If you have been working out to gain muscle for awhile you may find yourself getting bored with the monotony of lifting weights. The basic fact is that working out in a gym with heavy weights several times per week can take its toll on your motivation.
To avoid this problem it is important to go back to the root of why so many of us began working out in the beginning: to enhance your athleticism. Sure you've always wanted to look great, but performing great is also a part of the picture.
So if you have been stuck in a rut with a singular focus on building muscle it may be time to include some workouts for athleticism into your program. Combining the pursuit of muscle mass and the pursuit of athleticism is what is known as athletic bodybuilding. Not only is it fun, it may also help you to gain more muscle in the long run.
1. Learn basic movement patterns
One of the keys to enjoying sports is knowing how to play them, at least at a decent level. For this reason it is important that you be proficient in a few basic sports skills. Namely, throwing, hitting, kicking, and catching.
Even if you happen to be good at one sport, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are good at another. So if you already know how to hit a baseball then why not try golf or tennis to expand your skills? Or if you know how to throw a baseball then why not try throwing a football or shooting a basketball?
If you haven't had much practice with these skills in the past then they may be hard at first, but nothing improves your athleticism like learning a new skill.
2. Learn gymnastics
Similar to the above, tumbling is a great skill to learn if you don't know how to do it already. It builds body awareness and explosiveness that transfer over to sports and to the weight room. I have found that gymnasts are often the fastest learners in the weight room because they understand how to move their bodies due to their tumbling experience.
Start with simple moves like somersaults and cartwheels before progressing to more difficult moves like handsprings and flips. If you really want to improve your skills it is highly advised that you seek the services of a qualified gymnastics coach.
And I know you may be saying, "I'm a grown man, there is no way I'm doing this." But that is exactly the close-minded mentality that makes training boring and leads to stagnation in your gains.
3. Build your base
If you have been strength training for any significant period of time then there is a decent chance that you are already sufficiently strong enough to execute most sports skills on an intermediate level. But if you have been neglecting endurance work in pursuit of more muscle then you might be limited in your sporting capacity.
There are many complicated training programs that can greatly enhance your sport-specific endurance, but the simplest solution is simply to undertake a simple cardiovascular training program and to play your sport on a regular basis. This will gradually allow you to develop at least a basic level of endurance.
Remember that working out doesn't have to be boring. Being athletic and muscular are not mutually exclusive. Use these tips and you will be on your way to building a more athletic physique, and that is what athletic bodybuilding is all about.
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