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Popular Fitness Trainer Sean Nalewanyj Slams Influencers Over Bodybuilding Being “Functional”

Radha Iyer

Popular Fitness Trainer Sean Nalewanyj Slams Influencers Over Bodybuilding Being “Functional”

Bodybuilding as a sport has often caught heat for its nature of prioritizing aesthetics over strength. Stuck in an eternal conundrum of athletes focusing on building their strength versus others who tweak each muscle fiber to look ripped, the sport has been criticized by several influencers. However, popular fitness trainer Sean Nalewanyj disagreed with the notion, explaining his stance on whether bodybuilding is a functional activity.

Bodybuilding training involves prioritizing hypertrophy, or the increase in muscle volume to look bigger. However, many argue that this phenomenon holds no functional value in the real world since putting on more muscle mass just serves the overall aesthetics.

Nalewanyj argued that muscle mass in itself is functional and involves strenuous training sessions. Whether performed for purely aesthetic reasons or to increase strength, the exercises will end up making the athlete stronger.

The purpose and consequence of hypertrophy is an increase in strength of the bodybuilder aiming to grow bigger. Therefore, the trainer slammed fellow influencers for belittling bodybuilders with a false notion. However, he agreed that the strength obtained in such a way may not match up to some specific programs.


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“Will a bodybuilding style program make you as functional at boxing or basketball or bowling compared to someone who trains specifically for those activities? No.”

Since a bodybuilder’s focus is on aesthetics anyway, the custom programs designed to work on certain skills and strengths shouldn’t be a part of the plan. Instead, the takeaway from Nalewanyj’s rant is that strength is a byproduct of hypertrophy in any circumstance.

“…even if building muscle for appearance-based reasons is your main concern, you absolutely are becoming more “functional” in the process as well.”

Given how bodybuilding has evolved over the years, with competitions, athletes, and accolades for impressive transformations, the sport has caught the eye of many for its extreme nature. With several debates over its stance as a sport set aside, one might wonder what the true purpose of the activity is.

The true purpose of bodybuilding as Mike Mentzer once revealed

Bodybuilding is popular for its pioneers and legends who inspired several generations of fitness influencers and their ideas over the decades. Late Mike Mentzer, the follower of high-intensity training, was one such leader who chose a road less traveled with his intense training routines.

In one of his lectures, he talked about the true purpose of bodybuilding and how it tied up to a greater cause. While nutrition and workouts are essential, bodybuilders enter the spotlight primarily because of their champion mindset. Some of the most popular athletes became sources of inspiration for going beyond the sport and understanding the drive and push to be better. It is a lifestyle choice since only those who skip shortcuts to work hard and have a winning mindset can make it to the top.

Post Edited By:Shraman Mitra

About the author

Radha Iyer

Radha Iyer


Radha Iyer is a US Sports writer at The SportsRush. With a Master's degree in Media and Communication, and a background in content creation and production, sports journalism has been a part and parcel of her demonstrated history in the said field. Olympic sports hold a special place in her heart, and she is particularly interested in sports like track and field, gymnastics, and swimming. She also draws inspiration from legendary athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and many more.

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