Why You Shouldn’t Train Like An Athlete

Train like an athlete. That’s what so much of the fitness industry tells you. But the truth is, for most of us it’s not the best advice. We should be focusing on something different.

“Train Like An Athlete” Isn’t Always Correct

An athlete’s job is to win. That means the primary focus when training is to improve athletic performance. While it’s true that fixing foundational movement patterns will improve athletic performance as well, it’s often overlooked to focus on more specific training.

This is a compromise the athlete is willing to make. However, for those of us who aren’t competitive athletes, there is no good reason to accept this compromise.

This is why most of us should not train like an athlete. Instead, we should focus on foundational, natural movements and expand our movement work as we become more competent in the basics.

For example, if you can’t perform a proper bodyweight squat, you should not be trying to perform a one rep max test with a barbell on your back. You should fix the issues with your bodyweight squat and then move onto weighted squatting as your strength and mobility allow.

Shortcutting this process will likely lead to movement pathology and injury. Building a strong habit of quality movement patterns before working on more complex movements is the key to steady progress, health, and injury resistant training!

Have there been times when you ignored fundamental movement problems when you were training? How did that affect you? Share in the comments below! My biggest one came when I was a swimmer and ignored nagging shoulder pain. The result was a year of physical therapy and nearly shoulder surgery!

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