A well kept body is a means to better things. Meaning, if you want to be doing active things when you're 80, you need to make sure your body is healthy now, build those habits now. You aren't training to look good and chiseled, you're training for your life! This kind of work is known as 'functional fitness.' The focus is shifted away from aesthetics (like building a 6 pack) to excelling at a specific activity. Bodyweight exercises trump heavy weights and a wide range of motion defeats repetitive bulk. The goals here are not about how you look shirtless on the beach but how well you can surf, or kayak, or swim in the ocean. The recent glorification of the dad bod is at odds with all of this! The dad bod is a product of eating what you want and giving up. Why is this so prevalent? Blame Brad Pitt. Or at least that is where many trainers place blame. The shift happened in 1999 when Brad Pitt gave the world the his impossibly muscular and lean, Tyler Durden. This unrealistic physique, gave movie goers and up and coming actors an absolutely insane standard. As Men's Journal says:
For much of Hollywood history, only women's bodies were objectified to such absurd degrees. Now the objectification makes no gender distinctions: Male actors' bare asses are more likely to be shot in sex scenes; their vacation guts and poolside man boobs are as likely to command a sneering full-page photo in a celebrity weekly's worst-bodies feature, or go viral as a source of Web ridicule.Now you see these glorified bodies everywhere, from Magic Mike to Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy. Regular men began to obsessively work on their 6 pack abs only to be defeated by their normal, and sometimes even healthy, diet and worthy fitness goals like running a trail race. Those Hollywood bodies require a level of starvation that isn't sustainable in real, functional, life. Have you ever noticed how often some of these men completely change their bodies? I'm thinking of Christian Bale here. Definitely not a healthy, sustainable way to be. The dad bod love is not helpful. Mackenzie Pearson defines it as "a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, 'I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.'" Men shouldn't just give up. Trying to look like Pitt will end in failure because it isn't sustainable. So change the goal. Work to be fit. Work so that you can win that weekend tennis match, join a Spartan Race at the last minute, or be able to pick up any demanding physical activity like it is no big deal. Train for the life you want to have for years to come.