Do you want to know the biggest mistake I continue to see guys doing in the gym?

They train like bodybuilders...when they should be training like athletes.

The majority of guys in the gym are "regular Joe's" with busy jobs and families where they are not required to get up on stage in a speedo sporting the bodyfat levels of a jack rabbit.

Bodybuilding workouts are geared towards building extreme levels of symmetrical muscle mass in all individual muscles. This requires high volume workouts hitting the muscles from many angles with a wide range of isolation exercises. Which in most sets you bring all the muscles to and beyond muscular failure; causing a high stress to the muscle and intense soreness that at times can be debilitating and lasts for several days.

Having legs too sore to play some soccer with your kids or not being able to hammer in a nail because of yesterday's bicep blast is not how us busy dads want to live our life.

As busy family men there are more important things than the peak on your biceps or the sweep on your quads.

As you are probably aware, working out like a bodybuilder takes a high level of dedication inside and outside the gym. You basically have to live the sport 24 hours around the clock with plastic tubberwares of chicken breasts in tow.

So why in the world would most guys with only a few hours a week to workout, continue to pound their body's into the ground while following the lasted greatest workouts hyped up in the bodybuilding magazines.

Not to mention that these pro bodybuilders are on so much drugs that their legs grow when they get up from the toilet!

It's know wonder so many of us have sore shoulders and bad backs and can only get through a workout by being wrapped up like mummies in the gym with straps, wraps and belts.

So even though you don't have a multi-million dollar contract it's time you start training like an athlete and stop working out like a bodybuilder.

Today's athletes are ripped like gymnasts, strong like olympic lifters, fast like sprinters, and simply more visually appealing to most men and women.

They train to be functional and can't afford to be too sore from the gym to play the next game.

Much to many people's surprise the personal trainers who are responsible for training the pros don't have them spending hours on fancy machines working muscles the size of a baseball.

They have to design programs to enhance and improve the athlete's performance first and sporting lean strong muscle without the fat is just the byproduct of training the body the way it is meant to move.

Most of the top strength coaches have small hardcore style gyms just full of barbells, dumbbells, lifting platforms, chains and bands...not huge fitness centers with more TV's than Best Buy.

So ditch the latest Muscle and Fiction magazine and let's start getting real results in less time and build some muscle that has more go than show.

1. Banish the Barbells

Ditch barbell bench presses and choose pushup variations from the floor or on suspended straps to work your chest, core and upper back, or at least do dumbbell chest presses that can also be done one arm at a time.

2. Save Your Shoulders

Stop the shoulder raises for the small front, side, rear and everything in between muscles and do standing overhead presses with a barbell or dumbbells. We sit down too much during the rest of the day, don't do it at the gym too.

3. Perfect the Pullup

Pullup, not down, when trying to work the many muscles of the back. Can't get your chin to the bar? That's because you don't do them. Work on pulling your bodyweight in the vertical plane and you will eventually have less weight to pull. Don't forget to also do different rows in the horizontal plane to balance out your opposing chest work and maintain shoulder health.

4. Move Away From the Machines

When it comes to training the lower body, any squat variation or stepping movement like lunges, jumps and step ups works your legs in a more natural range of motion. This builds functional strength and mobility that you can use in real life and not on the leg press.

5. Cutdown on Curls

Get a grip, and think thicker bars for thicker biceps. Build your arms by holding on to heavy, thick barbells and dumbbells which work 50% of your arms muscle mass, the forearm flexors and extensors. Close grip chinups are also great for bigger guns and making the chinup bar thicker with a towel will also give you a killer handshake.

6. Always Think Abs

Cross off the crunches and work your abs the way they were meant to be used, for stability and support. Planks, stability and medicine balls, ab rollouts and any bodyweight movements give your abs all the strength and stimulus they need and you don't even have to lie down on the dirty gym floor to get it.

7. Cardio Confusion

The new rules of cardio are all about intensity, not duration. Which simply means by working a little harder, you burn more fat in less time. The ideas for interval training are endless. From strongman lifts to sprints or bodyweight circuits. You will quickly figure out that burning fat is easy once you realize how hard you have to work.

There you have it, 7 reasons why training like an athlete will build you a better body without being a body-builder...

Father's Day is this Sunday and Dad Fitness is celebrating early!

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Author's Bio: 

Sean is a Certified Personal Trainer and a proud and busy Dad. Sean has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years and writes for Fit Parent and Inside Fitness magazine and is the author of The Dad Fitness System at His popular Dad Fitness fat loss workouts have helped thousands of Dads around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 3 hours per week. Sean also has a Dad Fitness Blog with tips, thoughts, and humour on being a fit dad at

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