One thing I’ve always been big on is functional strength. What I mean by that is, I want to be fit so I can be active, not look like some juiced up freak that is shaped like a cloud, but isn’t actually athletic. We have all seen “that” guy at the gym, lumbering around with giant shoulders and no-neck, and moves stiffly. the only thing they can do is lift heavy weight in one direction, then set it down again. I never want to be that guy, I grew up being involved in sports. My first experience in a weight-room was part of team training for basketball as a young kid. Since then, I’ve used weightlifting as much to improve on-field performance as much as for looking good or being able to carry something heavy when I need to.
For me, I am willing to sacrifice a little size and mass to be lean and have good cardio. Adding 20 pounds to my bench-press or two inches to my bicep isnt nearly as important as being able to hike up a mountain, chase down a tennis serve, or drive for a lay-in on the basketball court. I think too many guys that are trying to get big and bulky are actually missing the big picture. I’d rather be a fit athletic looking guy then a lumbering stiff person who couldn’t throw a football or jog around the track. I know guys that refuse to do cardio because they think it will waste their “bulking” phase. Maybe they are right, I certainly lose weight when I’m running consistently, but being functionally fit and limber (especially since I hardly ever stretch, and never had great flexibility) always seems more important to me that pure weight and ability to lift heavy things. I’m glad to see more and more younger guys going the “cross-trained” route and incorporating cardio, stretching, running and other activities besides just pure bodybuilding or weight-lifting.