Are You Training Like A Meathead?

Athletes need to train like athletes. So why the hell are some of you training like a bodybuilder from the 80s?!


Bodybuilding training is only an acceptable action if the goal is getting bigger muscles WITHOUT strength, aerobic capacity, power and speed increases. If your goal is to look HUGE on stage in a pair of trunks then of course, you must train like a bodybuilder. If you’re about to set foot on the track, or the ring, or a field, then are you training as effectively as possible?


I see too many young guys training like Arnold, I’ve been there, I know other strength coaches who have been there, it doesn’t work for athletes. You need to make sure that your training is right for you, you need to self evaluate!


Self evaluation is one of THE most important tools in life and in sports. As an athlete or a coach you need to seriously and regularly sit down (yes this will require some writing) and check that your actions are leading you to your goals.


Right now I’m going to hypothetically self evaluate myself to show you how it’s done!


Goal: To run a PB in the 200m within the next 8 weeks


Actions needed: Training, diet and recovery must all be in order.


Current weekly actions: 3 weight sessions; Mon, Wed, Fri focusing on getting bigger and getting a pump every session and one sprint session (see below):


Monday – Chest and Back


Bench Press – 3 x 10

Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 x 10

Cable Crossover – 3 x 10

Lat Pulldowns – 3 x 10

Bent Over Row – 3 x 10

Sit-ups – 3 x 10


Wednesday – Legs


Leg Press – 3 x 8

Leg Extensions – 3 x 15

Leg Curls – 3 x 15

Sit-ups – 3 x 10


Friday – Arms and abs


Barbell Curls – 5 x 10

Hammer Curls – 3 x 15

Dips – 3 x 10

Wrist Curls – 3 x 10



Saturday – 200m practice



Actions needed: Everything looks good, getting nice and big.



Ok, me again (and I can’t believe these terrible workouts made it on to my blog haha!). If we take a look at the above self-evaluation it’s obvious that the training doesn’t match the goals (body part splits for athletes? NO!), but how often does this happen? I’d argue a lot more than athletes and coaches let on.


In the above example we have a 200m sprinter training like Arnold and only sprinting once a week! To get the training in line with the goals we’d actually need to do less weight training and only focus on squats, deadlifts and some basic power work, like box jumps or power cleans, and only 2x week. The rest of the time should be spent on sprinting!


I see too many young guys telling me their goals are to make the team in rugby, or jump higher for basketball, but seriously….do you think a bigger pair of arms is gonna get you to scrummage harder? Or jump higher?!


So at some point today, sit down for 10 minutes and write down your goals, now write down all the workouts you did last week, write down what went well and what went badly (like having 10 pints and a pizza), and then ask yourself;


If I continue to train/eat/live like I am doing now, will I reach my goals?


The answer may shock you….but make the necessary changes and go and achieve your goal.


Let me know how you find this exercise and drop a comment below!

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