4 Tips to Train like a World Class Athlete

Image: Al King

It's time to train like an athlete.

So where does the difference lie between your workout and that of an athlete? That would be focus! But by focus we don’t mean concentration, we mean identifying the ways and means of improving your physique and athleticism. How do you define athleticism? For us, it is “the ability to produce periods of intense energy”. This could be Usain Bolt over 100 m or Jessica Ennis at the point of take-off during the long or high jump. It is the ability to take their body to that point that separates the gym jockey from the Olympic legend.
So how do you get there?

1. Train Explosive

Let’s start with some physics… Force = mass x acceleration.........It might not mean anything to you now, but if you intend to take your gym workouts to the next level, it’s best to get to know it well. Your body (or any muscle in it) is a mass, and the force or ‘athleticism’ you generate is dependent on just how quickly you can move it. It’s time to put down the biggest weight you can find, and pick up the biggest weight you can move quickly. Lift quickly and lower slowly. Teaching your muscles to fire explosively primarily and then over time increasing the weight is the better route to strength and athleticism.

2. High Intensity

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, increases your VO2 Max which is your ability to be athletic without fatigue. It also lowers your BMI and gets you shredded. Examples of this form of exercise include short hill sprints, sled pushes and rower sprints. Try out different methods, find what suits you, and then do it once or twice a week for 15 to 20 min at a time. Add more days if you want to but ease into it as it can be taxing on the nervous system.

3. Build Your Core

Changing your diet and doing endless crunches may make your abs look better, but it doesn't actually train your core muscles. In karate they talk about the ‘HARA’ - the centre- through which all power is developed. The core muscles bracing the spine, allow us to rotate safely, create force and stability across the body, and resist forces that try to move us. Whatever activity you intend to do outside the gym, powerful core muscles set the tone. Build your core workout around planks (preferably not off the side of a building) side planks, bird dogs, cable or medicine ball chops, and Pallof presses. Then look down the gym at the guy at the other end doing crunches and smile inwardly.

4. Back To Back

The gym mirror is not a place to spend time unless you have eyes in the back of your head. The majority of athleticism comes from what is behind you, not what’s in front of you. Your back, hamstring and glutes are the muscle groups that pack athletic power. A good rule of thumb is to do twice as much pulling as you do pushing. Add up how many sets of chest, shoulders and quads you do, and double that set number for your lats, hamstrings, and glutes. Whatever you're benching, back it up on your upper back. Many back problems are caused by an underdeveloped back compared to the front of the body.

Final Thought

If you watched Avengers Assembled, you might ask yourself who you’d rather look like; the Incredible Hulk or Thor? The fundamentals of a good athletic physique are built around the right choice of exercise executed correctly. Train to Be An Athlete and leave the rest of the gym looking in the mirror wondering how you did it.

Image credits:
NorCal Crossfit : Ali Samieivafa 
Push Up Bars : stroopsmma
Glass Scepter : James Yeo
Hulk odiar Sarrooooo / Hulk hate Tartaaaaar


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Be An Athlete is a premium sportswear brand. Through the Be An Athlete blog, we hope to share health and fitness tips, in addition to exploring fashion, lifestyle and popular culture. If you would like to get in contact, please email Ryan@baaclothing.com