I am biased in favor of gaining strength.
It's why I chose to name my business Drew Murphy Strength.
Even though I prioritize building strength over everything else, I acknowledge that many others don't value strength as much as I do. In fact, I would say that for the majority of people who work out, the appeal of looking better outweighs the appeal of getting stronger. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Don’t get me wrong - I want to look good too. And the great news is that increasing strength will take care of that for us. Actually, building strength will improve just about everything in your life. The problem I see with just chasing aesthetics is that it does not necessarily improve other health markers.
Here is a sample roadmap of positive adaptations that can occur through strength prioritization...
You lift heavy weights.
You lift heavy weights consistently.
You begin to get stronger.
You can now begin to do more things.
You can work out harder.
You can lift heavier and heavier weight.
You begin to expend more energy as a result of working out harder and lifting heavier weights.
More energy expended equals an elevated base metabolic rate.
You begin to lose body fat as a result of your elevated metabolism.
As you lose body fat, your health improves.
You become better equipped to take on everyday tasks.
As a bonus, you begin to look better.
If you ask me, simply putting your head down to focus on getting your entire body stronger is the best way to achieve whatever fitness goal you desire. Strength brings everything along with it.
Just being fixated on aesthetics does not guarantee the same improvements that getting stronger does.
There are plenty of ways to improve aesthetics at the expense of losing strength.
Provided you follow a healthy diet and sleep regimen, it will be difficult to not look better as you get stronger.