If you have been working out to gain muscle mass for awhile you may find yourself getting bored with the monotony of lifting weights. The basic fact is that working out in a gym with heavy iron several times per week can take its toll on your mental state.

To avoid this issue it is important to go back to the root of why so many of us began working out in the first place: to enhance your athleticism. Sure you've always wanted to look great, but performing great is also a part of the picture.

So if you have been stuck with a one-dimensional focus on building muscle it may be time to incorporate some workouts for athleticism into your routine. Combining the pursuit of muscle mass and the pursuit of athleticism is what is known as athletic bodybuilding. Not only is it fun, it may also help you to gain more muscle mass in the long run.

1. Learn basic skills
One of the keys to enjoying sports is knowing how to play them, at least at a decent level. For this reason it is necessary that you be proficient in a few basic sports skills. Namely, throwing, hitting, kicking, and catching.

Even if you happen to be good at one sport, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are good at a different sport. So if you already know how to hit a baseball then why not try golf or tennis to expand your skills? Or if you know how to throw a baseball then why not try throwing a football or shooting a basketball?

If you haven't had much experience with these skills in the past then they may be tough in the beginning, but nothing improves your athleticism like learning a new skill.

2. Incorporate tumbling
Similar to the above, tumbling is a great skill to learn if you don't know how to do it already. It builds body awareness and explosiveness that transfer over to sports and to the weight room. In my experience gymnasts are often the fastest learners in the weight room because they understand how to move their bodies due to their tumbling experience.

Start with simple moves like somersaults and cartwheels before progressing to more difficult moves like handsprings and flips. If you really want to improve your skills it is highly suggested that you utilize the services of a qualified gymnastics coach.

And I know you may be saying, "I'm a grown man, there is no way I'm doing this." But that is exactly the close-minded mentality that makes training monotonous and leads to stagnation in your progress.

3. Building your aerobic base
If you have been strength training for any significant period of time then there is a decent chance that you are already plenty strong enough to perform most sports skills on an intermediate level. But if you have been avoiding endurance work in pursuit of more muscle then you might be limited in your sporting capacity.

There are many complex training programs that can greatly enhance your sport-specific endurance, but the easiest solution is simply to undertake a basic cardiovascular training program and to play your sport on a regular basis. This will gradually allow you to develop at least a baseline level of endurance.

Remember that working out doesn't have to be monotonous. Being athletic and muscular is much better than just looking like an athlete. Use these tips and you will be on your way to building a more athletic physique, and that is what athletic bodybuilding is all about.

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