What’s a workout philosophy? Do you have one and why is it even important?

I’ll answer these questions and explain why having one will help you get the results you’re looking for when it comes to working out.

The best part is that you won’t become frozen in thought like the statue above. So, without further or do, let’s begin.

What is a workout philosophy?

In my own words, a workout philosophy is a clear statement that explains why you are working out and what you are trying to achieve and become through fitness.

Like many of us, I started working out for many reasons, but often times, I lacked clear goals and a vision for myself that caused poor motivation and interest to keep going. That’s why I created a workout philosophy, so it could motivate me by aligning me with a higher purpose for myself in order to better achieve the results I’m looking for, like losing weight, adding muscle, and so on.

My starting place working out, like many out there, is to have a good-looking body. I think that’s the reason why many young guys (and girls), like myself, start working out in the first place, is so we can have an aesthetically pleasing body that fits us. There’s nothing wrong with that and if that’s one of your main goals and reasons to workout, then I say let that be part of your philosophy. The things you value will make-up your philosophy and help you connect with what you’re looking to achieve and become.

That’s why I think it’s important to have one, but to do so, you’ve first got to think deep into the “why” of working out.

Need an example? Here’s my philosophy.

To develop a strong and athletic body, capable of performing all types of movements, in order to keep my body balanced, healthy, and functional, yet aesthetic to my liking, while having fun at the same time.

This is my philosophy statement now, but it didn’t happen over night.

When I started my fitness journey I didn’t have a philosophy. I just wanted to get in better shape, look good for myself, and maybe turn some girls heads (typical, right?). However, through maturation and progress over the years, my philosophy has developed into something beyond just looking good. For me, I want a deeper reason for why I workout and that’s why I have the philosophy statement I have today.

In large part, it’s because I value my health and fitness tremendously because it’s my passion, but also the repeated injuries and chronic pain I’ve suffered in my right knee, and more recently in my back, which caused me to think about how and why I’m exercising.

(Check out my articles about my reasons behind my philosophy here, here and here).

This has resulted in my current philosophy that emphasizes structural integrity of the body first, through exercise that works multiple sections of my body, if not all, at once. Some examples include deadlifts and squats, of course, but also kettle bells, calisthenics, tire flips, plyometrics, and running. These types of exercises train my body to work as one unit, which in my opinion, is how our bodies are always meant to function. That’s why every workout I do is filled with exercises, like those, that are based in functionality that promote natural strength, transferable to activity and sport outside the gym.

This also helps keep me motivated because I have goals and mini-milestones I set for myself and certain measuring sticks, like body fat and weight, PR’s, and so on, that allow me to enjoy the journey to get there. To me that’s what working out should be: a fun journey.

With that in mind, let’s make your own.

Making Your Own Workout Philosophy

Making your own philosophy can be simple, but it can also require a little thinking too. Here are some tips to follow.

  1. Write some of your goals down.

My first suggestion is to start by writing down some of your goals and what you’re trying to achieve, in regards to fitness. It can be losing 20 pounds, reaching over a 1000 pound total in the big three, or to run a 5k. Whatever it is write it down.

This will allow you to notice any underlying themes or patterns you have. For instance, one of my goals is to deadlift over 500lbs, yet be no more than 185lbs. This goal is based in the athletic-aesthetic movement, as coined by people like Omar Isuf, yet also emphasizes balance and integrity of the body because the deadlift is a very demanding exercise. This is what I value in order to have healthy, strong, and balanced body free of imbalances that affect posture, which can cause injury. This is what is important to me and that’s where you should start

Essentially, what matters and is important to you is at the core of your own workout philosophy, and writing down some goals will help you do that.

2. What’s your ideal body type?

Find out what your ideal body-type is.

Is it a lean and chiseled body or a thicker and naturally strong body?

Whatever it is, think about it and write it down.

My ideal body-type, for example, is reminiscent of a running back. This is because I’m short and naturally thick, like most running backs, yet I value explosive strength, agility, and the physique of what you would see in one. I like that, so I use it as a model for my ideal body-type. Your body-type will also help you understand what exercises you want to do, and, subsequently, the type of programming you’ll want to follow.

If you want big muscles, for example, you’ll probably want to follow a traditional bodybuilding regimen. On the contrary, if you want to be lean, maybe a HIIT or calisthenic workout style is more of you’re liking. Regardless, having a clear body-type you want to achieve will help determine your mindset for your workouts because it will address what you think is important: aesthetics, function, strength, etc., or any combination.

It’s crucial to remember, however, that you pick a body-type that makes you happy, motivated, and allows you to remain true to yourself. All of us, at some level, are sensitive to how we look, including me, so it’s important that we satisfy us first and not someone else. As long as you’re true to yourself, you’ll be set and in alignment with who you are and have a workout philosophy that fits you.

3. Be unique and creative

What’s a workout philosophy if you cannot incorporate fun, creativity, and the uniqueness of you? Not much I’d say, so that’s why you should embrace being different.

Even though I value a strong, functional body first, I definitely have my meat-head days (bench, curls, and flies) to keep it loose and fun. It will help me with some aesthetics too, but more importantly, it adds some new life and diversity to my workouts. This is important to me because it helps me to keep moving forward. That’s why, in my humble opinion, there’s is no one-all be-all philosophy for working out. All of us have different goals and visions for ourselves, so naturally, we’ll have different philosophies. Be different and creative with it and you’ll allow a strong fire to carry you through all of your workouts and accomplish everything you’re looking for.

Those are my tips for making your own workout philosophy, but what do you think? What’s yours (if you have one) and do you even agree with me?

Tell me by leaving a comment down below, and while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to hit that subscribe button for fresh content too.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and until next time, be strong and be you!


(Photo Credit)


10 thoughts on “Why You Want to Have a Workout Philosophy

  1. You’re post is great and is really making me think about what the goals I’m trying to achieve are, other than a healthier lifestyle. I have an idea in my head but I haven’t sat to write them down yet which is probably a good idea!

  2. Great idea, I haven’t thought of that before. I already write down on paper my workout program, sets, reps, weights and all that, it sure fits to actually write what I want to achieve with it too.

  3. Your path reminds me of my beginnings when I wanted a certain look – Eventually I found myself not so functional, hurt my back doing an activity I loved, and sought to change direction. I would argue my philosophy falls in functional domain now, although I seek to have a certain aesthetic. I was heavily influenced by what is possible and good ways to go about them through a book called ‘Convict Fitness’

    Thanks for sharing! -IV

    1. Hey thanks for the comment! I think we all have change of directions and I’m sure at some point my value on certain things (in regards to working out and what I’m trying to achieve) will change. I’ll also have to check out Convict Fitness. Thanks for the share!

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