As beneficial as training hard can be nearly as many people who hit the iron lose athleticism through their training efforts as those who improve it. Over time even those who train hard, eat right, and maintain good conditioning lose athleticism. This all compounds over time and leads you to be the guy who strains a calf dancing at a wedding, leaving everyone to wonder why you train so hard if you can’t break it down on the dance floor without looking like your having an epileptic seizure before being carried off in a heaping mess.
Having a good looking strong body does not serve much function if you can’t move.
Due to a lack of variety in training, muscle imbalances, slow lifting tempos, and a focus solely on moving weight lead to fit looking bodies that cannot function. To fight back and have a body that works as well as it looks you must implement variety into your training and TRAIN LIKE AN ATHLETE.
To improve athleticism you most focus on movement, movement builds athleticism.
Implement these methods to improve your athleticism
All programs should include some variation of jumping. Jumping rope, dot drills, skipping, and hopping are all good low-intensity variations. Higher intensity variations include box jumps, depth jumps, bounds, and long jumps. Include a combination of jumps 2-3x per week for 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps with a 60-90 second rest.
Grab a medicine ball and perform some throws at the beginning of a workout. Rotational tosses, underhand, overhand, back tosses, and squat presses are all good variations to perform. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 throws 2-3x per week to rev up your CNS and challenge your athleticism.
- Change of direction work
Being able to change direction is a skill that decreases most rapidly as athletes move away from organized sports. Include some lateral and reverse work. I like to grab a set of four cones and perform shuffles in a suicide fashion alternated with sets of back-pedal sprints. Simply move to the first cone, and back to the start, second cone and back yada yada yada! These are easy and effective, grab some cones and get creative.
Steady state long distance cardio kills athleticism. You lose explosive type 2 muscle fibers and the CNS activation that comes from high intensity activities such as sprinting. Sprinting is awesome in building an athletic body while maintaining muscle. Aim to sprint 2-3x per week, go on stairs, a hill or a track. Start slow and build up over time.
If you are not training to maintain your athleticism you are losing it. Add in these methods to maximize your athleticism, or be the guy who pulls a hamstring playing volleyball at the family picnic.