How do you build muscle mass so as to look like an athlete, but not so much like a body builder ?

I want to build muscle mass so as to look like an athlete, say like Terrel Ownes of the Dallas Cowboys, or like David Beckham- chiseled body, pronounced muscles and abs; but I’m not so interested in looking like a body builder. What’s the difference between the two, and which approach should I take, or avoid?

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  1. A lot, if not, all athletes workout to build their strength and endurance which is completely opposite than a bodybuilder who works solely on muscle mass. Over time a strength workout will build mass but not as much as a bodybuilding workout and vice versa. Also bodybuilding is about having a lot less body fat.

    A typical athlete with a Terrell Owens type body start really skinny like in high school. A lot of athletes in high school spend a lot of time on the field practicing skills and a little less in the weight room. The reason is because if they gain a lot of muscle weight it can slow them down if they don’t balance the two.. and yeah you know high schoolers :).

    In my opinion there are only four types of working out, strength, size, endurance, and tone. You would want to workout for size, and that means working out like a bodybuilder. You’d only look like a bodybuilder if you are highly strict on your diet and have like 0% body fat haha. Terrell Owens would have roughly 5% of body fat I think.

  2. Richard D says:

    Heavy, fewer reps – build mass.
    Lighter reps, more sets, rip.

  3. Brewmaster D says:

    It takes *years* of hard work and insane amounts of eating (and in many cases, a lot of steroids) to look like those beefy, cartoonish "bodybuilders". Beckham’s physique is actually the easiest to achieve of all 3 you mentioned; just eat healthy, have a healthy mix of lifting weights & cardio (focusing more on weights…trust me, you won’t balloon up like those beefy guys from picking up one weight). Basically, don’t make exercising and eating your life, and you’ll look great without getting *too* big.

  4. if u want to get really tonned up but not massive
    do like 20 reps of each weight at a weight where the last couple are hard but the rest are easy enough
    thats in arms,legs, abs … whateva

  5. Calisthenics and lots of them

  6. Raymond B says:

    High reps with medium weight.

    Good luck:


  7. Charles B says:

    Here are a couple sample chest routines:

    1) Flat Barbell Bench Press: 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps
    Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps
    Wide-Grip Dips: 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps

    2) Incline Barbell Bench Press: 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps
    Wide-Grip Dips: 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps
    Flat Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps

    All sets should stay within the 5-7 rep range and should be taken to complete muscular failure. Write down the details of each workout you perform and focus on progressing in either weight or reps from week to week.

    Hope that helps. Now head to the gym!

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