How To Build Your Best Body: 6 Lessons You Can Learn From Athletes

Feb 15, 2019

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If you want to build your best body, you should look in and outside the world of physique enhancement.

For example, despite the fact athletes train to improve performance, many have great physiques. Even if you have no desire to compete in sports, here are 6 lessons you can learn from the world of performance training to help you build a better body.

1. Let your goal dictate everything you do

In the world of athletics, the goal is simple – win. If something will help you win, you do it. If it won’t, you don’t. In today’s information age if has never been easier to get distracted with silly things that will not help you build muscle and burn fat. Effective training starts with having a crystal clear goal that determines what you do and don’t do.

2. Streamline your training

build your best bodyAthletes need tons of time for sport practice and competition. If you are busy, you need tons of time for other things in life. In both cases training needs to be structured to deliver the greatest results in the least amount of time. This starts with picking big, effective multi-joint movements. Yes, you can and usually should add some single-joint work (e.g. curls), but don’t get carried away. You should also look to streamline your programming with techniques such as alternating sets for opposing muscle groups.

Most busy guys should shoot for around 4 days a week using a basic upper/lower, movement or push/pull split. Streamlining your training will bring focus and provide you with the necessary time for proper nutrition, recovery and having a life outside the gym.

3. Get some low reps in

For improving athletic performance, you have to put your time with the low-rep, heavy barbell work.  Too often guys with aesthetic goals think they can build a great body with just high-rep pumping. While some high reps can help, you need a heavy dose of low-rep work to maximize your development (especially if you are natural). Also the heavy work will build a rock-hard density in your muscles that has helped many top bodybuilders (e.g. Arnold, Dorian Yates & Ronnie Coleman).

4. Spend more time working the muscles you can’t see in the mirror

In the world of athletics, a guy with a wide upper back, thick erectors, powerful glutes and large hamstrings is the guy you want on your team. In the world of physique enhancement, these are the muscles that give you a powerful, rugged look that will earn the respect of men and the attention of the ladies.

5. Sprint

Even if you have zero desire to play sports, sprinting can be a great help to building a better body. It is a fantastic, ultra-time efficient way to improve conditioning and strip unwanted body fat off your body. And, should you find yourself in the occasional friendly competition, you will find dominating your opponents incredibly satisfying.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of your training program on what really matters

In athletics, the effectiveness of a training program is measured with injury stats and relevant performance tests. Too often guys make the mistake of evaluating the effectiveness of a program by feelings (e.g. great pump). While these feelings may come with effective training, they do not guarantee results. As with athletic training, the only thing that matters is your results. If you are trying to build a better body, then improved body composition tests and better after photos are what really matters.

andrew hemingAndrew Heming

Andrew works at Trinity Western University as the Head Strength Coach and an Assistant Professor in Human Kinetics. He also coaches clients in person and online. He specializes in training athletes and people that want to look and feel like an athlete. He publishes a blog at and is author of Athletic Training for Fat Loss.

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