Forms Follows Function

One of the benefits of being an author is that sometimes you wish to communicate something and you realize that you have already written and analyzed it.  With the debate over functionality versus “looks” in the fitness world, I am forwarding this excerpt from my book Listen Up!

44. Form follows function. –Peter Ragnar

When it comes to physical training a lot of people are obsessed with the appearance of their body instead of their body’s ability to perform. People have it backwards, instead of appearance being the most important thing, and health and skill in using their physical body a distant second, the correct order is skill in using their body which leads to health, and finally appearance as a result of the first two. Why do sprinters look like thoroughbred horses, ripped and muscular? Is it because they wanted a certain look? NO! It is because the type of training they do forces their body to adapt and become that way. Form follows functions.

Why do gymnasts have such powerful bodies and demonstrate such control over it? Is it because they say “I’m here to get big arms and a tight waistline?” NO! It is because they have to truly master their bodies in all sorts of events, from floor exercises to the gymnastic rings, and their bodies have to adapt to their demands.

Why are marathon runners light and trim? Is it because they said “I want to be skinny?” NO! It is because the heart has to carry their body for 26.2 miles and it needs to get rid off any excess weight, both fat and muscle, to accomplish this goal.

My favorite metaphor about the human body is that if you take a motor with a 10 mile per hour capacity and run it at 12 miles per hour you will break it. However, if you take a human being with a 10 mile per hour capacity and you force him or her to perform at a 12 mile per hour capacity, instead of breaking them, you actually TRANSFORM then into a 12 mile per hour capacity human. Form follows function.

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