So you want to look like an athlete? Well, then you need to start training like one.
Yeah, most of us will never have the genetics of an NFL or NBA player, but everyone can start tapping into their genetic potential for muscle and strength with one simple change to your weightlifting routine:
Start working out faster.
That's right: All those times you skipped the gym because you only had 20 or 30 minutes, turns out you could have gotten an ideal workout if you were dedicated to using every single second.
"Lifting or moving quicker will, in general, fire more fast-twitch muscle fibers," says Portland-based trainer Christopher Bathke, "Lifting more explosively is a crucial method if you want to improve in power and or strength."
While sprinting (anaerobic) and long distance running (aerobic) are two different types of cardiovascular work, the fast-twitch principle is another reason why sprinters generally have more muscle than marathoners.
"If your goal involves improving any type of sport performance," Bathke says, "then naturally you want to train your nervous system and muscles to fire as quickly and efficiently as possible."
No elite athlete goes into the weight room and uses the super-slow method of eight seconds-per-bicep-curl. Of course that doesn't mean you should start flinging the pink dumbbells around wildly as you do your tricep kickbacks. And it doesn't mean form should be sacrificed. It just means that your workout should tire you out -- not just make you sore in 36 hours.
"Think about performing the concentric part of the exercise as quickly and forcefully as possible, provided you can maintain ideal form," Bathke says. "With a chin-up, focus on pulling your chest up to the bar as fast as you can while using strict form and not shrugging your shoulders or swinging your legs."
This will also protect your body by engaging your core and preventing injury. And, not to mention, you'll look better too.
So put your smartphone down and stop sneaking glances at the ladies (or guys). Get moving, get fit, and get out of there.
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