Posted by: Street | February 6, 2010

Wanna Look Like an Athlete? You Better Train Like One

First off, let us look at what generally constitutes an athlete’s physique:

  1. Lean
  2. Great muscular tone
  3. Nice glutes (“butt” for those who fell asleep in anatomy)
  4. Nice Legs
  5. Strong, defined arms
  6. Strong, attractive core/midsection
  7. They are flat-out generally attractive, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, I would be flat out blown away if there was a single person who reads this post that does not want every single one of those attributes above. However, there is one huge mistake going on, it is only the athletes that are training like athletes. What I see happening in every single gym I attend is masses of people training like they are preparing themselves for the Boston Marathon. Miserably trudging along on a treadmill, stairmaster, and the like. Common sense is not so common people, because it looks as though many of you are training for the emaciated marathon runner look! For comparison, let us look at what the general long distance runner physique looks like:

  1. Malnourished
  2. Skinny
  3. Chubby (yes, this is not a typo, you will often see a chubby runner who logs tons of miles)
  4. Injured
  5. Frail
  6. Inflexible

Again, I would be flat out floored if these were the attribute you were looking for in your physique! Being that this blog is so new I do not want to turn away readers, but if you are the person who knowingly trains strictly aerobically with the strong belief that it is what is best for you, chances are you will not like most of my material. To not get too far off track, let us look at why athletes look the way they look. Athletes are explosive, strong, and flexible because of the demands imposed on their bodies. They jump, sprint, hop, bound, push, pull, rotate, kick, and throw, which are actions that require much force, strength, and coordination. For those of you saying, “I cannot walk and chew gum at the same time,” the good news is you do not have to be good at those actions, you just have to be good enough at them to not hurt yourself. Chances are that you can become quite athletic by tapping into some genetic athletic potential that you never knew existed! Without ranting further, here is what you need to do:

  1. Start strength training (females, mark my words “you will not get huge and overly muscular, I promise.”
  2. Start performing high-intensity-intervals instead of steady-state continuous aerobic exercise. (Less time and more fat loss)
  3. Perform total body workouts, with an emphasis on multi-joint movements.
  4. Learn how to train in a functional manner; Let me state this differently, “get your butt off the machines!”
  5. Focus on your nutrition! YOU CANT OUT EXERCISE POOR NUTRITION!  Ah-hem…Ripped Apple to the right
  6. Stretch, especially your hip flexors, chest and shoulders for all you desk jockeys out there.
  7. Learn to foam roll, this will start out as a literal pain in your ass, but it will become your best friend.
  8. Hire a qualified trainer! If you do not know where to start, I will help you find the right one for you!
  9. If this sounds like a lot of information, it is! So if you have read this far, take the time to ask a few questions in the comment box.


Coach Street



  1. I have heard talk highly of using the foam roll many times. The gym I belong to does not provide any of these. Would you know of a place that I could get one for my own personal use,and if so, what kind of exercises would go along with this?

  2. First off, foam rolling is intended to improve the integrity of your muscle tissue. Chances are you have some tight dense areas that essentially need to be massaged out on a regular basis…enter the foam roll. You can purchase a foam roll through, or you can make one of your own with PVC and foam glued to it to provide some padding. In any event, head to and search foam roll + the following:

    Thoracic Spine
    Hip Flexors

    That should get you started, let me know if you need any more guidance.

    -Coach Street

  3. Hi Brandon,

    In this article, what constitutes a total body workout – #3? Would a step class fulfill that? It seems that it would when you say multi-joint movements.


  4. Gail, when I speak of total body workouts in the post, I’m speaking in terms of strength training. Although the step class does involve total body movements, which is great for total calorie expenditure, it is more aerobic and doesn’t involve resistance. Great question!

  5. Great post!
    We at one time all trained or moved like athletes. Drive by any grade school in the country at recess time and you will see jumping, sprinting, catching, throwing and then some.

    I always use the athlete/sprinter vs. long distance runner analogy with my guys. I love using the Volleyball player vs. long distance runner analogy with the ladies.

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