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At a glance, there doesn’t seem to be a big difference between athletic training and bodybuilding. Both involve training to be in better physical condition, look your best, and compete against others. However, there are some key differences between the two. These differences can generally be summed up as: athletic training involves overall performance, while bodybuilding is more cosmetic. 


A lot of athletic training includes aerobic exercises that improve cardiovascular health and endurance, something you need to last long enough in any athletic competition. Athletic training also focuses on flexibility, which further improves performance. You will burn fat and become more muscular during athletic training, but your more muscular appearance will be a side effect while you work toward your main objective.


Meanwhile, the main goal of bodybuilding is to increase the size of your muscles and improve your physique. Bodybuilding exercises will increase your flexibility and improve your endurance, but not to the degree of most kinds of athletic training. They are also more likely to target specific areas of the body, particularly the arms and chest. These isolation exercises are necessary for giving bodybuilders a more chiseled and “polished” look that they need for competitions. Most of the strength-building exercises they do are intended to make these isolation exercises easier and lessen the chance of injury.


Building Muscle vs. Improving Performance


As you can probably guess, there are differences between how bodybuilders and athletes work out. Athletes focus more on speed and momentum with their exercises, while bodybuilders are slower and more methodical with their workouts. Both athletes and bodybuilders will lift weights, but an athlete will be more likely to lift lighter weights and focus on faster repetitions. Meanwhile, a bodybuilder will focus on lifting heavier weights, but they will have fewer and slower repetitions. This allows the muscles to extend more during tension, which leads to a larger physique. 


Athletic training also tends to focus more on legs and core muscles, both of which are needed for improved performance in most sports. This is why you’re likely to see athletes running on treadmills and doing sit ups more than bodybuilders.


While athletic training and bodybuilding do seem similar in a lot of ways, there are still some clear differences between them. Both kinds of workouts have their advantages, so it’s best to look for a combination of the two if you want to be in the best possible physical shape. Of course, you can also opt to focus on one type of workout instead of the other. In any case, it’s best to contact a personal trainer for more advice on what exercises you should be doing to achieve your fitness goals.