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Training to be more coordinated and athletic?

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  • Training to be more coordinated and athletic?

    This is probably a question out of scope of your expertise, or something so dumb that it's quick and easy to answer, but it's stuck in my head and i don't want to get some bs answers through google search. Please humor me.

    I have never been an athletic person. Physical activities that require techniques and coordination (basketball, freestyle/butterfly strokes, skating, to name a few that i tried as a kid) don't come natural to me. Are there some exercises that I can incorporate into my training in the gym, maybe on GPP days, to increase my general physical coordination? Or, knowing BBM, would I be right to guess that there is no such thing as general coordination, and you just have to pick an activity you want to do and get good at it? Is physical coordination or motor skill, like strength, specific?

  • #2
    I probably wouldn't change your barbell training for this purpose, but would definitely practice the desired skills more -- and depending on the task, some of these skills (something like box jumps, for example) could certainly be the sort of thing that fits into a GPP day.

    Speaking as a former swimmer, I wouldn't do anything in the gym for the skills of swimming. The butterfly stroke isn't easy for most people to pick up, and probably needs a lot of practice and may need some coaching.
    IG / YT


    • #3
      I would agree with Dr. Baraki, I wouldn't change your barbell training. I think clarification on what you mean by "more athletic and coordinated" is needed as well. Skill acquisition is different dependent on what it is you want to do.

      Personally I know guys who are in excellent shape but have athletic abilities in completely different areas. There may be some carry over between sports but a lot of that comes from specific practice. I've done kickboxing most of my life and see myself as pretty athletic. Im certain however that my athleticism in kickboxing might not mean much if your throw me in a pool with Dr. Baraki and told me to keep up. Pick something you want to get good at and run with it! It's never to late to pick up new skills.


      • #4
        Something that stood out to me from Beardsley's writings is the idea that increasing muscle size has the most general positive impact on all displays of strength (high to low-speed) and, therefore, athleticism. In many cases, a more muscular athlete = a better athlete so long as the person is practicing. The use of steroids in sports confirms this. But some sports have conditioning/other requirements that will govern the amount of muscular size that is beneficial. I've never seen a jacked soccer player nor am I aware of a widespread abuse of anabolic steroids in soccer.

        So, if you want to be more athletic in general then get more muscular AND perform/practice the athletic events you want to be good at. Let your athletic event/sport determine the "ceiling" in which muscular size becomes less useful.