Progressive Overload / Milo of Croton Illustration

Have you ever wanted a bigger, stronger, and more badass body?

I always wanted a bigger and better-looking body, but the idea of being a bodybuilder never sat quite right. And I always dreamt of being a strong and formidable man, but never of being a powerlifter or strongman. I just wanted to build a bigger, stronger, and more badass body. I knew that lifting weights could get me there, but none of the styles of lifting seemed quite right.

That quest eventually led me to Marco, BHSc, PTS, PN, who had cut his teeth as the strength coach for his college football team. He knew how to develop a sturdy body, a thick neck, strong arms, and a powerful chest. He helped me gain 65 pounds at 10.8% body fat (as measured by DEXA).

Most of all, his approach resonated with my sense of aesthetics. I approach aesthetics from a design perspective, which is what I have my degree in. The way I see it, aesthetics is rooted in the idea that form should follow function. Instead of trying to make something beautiful, we should focus on making it work. In so doing, we'll inevitably make it beautiful.

As a strength coach, Marco learned to approach building muscle from that same perspective—from the inside out. Get stronger at the big lifts, strengthen weak links, and build a body that both performs and withstands. Aesthetics isn't the treatment applied to the surface of a body, it's the strength developed throughout it. The more formidable a physique is, the better it will look.

Strength is health is aesthetics. Or at least it can be.

How do we get there? By gradually outlifting ourselves. We challenge ourselves, recover, and then challenge ourselves again. Just like Milo of Croton, the ancient Greek wrestler who purportedly carried a calf until it grew into a bull.

I don't mean to say that lifting is something we do in isolation, though. We don't live in this world alone. Since we'll be busy outlifting ourselves anyway, we may as well learn to outlift everyone else, too.

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