Train As An Athlete Not a Bodybuilder

I have nothing against the sport of bodybuilding. Bodybuilders work very hard to achieve their physiques. With this said, it is important to make the distinction between bodybuilding and athletic strength training. Bodybuilders train for "show", athletes must train for function.

Bodybuilders isolate individual muscle groups, spending many hours in the weight room. Bodybuilding is not a skill sport. The bodybuilder is not concerned with perfecting his jab, or improving his defense. As an athlete, your requirements are much different. You must train with the goal of improving performance.

Many coaches confuse weight lifting prowess with athletic ability. Do not make this mistake. Consider the bodybuilder who isolates individual muscle groups

with exercise machines. This individual may possess an impressive physique. His arms will be "pumped" like that of a fitness model.

However, what happens when you tackle this individual to the ground? What happens when you have him pinned on his back as he scrambles to free himself from a chokehold? Do you believe isolation exercise will prepare him for this situation?

The answer is an emphatic NO!

When shit hits the fan during combat, you will require total-body strength and coordination. Your muscles must cooperate and function as an integrated unit. There is no place for isolation training. To prepare for combat, you must train with exercises that stimulate the entire body. Combat demands useful, functional strength.

There is a considerable difference between large arms and functional strength. As an athlete, you will be best served by training with explosive movements that strengthen the entire body. Combat athletes should not isolate individual muscle groups.

An athlete is judged based on how he moves, not how he looks. Looks can be deceiving. A bodybuilder trains with the intention of developing muscle size and symmetry. He does not contend with an opponent who is eager to rip his head off. Your goals are much different. Your training program must revolve around movements. Your goal is to improve function, not form.

By training movements, your strength becomes applicable to specific skills. Strength is useless if you cannot apply it through proper technique. Consider the boxer who boasts of his bench press prowess, but lacks the ability to double up on his jab. Will he be an effective fighter?

Of course not.

Your strength training program must revolve around full-body movements. By training with explosive, functional movements, you will get the "most bang for your buck". Strength training sessions should not last several hours. You can achieve your strength training objectives in less than one hour, 2-3 days per week.

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