryl conant, ron kosloff, vince gironda, nutrition, diet EARTH, bodybuilding,