Train Like An Athlete for Ultimate Fitness and Fatloss

I met Callie Durbrow last September, almost by accident to be honest. We decided that we’d share some training information with each other’s readers, especially since our training methodology is similar.

Here’s what Callie has to say (and I think you should listen to her)…

As a former collegiate athlete, I see the value of a solid strength and conditioning program for performance. As a personal trainer in the Boston area; I have found that incorporating athletic movements is not only motivating and fun; it is a great way to lose fat and gain overall strength.

People should not take this to mean that everyone should train like a college football player. Training like an athlete can be modified based on the level of the participant but the basis behind it is to perform large muscle group movements, lift heavier weights than you are normally used to, and have an overall plan that cycles throughout the year. Many people just set up shop in the gym with no plan and end up doing the same exercises for months or even years! This leads to boredom, burn-out, and injury and really halts progress all together.

Here are just a few reasons why designing training programs around the concept of athletics works…

1.Training like an athlete is FUN: Throwing medicine balls, pushing the Prowler, squatting, lunging, sprinting, performing barbell complexes, and swinging the kettle bell, are just some of the movements that can be done to lose fat using large muscle groups. The exercises tax the muscular system and the cardiovascular system. Metabolism is elevated and this ultimately leads to fat loss if combined with a proper nutrition plan.

2. Use Large Muscle Group Movements: Squats, lunges, push ups, chin ups, and overhead pressing are the cornerstones of my programs. All exercises are scaled appropriately based on the fitness levels and experience of clients. These exercises burn a huge amount of calories and develop an efficient metabolism.

3. Combine Training Goals: Each workout provides training for strength, power, conditioning, balance, and flexibility. Try to avoid focusing on one goal or muscle group; instead combine them and force the body to move in unison the way it was meant work.

4. Lift Heavy Weights: Many people are scared to lift heavy for fear of “getting big.” Athletes need to lift heavy weights to develop strength and power. You must push the threshold in your body. Lifting heavy weights will not cause women to “get big”; instead it will create huge bursts in hormones, adrenaline, and overall metabolism which lead to fat loss. All training should be done with the help of a qualified trainer or coach, and must be progressed properly to avoid injury.

5. Have a Training Plan: Athletes have a very structured training plan. The year is broken down into training cycles depending on the season or event they are competing in. Creating long term and short term plans for training based on your goals is very important. Training cycles should usually last 3-4 weeks to provide consistent progression for strength, fat loss, and conditioning and help avoid plateau.

Take a look at your workout plan and shift your way of thinking about training. Athletes are strong and toned, have high levels of cardiovascular conditioning, can move efficiently, and have low body fat percentages. Why would you not want to mimic their training programs?

Callie Durbrow is a strength coach and personal trainer in Boston, Massachusetts. She runs small group training programs for busy individuals looking to lose fat, get lean and toned and boost their energy levels. For more fitness and training tips please visit Ultimate Athletic Fitness.

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  1. Lew Cottell says:

    Great article. I have always been the happiest working out towards specific goals….be that football, triathlon, stick fighting, hiking the Inca trail, or these days just getting ready for a particular hiking challenge this summer. And you are right, training like an athlete is fun, and thinking of yourself as an athlete in training is motivating.

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