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The secrets to getting that awesome athletic look

Grant Foreman helps San Diego get fit both inside and out.
Photo credit:
Grant Foreman Fitness

The aesthetic that most of us respond to nowadays isn't the huge body builder type that was popular during the 90's 

Having an "athletic" look isn't the same as being totally beefed out and thus takes a different style of workout. 

Stop doing the same old moves and hoping for different results. 

Here are some things to focus on while training to help achieve that well proportioned natural body look. 

Have the bulk of your workouts consist of total body, or "multi-joint" exercises (think Squats as opposed to Leg Extension Machines). 

While isolation work (Leg Extension) can still be used to bring up lagging quads, squats will be working the legs holistically in that multiple muscle groups will be moving together to move the body. 

By utilizing more than one body part at a time and across various joints at once, all the little muscles come into play as well. This results in a less "piecey" look and one that's more athletic because our body is moving as it does in nature. 

For chest, try spending the majority of your efforts on Pushup variations instead of the old stand by: Bench Press. 

With the same muscles in the chest being used there will be more lat activation, core, tons of stabilizers, and even legs as you fight stay in a rigid plank! 

If push-ups are difficult for you, do a quick tutorial on modifications from one of the many available online.

Always start with movements or weight that you can perform well, with good controlled pacing, for around 10-12 repetitions before making them more difficult. 

Having toned and defined arms are one of the hallmarks of an athletic build. 

For Biceps try a Chin-up: turning your palms to face you and bringing the hands to shoulder width in a Pull-up range of motion. If needed, use an assisted machine to modify, stand in a training band, or have a friend help raise you. 

Not only will the biceps be working but you'll be including the back, core, and those ever important stabilizers that help connect everything for the look we're going for. 

For Triceps hit some Dips: with many ways to perform them like off of parallel bars, the edge of a bench or even between two counters, Dips are a great way to train the back of the arm while also tackling the shoulders and chest. 

So your big moves are variations of Squats/Lunges, Push-ups, Pull-ups, and Sprints/Jogs. 

Add on some isolation work once your big multi stuff has been hit if you have the ability or a lagging area. 

Add weight when things get too easy and be sure to get enough work in (don't skip around to new moves until your focus area has been fully trained). 

If you need help with any of this use the web, and feel free to reach out to a trainer like me, writegf@gmail.com