If you have been training to build muscle mass for awhile you may find yourself getting bored with the monotony of training. The basic fact is that training in a gym with heavy weights all the time can take its toll on your mental state.
To avoid this issue it is important to go back to the root of why so many of us began training 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 with a one-dimensional focus on building muscle mass it may be time to include some training for athleticism into your program. Combining the pursuit of muscle mass and the pursuit of athleticism is what is called athletic bodybuilding. Not only is it fun, it may also help you to build more muscle mass 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 necessary 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 experience with these skills in the past then they may be tough 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 kinesthetic awareness and explosiveness that transfer over to sports and to the weight room. In my experience gymnasts are often the fastest learners in the weight room because they understand how to move their bodies due to their tumbling experience.
Begin with basic moves like somersaults and cartwheels before progressing to more advanced 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 plateaus in your progress.
3. Build your base
If you have been strength training for any prolonged period of time then there is a very good 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 mass then you might be limited in your ability to play a full game or match.
There are many scientific workout plans that can greatly enhance your sport-specific endurance, but the simplest solution is simply to undertake a basic cardiovascular training program and to play your sport on a regular basis. This will slowly allow you to develop at least a baseline level of endurance.
Remember that training doesn’t have to be boring. Being athletic and muscular is much better than just looking like an athlete. 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.