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How To Make Fitness More Athletic

sandbag exercise equipment

I thought I had everything planned out, I was on cruise control my senior year in high school because I had already been accepted to my college of choice and I knew I was going to be a strength and conditioning coach for a major university or sports team. During my time earning my exercise science degree I interned with our university’s strength and conditioning program and learned what it was REALLY like to be a professional strength coach. Seeing the incredibly long hours, job insecurity, rather eh pay, and hearing story after story how it was challenging to have a family due to the hours. My thrill about being a strength coach rapidly failed.

Even though I had decided being a university or professional strength coach wasn’t for me, I had learned about these private strength coaches and started working with some of the best in the business. Now, I am not telling you this story because you want to hear my resume, but rather to understand that when I say I am familiar with athletic training, it isn’t just from watching some social media.


Some of my favorite people to train gave me awesome memories!

On my own I had the great experience of training guys from the NHL and the NBA, but I quickly realized having a business solely based on athletes was going to be REALLY difficult. So, for the past 25 years I trained every type of general population person (including disabled individuals), high school athletes, and like I said, some professionals too. The truth is that people in general do NOT want to train like athletes!

The true “training like an athlete” often means extremely intense programs, many times working through nagging aches/pains, and basing a lot of your life around your training. I DO absolutely believe that people SHOULD be more athletic in their training. That means more of being strong in a lot of different ways, having high levels of stability, learning to decelerate to reduce the chance of injury, and learn to coordinate movement in more sophisticated patterns. Plus, I have found that the idea of training like an athlete can scare off a lot of people who are just starting their fitness journey so these concepts can be slowly progressed so that anyone can train to be more athletic.

What are some of the keys to being more athletic in your training? Here are some of the most important!

Train In More Planes Of Motion

We discuss a lot about moving in different planes of motion in DVRT and it is beneficial for so many reasons. When we are talking about being more athletic though, it is so foundational because not only do we need to be able to move in all 3 planes of motion, but we have to be able to RESIST forces that try to move us in different planes.

Coach Robin Paget gives some amazing examples how in DVRT we teach how to resist frontal plane movement and also how to move through the frontal plane. This gives us better strength and stability at the same time which makes more athletic efforts like recreational sports more successful and less a chance of injury. It also just helps people who want to feel better in their daily lives do just that!

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows how we can have a very accessible DVRT athletic workout that works not only all planes of motion, but also our 7 foundational movement patterns. 

Focus On Deceleration

In athletic training for sport, there is a saying, “the best ability is availability.” While the “cool” and “sexy” stuff gets on the internet, the reality is that most athletic training of athletes is rooted in teaching good foundational movement, progressively building stability and strength to move to power. To be honest, most would maybe disappointed to see that a lot of athletic based training even for professional athletes looks A LOT like really good functional training programs.

One of the big areas of focus in athletic based training is something that is SO important for anyone. Even if you are training elderly people, you want to work on deceleration strength. As a 2011 paper in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning explains (you can read the whole thing HERE), “There is a great deal of literature that investigates the kinematics and kinetics of human acceleration while running (2,3,12). However, in many sports, the act of rapidly slowing the body (deceleration) is critical to the success of the movement (5)…The forces applied to the body when decelerating can be exceptionally large in magnitude, especially when the time over which these forces must be absorbed is small.”

Deceleration is a big part of why athletes use methods like plyometrics. However, that could be too much for general population and good strength and conditioning only uses plyos for very small bouts with very deliberate intent because it is so intense.

Physical therapist, Jessica Bento, demonstrates great DVRT drills that help introduce almost any fitness level to good deceleration training. 

The funny thing is even if your client has no aspirations of being athletic and just wants to focus on cosmetic goals like weight loss or muscle gain, I would be hard pressed to think of better ways of accomplishing such goals for real people. It is hard to look at athletes and think they have physiques that most people wouldn’t LOVE to have themselves. So, athletic training should also be thought of as cosmetic training.

There are nuances to all these things and many progressions. Due to so many people asking, we are going to continue our 30% off DVRT sale ONE more week! So, that means you can grab our educational programs HERE or our functional training tools HERE for 30% off and see how we build up so many fitness qualities at once. Just use code “summer30”.

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe goes over one of the BIGGEST mistakes people make though when it comes to using DVRT for athletic based fitness.


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