Physique versus Fitness: The Eternal Struggle

When I first decided to get fit, I was all about physique. To be honest, I was all like I wanna look good naked! I gave absolutely no fucks about what my body could do; I just wanted to look good in a bikini.

 

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But then of course, I rediscovered running. I started following #girlswholift on Instagram. Gradually, my focus shifted from what I looked like, to what I could do. Instead of running being a way to eat without guilt, or to eat more, it became important to me to stay fit, test my body, and hit PRs.
I had lost a lot of weight, and over the summer I started to appreciate just how skinny I was; I started to realise just how much risk I was putting myself at, as a runner, by underfuelling. So I ate more, and stabilised my weight. And now, I actually want to get big; I mean lean-muscle big. I look at girls like Nikki Blackletter and Brittany Lesser and think damn, I wish my ass looked like that. Lifting is empowering, and I’m so pleased I’m starting to see muscle growth and definition.
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Nikki Blackletter sadly, not me
However the eternal struggle remains: I want to look like a bodybuilder, but achieve progress as a long distance runner. My goals seem completely at odds with eachother; if I want to gain muscle, I shouldn’t be doing too much cardio. And if I want to run long distances, I need to stay relatively lean. So what am I doing? I’m trying to find a middle ground. Of course, improved muscle tone and stability can only help me as a runner, which I’m more than happy about. But I have to accept that for now, I’m not going to look like a bodybuilder. Huge #bootygainz will not be mine, probably, until I’m done with this marathon.

 

But either way, I’m starting to appreciate my body as a work in progress, as opposed to a fixed state; the same goes for my fitness goals. They can be fluid, and I don’t have to define myself as one thing or the other. That’s the great thing about fitness- its adaptability!

 

And one other thing; there are so many different ways to look like a badass! (Slightly NSFW).

 

So here’s to striking a balance, as with all things in life.

 

What are your physique goals? Do they clash with your fitness goals?

 

Lots of love,
Pippa
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11 thoughts on “Physique versus Fitness: The Eternal Struggle

  1. my physique goals are to get rid of this stupid stomach/back fat that has been plaquing me. ive been able to get relatively tone arms while running but no where near body builder status and thats ok. your so right though its about finding the balance right now you want to run a marathon but maybe after that you want to compete as a fitness model who knows! i just want to be a bad ass 🙂

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  2. Mmm, physique goals. In my teens and twenties I wanted longer legs. No amount of exercise is going to do that! Now I’m nearly 50, to be normal or on the slim side, healthy, active , pain free. Just jogging and losing a stone has changed me from being breathless and strained to feeling strong and mobile. Enjoy what you have, whilst you are trying for something else!

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  3. I’m a marathoner looking to go sub-4:00 but I kept getting injured. This last time, since I could only run minimally, I started upping the strength training, something I always slacked on because I wanted to build endurance. Well, I look way fitter now. In addition, as I’m starting to add mileage again, I’ve found that the strength training is also helping me as a runner — the upper body strength to keep me upright when I get tired, the glute strength so I don’t get injured again, the calf strength because I switched to a midfoot strike. ISo far the two goals (getting faster while looking fitter), have not been mutually exclusive, and I’m hoping this carries through to marathon distance.

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  4. For me, the more I care about my performance, the less I care about my physique. To be fair, I tend to like a lean, thin look for myself which endurance sports helps with. But in general, as I see my times on the track go down, I also find myself being less harsh on my body when I look at myself in the mirror.

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