"Is it a good trade to give up on your aesthetics and athleticism for the sake of increasing your squat/bench/deadlift?" Truth Seeker
Yes indeed, the Truth Seeker is right! The powerlifter is surely stronger but he looks like an untrained "big boned farmer" kind of guy. Meanwhile the lean and mean fitness guy on the right actually looks like he trains. And he looks WAY BIGGER than 160 pounds!!!
For the most part of my weight training life, I used to be an old school strongman kind of guy with a bulky strongman physique. But right now, I'm more interested in getting lean and mean as the guy on the right, NATURALLY. Changes in goals and training are always a tremendous source of motivation. Since my gym time and workout are a BIG part of my life!
Interesting "how to get lean and mean" links: