Bodybuilding training and training for athletes are two different things. If you want to have athletic muscle and strength, you need to follow the training method for athletes. Athletes should focus on myofibrillar hypertrophy and not on the increased ability to store glycogen. You need real, dense contractile muscle tissue and not just muscle mass like a bodybuilder. Getting more and more muscle will slow you down and it has got nothing to do with achieving an athletic build.
If you want to build an athletic physique, you need to follow a few rules-
1. Train explosive
Train explosive means higher tempo while you are lifting. Slow and controlled repetitions are good for some more couch, but you need explosive training to gain strength and athleticism. While lifting, you can choose a little less weight than you generally use. While lifting the weight lift it as quickly as possible, but lower the weight slow and controlled. Take 3 to 4 seconds for lowering the weight. Pause for one second and then while lifting up do it explosively fast. It will not only develop your power, but will also increase your ability to move weight quickly. This way, you are teaching your muscles to fire quickly. It will also help you to lift more weight after some time at the same explosive way.
2. Move fast
The normal cardio that people go for is not good enough for you if you want to build an athletic physique. You need to engage in high intensity interval training. This type of training works. It will help you to move faster and will also improve your VO2 max. VO2 max is your ability to work at high levels without feeling fatigue. High intensity interval training will also get you shredded and will do it faster.
3. Train your core
Nutrition has a big role in getting lean and showing your abs. But if you want to create an athletic physique, the exercises you choose for your core will play a big role. In general, crunches are good, but they are not good enough for getting an athletic physique. The core muscles are important because they brace the spine, rotate safely, create stability and force, stand-up straight and resist forces. These are the functions you need for having an athletic body with athletic muscle and strength. You need to include core workouts that consist of movements such as side planks, planks, cable chops, medicine ball chops, bird dogs, pallof passes etc. These exercises will help you to get enough ab muscle to show off when you become lean.
4. Build the back
It is important to build the back when you want to have athletic muscle and strength and look like an athlete. Your back, glutes and hamstrings are very important to make you look athletic. These will help you with power and speed when you need them.
For an extra thick body, you need to pull twice as much as you push. Do as many sets of chest, quads, shoulder exercises you want, but doubled that set number while exercising your hamstrings, lats and glutes. If you do not build the back strong enough and you focus only on your chest, shoulder and quads, then in future you will have trouble in the form of back pain, neck pain and pain in the knees and shoulders.
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