The majority of weight training programs being performing in commercial gyms, garages and basements across the world are based on bodybuilding. What a shame, because weight training like an athlete is better for achieving most people's goals. Plus, athletic weight training is quicker, so you can get out of the gym faster. In this article, I'll explore why you should be weight training like an athlete.
You're out of shape. You're lumpy in places that should not be lumpy. And muscle tone? Your arms do not even fill out your shirt's sleeves and your legs are scrawny. You look like an apple with four toothpicks stuck in it. You decide to do something about it (good idea!).
So, you do some searching to find the "best" weight training program, or give yourself over to the trainer at the local gym. In either case, the result is usually the same. You start doing a weight training program based on bodybuilding practices. You isolate muscle groups and use sets, reps and rest periods specifically designed for muscle growth. Then you follow this up with some "cardio", usually some sort of steady-state aerobic activity.
Does any of this sound familiar?
But the truth is, you're not a bodybuilder. And quite frankly, you do not even want to look like a bodybuilder. So here's an stupid question: Why are you training like one?
There are three things I believe men and women want when they start a weight training program. They want to get fit, lose fat and build muscle (not necessarily in that order). The RESULT they are looking for is a strong, muscular, lean, athletic body. And they do not just want to look great either. They want to feel great and posses the athletic ability to meet the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence.
So you see, the goals of the average exerciser mirrors the goals of athletes, not bodybuilders. So here's a crazy idea. Why not start weight training like an athlete?
Bodybuilding training has one goal and one goal only; muscle growth. Health and performance are of no consequence. But athletic weight training is performance based. It is designed to improve your performance in all the physical abilities of fitness. (Here are some of them … strength, cardio respiratory endurance, power, speed, flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, accuracy and toughness.) And when your weight training is designed to improve performance a strange thing happens. You feel better and you look better!
So weight training like an athlete is more accurate at helping you achieve your goals. You are more like an athlete than a bodybuilder, and should train accordingly. And when I say you are more like an athlete, I mean everyone. I do not care if you are participating in a sport or just running to catch a bus or chasing the kids around the living room. What you do during the day requires athleticism, and improving your physical abilities enables you to live a better, fuller life.
Here is another reason I like athletic weight training better than bodybuilding. It is faster. You see, bodybuilding is based on volume. It is a high volume of exercises targeted to a specific muscle that makes it grow. But athletic weight training targets fitness, fat loss and strength as well as muscle growth. Therefore you are not required to spend long hours at the gym in order to see improvements like bodybuilders are. Plus, athletes have other training to do, so they can not spend all their time and energy in the gym.
I do not know about you, but less time in the gym and more results to help me live a better life sounds pretty great. Right?
If you are unhappy with how you look, feel and perform and are determined to do something about it, I applaud you. But do not sabotage your efforts by choosing a weight training program that does not match your goals or requires a huge investment of time to be successful. In my opinion, weight training like an athlete is the best and fastest option for reaching your goals and finally seeing, feeling and benefitting from all your hard work in the gym. Would not you agree?