Most all of the training routines and diets you see in the fitness industry are designed with one thing in mind—to help you build the perfect physique. Odds are, that’s OK by you, because that’s all you’re striving for. However, building a great physique won’t guarantee you a shred of athletic ability, and that can be a little disconcerting if you care about how you perform as well as how you look.

One of the biggest issues I take with the guys who train strictly for physique is, to me, it’s a sham. What’s the point of looking like an athlete if you can’t perform like one? If you can’t snag a loose ball, shake someone on defense, or beat someone off the dribble, why bother? You’re all flash, no fire. There are some out there who say that form will follow function in the human body.

Train to be strong and athletic, and the body of a strong athlete will come on its own. While that’s true to an extent, a giant bench press won’t necessarily equate to athletic success. Carved up abs wont make you faster.

That slim guy you’ve seen sprinting and banging out rep after rep of box jumps? He’s probably getting better at whatever he’s training for. He’s building more than muscle—he’s broadening his abilities. He’s ready to leap higher, run faster, and react quicker than the guy in the corner with the mountainous biceps peak. The box jump guy may not look the part, until you see him compete. And then he turns heads.

My point is this: You need to determine what it is you want to accomplish. Me? I’d rather have a couple of medals hanging around my neck than be the King of the Beach. But that may not appeal to you. And I’m fine with that.