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IRBS
09-26-08, 9:52 am
Excellent little article here. Common Sense, but still, I see many athletes who do not train properly. Take a look:

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/bodybuilding_not_for_athletes.htm

Why Bodybuilding Is NOT for Athletes
By Jason Hanisak
For www.EliteFTS.com

The biggest problem I come across with athletes is their current training regime. Everyone wants to train like a bodybuilder. I don't know if itís the current trend in muscle magazines or misinformation, or maybe the athletes simply don't have the proper goals in mind. Nevertheless, changes need to be made.

As an athlete, you need to ask yourself: ďWhat are my goals with this lifting program? Do I need to be stronger? Do I need to be faster? Why am I lifting?Ē Many times, the answers I get are, ďI want to get biggerĒ or ďI want to look better.Ē

If youíre trying to gain size for a sport, you should be lifting to get bigger. What else? You need to be explosive, fast, and coordinated. As far as lifting to look better, don't even step foot in the locker room if thatís your goal. Of course, everyone wants to look good, but every athleteís goal should be to become better at their respective sport. Besides, if you train hard and train properly, your body will look great.

The most common mistake I see with lifting programs is the traditional split. With the traditional split, each muscle is trained separately once a week. This is very common among todayís top bodybuilders. It suits their needs and is very effective. However, for athletes, it isnít.

Hereís why. A bodybuilderís goal is to build muscle. Strength doesnít matter. Lean muscle mass and symmetry are what theyíre after because bodybuilders seek to achieve the perfect physique. Now, don't get me wrong. You will gain strength when you add muscle mass but not nearly as much as you would with a sports performance or power program.

A traditional athleteís goal is to become better at a sport. For example, wrestlers need to be strong, powerful, explosive, and balanced on the mat. They need to use functional exercises in addition to standard lifts such as bench presses or shoulder presses. Athletes also need to train for injury prevention. You can't play if youíre injured. Exercises like one leg squats, woodchoppers, or one leg deadlifts are just a few that accomplish these goals. Athletes need to train differently for each sport. For example, baseball players rely on rotational core strength more than other athletes.

Recovery time and sport specificity are other reasons why the traditional split isnít for athletes. If you spend an hour on arms, how are your arms going to feel at practice later on? They will probably be worn out, tired, and overworked while the rest of your muscles will be fresh. In addition, what if you miss a day? Do you skip that body part and continue on to the next day? Do you lift that body part and keep the same schedule, missing out on lifting the last body part for that week? It just doesn't make sense.

So how should you lift? Total body routines three times per week are the answer. You could add in a fourth optional day. Do lower body pushes and upper body pushes, lower body pulls and upper body pulls, and one or two specialized exercises for your sport. Why do it this way?

Well, what muscles do you use during a game or match? You use all of them. You never use just your arms or just your chest so why would you train that way? Itís called exercise specificity, and it means that you train specific to how you play. If you want to be fast, train to be fast. If you want to be strong, lift heavy weights. You use all of your muscles during your sport so train all of your muscles together in the gym. If you train this way, you wonít beat up your muscles or wear them down but rather stimulate them and make them respond. Work all of your muscles, rest them for a day, and then stimulate them again. If you miss a workout, itís not a big deal because youíve already worked your entire body. When you lift again, you will do the same. Nothing is left out.

Still not convinced? Think about this. If you train your biceps on Mondays, why donít you train them on Tuesdays or Thursdays? According to the traditional split, the reason is recovery time. You hammer that muscle and give it a week to recover. So if that muscle needs a week to recover, what happens when you practice or compete during that week? According to what we just discussed, the muscle will be tired, worn out, and useless. At the very least, your play will be less effective because of tired muscles.

There are much better ways for athletes to train. Bodybuilding programs are meant for bodybuilders. Every athlete needs to train specific to his/her sport to become better at that sport. Simply building muscle or gaining strength isnít all that is required to become better at your sport. All athletes should use some type of full body program with functional exercises as well as traditional lifts. If you are a wrestler, train for wrestling. If you play tennis, train for tennis. Follow this advice and I guarantee youíll see a difference in your sports performance.

One more thing...how many professional bodybuilders have you seen on a football or baseball field or wrestling mat? Zero. Do you think thereís a reason for that? Train smart and succeed!

Brick By Brick
09-26-08, 12:59 pm
I concur wholeheartedly. This is what I've been trying to tell the fitness boys at work who are now doing the PX90 workout. Great article.

shizz702
09-26-08, 6:33 pm
Great article! Thanks for sharing it!

I also agree. A bodybuilding split is for a bodybuilder. An athlete needs to be on program based on strength and performance. The same applies for the recreational lifter relative to their goals. The conventional split is becoming so common nowadays it's as if people don't realize there are other methods of training lol.

Cstlfx
09-27-08, 1:17 am
Now, would this also apply to powerlifters? I can see this being for strongman competitors. Technically, they're athletes, but for certain lifts. What are your thoughts?

NoxX
10-05-08, 1:10 am
Now, would this also apply to powerlifters? I can see this being for strongman competitors. Technically, they're athletes, but for certain lifts. What are your thoughts?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it would be the same thing for powerlifters. It's a sport like any other, just focusing much more on the gym portion of exercises.

Alk
03-12-09, 10:28 am
One more thing...how many professional bodybuilders have you seen on a football or baseball field or wrestling mat? Zero. Do you think thereís a reason for that? Train smart and succeed!

Well the only reason Ronnie wouldn't wrestle is because everyone is LIGHT WEIGHT to him.
YEEAP
YEEAP
Plus there's prob no singlet on the market that would hold his frame.

But yeah, I see the point the article makes. When the wrestling team lifted though, we did a full body workout AFTER our wrestling was done, something I never really agreed with. Plus it was never consistent. Probably easier to have consistency with college level sports I guess. I'm probably guilty of doing the typical bodybuilding routine during the season, but now I know better.


I concur wholeheartedly. This is what I've been trying to tell the fitness boys at work who are now doing the PX90 workout. Great article.

I've tried it on the offseason last year (friend had it, asked me to try it to see if it was any good before he did)...I had to mute it b/c the instructor's voice sounded like he wants to have a sexy time with you or something. I don't remember him getting mad, angry, or loud during ANY part of that workout haha. I sorta felt it though, but I agree that it goes against the points the article makes.

Jay Hanisak
03-14-09, 8:36 pm
Yo bro, I just noticed you posted my article. I have to say I'm honored. My first couple years as strength coach it was a struggle to get my wrestlers to train like wrestlers as opposed to bodybuilders. That's actually the reason I wrote the article. Bodybuilding is a great sport but every athlete including powerlifters must train for what they compete in. I am a former wrestler turned powerlifter just recently turned MMA. I went from a version of westide training to a 3 day full body split using movements directly related to fighting. I am posting under " My journey from powerlifting to mma" for anyone who is interested.

IRBS
03-15-09, 10:10 am
Yo bro, I just noticed you posted my article. I have to say I'm honored. My first couple years as strength coach it was a struggle to get my wrestlers to train like wrestlers as opposed to bodybuilders. That's actually the reason I wrote the article. Bodybuilding is a great sport but every athlete including powerlifters must train for what they compete in. I am a former wrestler turned powerlifter just recently turned MMA. I went from a version of westide training to a 3 day full body split using movements directly related to fighting. I am posting under " My journey from powerlifting to mma" for anyone who is interested.

It was a great article Jason.

prowrestler
03-15-09, 12:44 pm
every high school athlete should read this article.

the football team trains under a bodybuilders template, and they are the best team coach wise...if only they trained in the gym for their sport.

RhinoJoe
03-15-09, 1:04 pm
Nailed it!

LEONE
03-25-09, 11:57 pm
agree 110 percent...dont get me wrong this winter offeseason i did a bodybuilding cycle and i loved it...the pumps were insane....but now im back to soccer specific training. I do alot of multijoint and explosive exercises . But its true too many athletes especially where im from train like a body builder...and its not the best way to train for a sport... But sport specific training and BBing are friggin amazing...Keep training like a machine..peace

here2learn
07-17-09, 8:20 pm
Very true. Great article! Thanks for the read!

Ironjaw
07-18-09, 12:08 am
Finally an article that makes sense..... out of the 1000 out there that say a 4-5 day split is how things should be done... people never realize they need to have a goal in mind before they just slap some exercises together and call it a "Workout Plan"

ATLAS64
08-28-09, 5:52 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it would be the same thing for powerlifters. It's a sport like any other, just focusing much more on the gym portion of exercises.

Correct me if im wrong anybody...but on of the leading minds in strength and conditioning Dave Tate stated powerlifters is what football players should look like but dont.

BryanSmash!
08-29-09, 2:42 am
every high school athlete should read this article.

the football team trains under a bodybuilders template, and they are the best team coach wise...if only they trained in the gym for their sport.

All too common today unfortunately.

t_mh
09-23-09, 10:21 pm
That's sweet that the writer is on the FORVM.

Soldier
10-08-09, 11:47 am
Definately, good article.

Universal Rep
10-08-09, 11:50 am
That's sweet that the writer is on the FORVM.

Yeah?

Sprint
07-11-10, 11:33 pm
Bit of an old thread now but very relevent to me. Probably the best way to describe me is a bodybuilding sprinter. The other day my friend said that I 'play' with bodybuilding in so much as I dont do contests & so I dont tend to cut down for anything in the traditional sense. I just keep myself lean all year round simply because I enjoy that lifestyle & look. As for the athletics, it used to be full on serious, then I stopped due to injuries and thats where bodybuilding came in. Then I missed the social side of the athletics & went back to it for that whilst keeping my bodybuilding lifestyle as I enjoyed it so much. These days I mix the 2, my training is a hybrid of the 2 styles, there's a lot of weights in there as per a bodybuilder's training, plus a couple of track sessions a week, with a separate plyometrics session to bring in the explosive power, to which both styles contribute, and the plyometrics in turn compliment each style of training. In terms of athletics performance, Im carrying about 2 stone extra of lean muscle than i was in my first stint of competitive athletics but Im a much stronger athlete now, more resilient to latic acid build up (especially in the 200m) more nutrition/supplement savvy in terms of pre/intra/post session plus in general. All thats missing right now is a lack of sharpness compared to myself a few years ago but coming out of winter training, along with 4 torn adductors (twice each side all on different occasions) and my 3 years out of the sport, you'd expect that. As the speedwork progresses over the summer, along with my plyometric work, that sharpness is coming back. The other main difference now is that I was just a pure sprinter, nothing else. But just recently after a training session my coach rolled me a shot putt and said have a go with that, having never done it before, my first throw was raggeddy to say the least, my second was pushing for the club record. Everybody's different, of course, but I feel once that sharpness returns Ill be a much better track athlete than if I wasnt hitting weights bodybuilding style. That said, I'd probably be even better if I dedicated my bodybuilding time/training to more sports specific with regards to sprinting, but I enjoy both so much, & know I'll never be making a living at either, Im happy to be a hybrid of the 2. Granted, I have been called a "genetic freak" because my resting heart rate is around that of a top level marathon runner but Ive got the body composition in terms of build & fast/slow twitch muscle fibres of a sprinter. Its probably that weird mix plus my approach of just adding pure, lean muscle rather than doing any bulking as such that has allowed me to get bigger but retain my general athletics agility. Jack of all trades, master of none I suppose.
Im not contesting or dismissing the article, it makes sense, and applies to most athletes, but as with anything, nothing is set in stone and we had an athlete at our club a few years ago (well about 9 years ago) who one summer was breaking club records in the sprints and was untouchable, spent the winter bulking up in the gym like a bodybuilder, and by the next summer he got taken apart by another sprinter to bump him down to second in the club, then in only the 2nd meet of the season & my 2nd competition of my life, I took him part over 100m as a 16 yr old. It wasnt that us 2 made huge progress over the winter, we made a bit, but more due to the fact that he virtually went backwards, let alone standing still.
2 starkly contrasting examples for you folks to ponder there.

B. Rowe
07-12-10, 12:20 am
Great thread and glad you just brought it back into action, today i actually came across a thread from a high school senior looking to get bigger for basketball season to get a scholarship. His split was a 6 day bodybuilding routine. I informed him that he needs to train to be an athlete not a bodybuilder, that he should be doing things to work on explosiveness and core strength and agilities. He seemed to take my advice with open arms, i just hope that he sticks to this type of training. Coaches and competitors dont care about how big your biceps are or how great your abs are. The wanna know how high you can jump, how quick you can change direction, how fast you are, how conditioned you are, and how durable you are.

Sprint
07-12-10, 11:17 am
Yeah, my athletics coach always approaches my bodybuilding routine with more than a little bemusement, but it works for me so he's happy. Mostly because he knows i do a lot of core work & plyometrics alongside it, & dont do cutting or bulking phases, it's just a steady (very steady) increase in lean muscle mass over the last few years.

charlievanriper
07-12-10, 11:26 am
Yes indeed this is a great thread and one that needs updating. It carries a lot of great info. Thx Sprint for reviving it.

B. Rowe
07-12-10, 8:56 pm
Yeah, my athletics coach always approaches my bodybuilding routine with more than a little bemusement, but it works for me so he's happy. Mostly because he knows i do a lot of core work & plyometrics alongside it, & dont do cutting or bulking phases, it's just a steady (very steady) increase in lean muscle mass over the last few years.

Your training style can work for you as long as you really are hitting plyo and core alot. You are a sprinter so your focus should be on explosiveness. Hip strength and range of motion, core strength, and flexibility. If your a short distance sprinter alot of your weight training will follow the lines of powerlifting. Just remember, it may work for you but you could be getting better gains training more specifically. Dont rely just on natural athletic ability, just my .02cent

Sprint
07-12-10, 9:24 pm
Your training style can work for you as long as you really are hitting plyo and core alot. You are a sprinter so your focus should be on explosiveness. Hip strength and range of motion, core strength, and flexibility. If your a short distance sprinter alot of your weight training will follow the lines of powerlifting. Just remember, it may work for you but you could be getting better gains training more specifically. Dont rely just on natural athletic ability, just my .02cent

Oh yeah 100% agree with you, Im one of the very few people at my gym full stop who use the multi-hip machine. I find it really ioslates my adductors, which is impotant for me having torn both sides twice each in the past, I use it to isolate my hip flexors as well. Such a versatile piece of kit.
I do my squats with a brief pause at the bottom so I start the postive move from a dead stop as obviously coming out of the blocks is from a dead stop. Needless to say they are done explosively. I do a similar thing hitting leg presses & hack squats.
Fact is though, I enjoy both styles of training & the results from each one, I know i'll never be on stage at the Olympia, just as I know I'll never take to the start line at the Olympics.

My athletics these days is just as much a social thing as much as it is about the sport. Thats not to say I slack or take it easy tho, I help my coach take quite a few sessions, being a PT it both helps the club and myself. Also, the youngsters look up to me a bit and always ask advice because Im one of the senior athletes there (god i sound old) & have competed for 10 years, so I enjoy that side of things as well. That said, when Im training, I give my all, & at competitions Ive put my body on the line a couple of times for the club.

Although my career is based around sport/exercise/fitness, i'll never be a professional athlete in any sense, so im enjoying straddling the line between my 2 favourite sports/training styles. They will both to an extent complement and at the same time compromise the other, but I get so much joy from both I couldnt choose just one. If my living was dependant on 'making it', or if I was going to achieve something great in 1 or the other, i'd have to cut one out, as it stands tho, Im able to enjoy both. Ironically, it helps me in my chosen profession as having experience in both allows me to bring more to my clients. I've got youngsters looking to bulk up, and Ive got a couple of footballers looking to improve speed. No other PT, at my gym at least, can offer the level of training/service on both sides that I can. (actually none of them can offer what I can in terms of athletics cos none of them have any experience in track or field).

However, for anybody out there who are looking purely for athletics performance, dont train as a bodybuilder! The very first post in this thread as well as comments such as that above from B.Rowe more than explain why.