Today I wanted to talk about the best workout routine for muscle gain as an athlete. It’s pretty common that I get guys coming into the gym wanting to develop a routine for muscle building, all while maintaining their athleticism.
The reason I want to focus on staying athletic is because bulking up will only get you so far if you’re losing your ability to move out on the field or court. You guys know that every program I develop is based on a ton of research and personal experience. And when it comes to reaching my goals I always make an effort to seek council, to hire coaches, and really understand what’s the best approaching to achieving that goal. A lot of guys try to start bulking on their own and put on inefficient weight actually making you slower and less agile…
Keep reading for more athlete-focused info on developing a muscle building routine:
A lot of us are fans of that athletic look. You know the guys I’m talking about… a running back or wrestler physique as opposed to that stiff, bulky look of a bodybuilder. There’s no better goal than a lean but strong look, all while maintaining solid athleticism and agility.
Two Routines for Building Muscle…
There’s two main things to consider if you’re on the hunt for routines to gain muscle and it’s mostly dependent on your timeframe. If you’re short on time and looking to just jump up in weight really quick, you’re somewhat guaranteed to put on some fat. If you’re trying to go from say 200lbs to 220 or 240, you’re going to be looking at consuming a lot of calories and to be honest with you, I’d expect your athleticism to suffer through that. However, once you’ve made it to your ideal weight, there’s strategies on cutting back through nutrition. If this is you, I’d recommend checking out this article with my OTA nutrition specialist:
Complete Guide to Cutting for Athletes
However, if you’ve got plenty of time on your hands (let’s say a full off-season or ideally a few years) to hit your ideal weight then I would recommend moving up slowly.
Routines for Building Muscle
Personally, here’s the way I bulked up for the NFL combine while also maintaining my athleticism, explosiveness, and speed…
What I did was focus on loading specific movements throughout my training for football at the time. Things like technique and agility that require good form I would leave alone, but for my normal strength exercises I would actually wear a weighted vest. Know that I wouldn’t suggest this in every scenario.
Let’s say you’ve got about 4-5 months until the end of your season, and are looking to put on like 15-20lbs then I might suggest to you wearing just a 5 or 10lb weighted vest. Don’t go any heavier than this… seriously. The goal is to progressively add load, not go crazy and start injuring yourself my doing too much too quick. Just start moving around athletically with the vest on so that as you start to gain 5lbs at a time or so, your body can simultaneously start adjusting along with it. Remember that when it comes to any technique work, take off the vest to ensure you can move fluidly.
This is just one effective method, as it teaches your body what it’s like to put on and adapt to just a little bit of weight at a time so you can be balanced in your bulk and athleticism.
I’d also suggest you really ramp up both recovery and flexibility work outside of training. This is really essential for building good structure by maintaining mobility in your hips, and shoulders. Think of spending double the time recovering and stretching as you do heavy training. If you don’t, the extra weight will start taking its toll on the hips and knees especially.
Best Workout Routine for Muscle Gain
To support you on your journey to looking and performing athletically, here’s a great post on how to gain strength while cutting.
If you’re searching for the best workout routine for muscle gain look no further than this specifically designed program. If you’re ready to commit, here’s the exact strategy myself, and many of my athletes have used over and over to develop a strong, functional and aesthetic physique.
Look no further than Athlete Built: