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Build An Athletic Body In 8 Weeks!

Who wouldn’t want to build an athletic body?  Check this 8-week plan now.

Whether you’re an athlete in the offseason or just want to train like one, look no further than this comprehensive 8-week plan. Get stronger, faster, and look the part!

There’s a pretty good chance that, at some point, you’ve envied the physique of a pro athlete. Who hasn’t? While the Arnolds of the world get plenty of attention for being inspirational, the truth is that other types of athletes across various sports—football, basketball, soccer, boxing, you name it—have done just as much if not more to get lifters into the weight room.

When we imagine these athletes training, we don’t imagine them spending an hour camped out on the cable cross-over machine. We imagine them performing dynamic and explosive movements that highlight and improve their skills. After all, if you want an athletic physique, the saying goes, you need to train like an athlete.

But what does that really mean? Most of us don’t get a chance to regularly hang out in NFL training centers. Of course, if you’re training for a specific sport, there are going to be some big differences between how you train and how other athletes train. A defensive lineman is going to do things a basketball point guard won’t, for example. If you’re trying to develop general athletic ability, however, there are a handful of attributes that must be prioritized.

At a minimum, an effective athlete should have a balance of strength, explosiveness, and conditioning. Seems simple enough, but how do you put it all together? With a program that uses the right balance of heavy lifts, fast lifts, and a time-proven approach to conditioning.

Many Pieces, One Puzzle

On face value, building strength, explosiveness, and conditioning together is simple: Lift something heavy, do something explosive, and run a little. Boom! You’re an athlete. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy in practice. You need to have a plan, and that plan starts with building strength.

Any lifter worth the chalk on his or her hands knows you won’t build a strong physique by only doing triceps kick-backs and calf raises. On the other hand, you can’t just max out on the big lifts all day, every day, either. So you start out with movements that develop overall strength effectively: squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls. Then you need to program them the right way: heavy enough to stimulate strength, but not so heavy that you constantly crush yourself.

In this program, you’ll focus on two different types of explosiveness: speed strength and strength speed.

Explosive lifting is similarly crucial, particularly when it comes to maximizing the growth of type II muscle fibers. However, training those fibers isn’t as simple as “lift faster.” In this program, you’ll focus on two different types of explosiveness: speed strength and strength speed.

In simple terms, speed strength refers to moving as quickly as possible with a lighter weight, whereas strength speed is all about moving a heavier weight as quickly as you can. For example, speed strength might be a medicine-ball throw, while strength speed could be a power clean. Working both is essential to developing an athletic physique.

The final aspect of our trifecta of athleticism is conditioning. To the average gym-goer, conditioning might simply mean throwing in 20 minutes of jogging on the treadmill after lifting. For the athletic-minded lifter, however, conditioning is much more than that—and much tougher.

In the most basic sense, every athlete has both aerobic and anaerobic systems—yes this can be further broken down, but for our purposes, this simple distinction will do just fine. Aerobic generally refers to lower-intensity work such as slow running, walking, or cycling; anaerobic is typically higher-intensity work such as sprinting or lifting.

Contrary to what some internet gurus have been trying to say recently, development of both systems is vital to overall athletic performance and maximum physique results.

Putting It All Together

Of course, it’s not enough to just say: “This is what you need to train.” You need a plan that challenges you in the right ways and at the right intensities, particularly when the goal is to develop multiple attributes at the same time.

You need a plan that challenges you in the right ways and at the right intensities, particularly when the goal is to develop multiple attributes at the same time.

The program below utilizes a block approach. The first month is an accumulation block, which means it has higher volume with comparatively lower intensities. You accumulate volume over the course of the month.

The second month is an intensification block, which places a higher focus on developing maximum strength. This approach extends to the conditioning element of the program as well. You’ll notice that the accumulation block places an emphasis on aerobic conditioning, while the intensification block focus on anaerobic development.

Now let’s get down to the part you probably skipped ahead to anyway!

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Phase 1 Accumulation/Aerobic Block

Energy System Training

One day per week (after lifting or on a rest day)

1

Running

1.5-2.0 miles for time
Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill

One day per week (after lifting or on a rest day)

2

Running or cycling (slow)

20 min.
Bicycling, Stationary Bicycling, Stationary Week 1, Day 1: Lower Body

Paired set:

1

Jump Squat

4 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat

Front Squat

4 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 90 sec.
Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat

Triset:

2

Walking Lunge

4 sets of 15 reps per leg, rest 30 sec.
Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Glute-Ham Raise

4 sets of 10-15 reps per leg, rest 30 sec.
Glute Ham Raise Glute Ham Raise

Ab Roll-out

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 60 sec.
Barbell Ab Rollout Barbell Ab Rollout Week 1, Day 2: Upper Body 1

Plyometric Push-up

4 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Plyo Push-up Plyo Push-up

Paired set:

2

Paused Bench Press

4 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 60 sec.
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

Pull-up

4 sets of 8-10 reps, rest 90 sec.
Pullups Pullups

Paired set:

3

Single-Arm Dumbbell Press (half-kneeling)

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 30 sec.
Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press

Single-arm cable row

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Shotgun Row Shotgun Row Week 1, Day 3: Lower Body

Paired set:

1

Power Clean

4 sets of 6 reps, rest 90 sec.
Power Clean Power Clean

Deadlift (from blocks below knees)

4 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 2 min.
Deadlift (from blocks below knees) Deadlift (from blocks below knees)

Triset:

2

Bulgarian Split Squat

4 sets of 10-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
One Leg Barbell Squat One Leg Barbell Squat

Leg Curl

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

Russian Twist

4 sets of 15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Russian Twist Russian Twist Week 1, Day 4: Upper Body

Paired set:

1

Push-Press

4 sets of 6 reps, rest 90 sec.
Push Press Push Press

Weighted Chin-Up

4 sets of 8-10 reps, rest 90 sec.
Chin-Up Chin-Up

Paired set:

2

Dumbbell incline bench (low incline)

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 30 sec.
Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell row (with pause)

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

Paired set:

3

Barbell Curl

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl

Skullcrusher

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press
Week 2, Day 1: Lower Body

Paired set:

1

Jump Squat

5 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat

Front Squat

5 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 90 sec.
Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat

Triset:

2

Walking Lunge

4 sets of 15 reps per leg, rest 30 sec.
Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Glute-Ham Raise

4 sets of 10-15 reps per leg, rest 30 sec.
Glute Ham Raise Glute Ham Raise

Ab Roll-out

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 60 sec.
Barbell Ab Rollout Barbell Ab Rollout Week 2, Day 2: Upper Body 1

Plyometric Push-up

5 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Plyo Push-up Plyo Push-up

Paired set:

2

Paused Bench Press

4 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 60 sec.
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

Pull-up

4 sets of 8-10 reps, rest 90 sec.
Pullups Pullups

Paired set:

3

Single-Arm Dumbbell Press (half-kneeling)

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 30 sec.
Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press

Single-arm cable row

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Shotgun Row Shotgun Row Week 2, Day 3: Lower Body

Paired set:

1

Power Clean

4 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Power Clean Power Clean

Deadlift (from blocks below knees)

4 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 2 min.
Deadlift (from blocks below knees) Deadlift (from blocks below knees)

Triset:

2

Bulgarian Split Squat

4 sets of 10-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
One Leg Barbell Squat One Leg Barbell Squat

Leg Curl

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

Russian Twist

4 sets of 15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Russian Twist Russian Twist Week 2, Day 4: Upper Body

Paired set:

1

Push-Press

4 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Push Press Push Press

Weighted Chin-Up

4 sets of 8-10 reps, rest 90 sec.
Chin-Up Chin-Up

Paired set:

2

Dumbbell incline bench (low incline)

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 30 sec.
Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell row (with pause)

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

Paired set:

3

Barbell Curl

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl

Skullcrusher

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 30 sec.
Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press
Week 3, Day 1: Lower Body

Paired set:

1

Jump Squat

6 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat

Front Squat

6 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat

Triset:

2

Walking Lunge

4 sets of 15 reps per leg, rest 30 sec.
Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Glute-Ham Raise

4 sets of 10-15 reps per leg, rest 30 sec.
Glute Ham Raise Glute Ham Raise

Ab Roll-out

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 60 sec.
Barbell Ab Rollout Barbell Ab Rollout Week 3, Day 2: Upper Body 1

Plyometric Push-up

6 sets of 5 reps, rest 90 sec.
Plyo Push-up Plyo Push-up

Paired set:

2

Paused Bench Press

5 sets of 5 reps, rest 60 sec.
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

Pull-up

5 sets of 6-8 reps, rest 90 sec.
Pullups Pullups

Paired set:

3

Single-Arm Dumbbell Press (half-kneeling)

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 30 sec.
Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press

Single-arm cable row

4 sets of 12-15 reps, rest 60 sec.
Shotgun Row Shotgun Row via Build An Athletic Body In 8 Weeks!

 

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