Bodybuilding vs Aesthetics – What Is the Difference Between the Two?

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 13, 2023
Bodybuilding vs Aesthetics

People have different ideas about how they want their bodies to look. Bodybuilding and aesthetics are two different ways to reach those goals.

In bodybuilding, the goal is to grow a lot of muscle with tough workouts. But aesthetics is more about getting a trim, toned body that looks good and works well.

But it’s important to remember that many bodybuilders find it hard to get a good-looking body. That’s because their muscles can get too big and hide the slim look they’re trying to get.

People can reach their best and get the body they want if they understand these different goals and try to find a balance in how they train.

That’s why we’re going to talk about where the “aesthetics movement” came from. We’ll also look at how it’s different from bodybuilding.

What is Aesthetics?

Aesthetics is a word used to talk about a trend in fitness where people try to get a certain kind of body shape.

Traditional bodybuilding focuses on being big and muscular. In contrast, the aesthetics trend aims for a lean, toned, and balanced look.

Fitness stars like Frank Zane and Serge Nubret are often used as examples of what an aesthetic body should look like.

People who follow this trend try to reach the standards set by fitness models, focusing on having well-defined muscles and a low amount of body fat.

Trying to achieve this kind of beauty can be tough but rewarding for many people, even though it takes a lot of discipline and hard work.

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Is the Aesthetics Movement Bodybuilding?

The aesthetics trend has become more popular recently as a new part of bodybuilding.

Unlike traditional bodybuilding, the main goal is not to compete, but to look good and stay slim.

This trend started in the golden age of bodybuilding before the 80s and 90s, where the focus wasn’t just on being big, but also on looking good and balanced.

People who follow the aesthetics trend are still big and lean compared to most people. However, they don’t have the same extreme bodies or strict routines as traditional bodybuilders.

The aesthetics trend is related to fitness modeling and social media influencers. This makes it easier to get into than traditional bodybuilding.

Being able to achieve and maintain this kind of body is more important than having the extreme bodies seen in bodybuilding.

What Can We Learn From Bodybuilding vs. Aesthetics?

Bodybuilding has changed over time, and the new aesthetics trend has brought a fresh view to it.

While old-school bodybuilding was all about getting super muscular, the aesthetic way is more about balance and shape.

This style focuses on getting fit and building a lean body in a way that isn’t competitive and can be done by anyone.

People like aesthetics because it helps them make their bodies better while also living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s a good starting point for beginners who might want to move on to more competitive stuff later.

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By comparing old-school bodybuilding and aesthetics, you can learn how to get a balanced, healthy body that looks and feels good.

When it comes to working out, a common question is whether to use machines or free weights. The answer depends on what you’re trying to do.

Free weights have many benefits for people interested in bodybuilding. They can build strength and muscles.

But because this is so physically demanding, it’s important to eat enough nutrients through 6–8 meals a day.

On the other hand, people who want to look good usually use machines to work specific muscle groups and get a sculpted body.

Knowing about things like carb cycling and the ketogenic diet can help with the recommended 3–4 meals a day.

No matter what your fitness goals are, the equipment you use and how often you eat play a big role in getting the best results.

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How Do Bodybuilding and Aesthetics Differ?

Bodybuilding and aesthetics are both ways to get in shape, but they have different goals and methods.

Bodybuilding is a super competitive sport where you need to have the right size, shape, and fitness level to win.

On the other hand, aesthetics is more about living a healthy life and making yourself look better without the stress of competing.

Bodybuilders have to follow strict diets and do really tough workouts to get the body they want.

Aesthetics also takes commitment and hard work, but it’s not as intense as bodybuilding.

In the end, whether someone likes bodybuilding or aesthetics, they need to be committed and ready to live a healthy, active life.

Should I Work On My Aesthetics Or My Strength?

When starting a fitness journey, many people wonder whether they should focus on building their aesthetics or their strength.

However, the truth is that as a beginner, it is essential to train for both at the same time. While they may seem like two separate goals, building strength and improving aesthetics actually go hand in hand.

As your muscles get stronger, they also get bigger, contributing to a better physique. Once you have a strong foundation, you can prioritize one over the other while still continuing to work on both.

If you’re still unsure about which direction to take, powerbuilding is an option. It lets you train for both powerlifting and bodybuilding at the same time.

Ultimately, the key is to find a balance that works for your goals and lifestyle.

Who is the Most Aesthetic Bodybuilder?

When we talk about the best-looking bodybuilder, a few names pop up.

Frank Zane is often thought of as one of the best because he has a classic body shape and pays attention to balance and proportion.

Even though he’s not as big, Serge Nubret is also famous for his great proportions and well-shaped body.

And Chris Bumstead is a new star in the bodybuilding world, known for his amazing fitness level and balanced body shape.

In the end, the question of who the best-looking bodybuilder is comes down to what you personally like.

But there’s no denying that these three guys have made a big impact on the aesthetics trend. They are an inspiration to bodybuilders and fitness fans everywhere.

How to Prepare for Aesthetics Training

Getting ready for aesthetic training can be tough but also rewarding, as it means building muscles and getting to a low body fat percentage.

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To get a good-looking body, it’s important to work out your lats – the big muscles on your back. Also, focus on your core, which includes your abs and lower back. Finally, strengthen your shoulder girdle, which is the bones connecting your shoulders.

Aesthetic training isn’t as intense as bodybuilding, so you don’t have to spend as much time and effort on it.

But remember, some people use substances to help build their bodies and make them look more defined. It’s important to know about the safety risks of using these things.

When you’re setting your aesthetic goals, it’s also important to think about balance. Make sure your goals are realistic and something you can actually achieve.

Are Aesthetic Physiques Useful?

Aesthetic bodies are often admired, but the question is – are they useful?

Building a good-looking body isn’t just about how it looks, but also about functional training which means moving well.

People usually think of bodybuilding and calisthenics as ways to get a good-looking body. However, you can also do exercises like ring rows, push-ups, lunges, Bulgarian split squats, Romanian deadlifts, and dumbbell presses. These exercises build useful strength.

The exercises you choose will decide if the body you build is truly useful.

Even though everyone talks about it, functional training can help you build a good-looking body. It’s important to focus on doing your movements right when you train.


In the last few years, the trend of having a good-looking body has become really popular in the world of bodybuilding.

This trend has inspired many young people to get into traditional bodybuilding. It has added more excitement to the lighter weight categories in the sport.

Bodybuilders working towards a good-looking body learn important things. They learn how to reach their goals, balance, and make a big deal out of something.

Bodybuilding has faced many changes and challenges recently. Still, it’s the best way to train if you want to achieve a good-looking body.

As more people get into the trend of having a good-looking body, it looks like it will continue to be a big part of bodybuilding for a long time.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.