For many reasons, everybody should aim to train like an athlete.
First of all would you not like to look like this guy?!
And for you ladies, wouldn’t you love to look like this chick?!
OK.. Thought so! Now think about it, whatever they’re doing in their training and nutrition has got to be working. So why not look more in-depth about what they do and implicate as much of it as possible into your own. Well that’s exactly what I’ve been doing to get the great results I’ve been receiving myself and out of my clients.
Now an athlete is focus on performance over everything else, which makes sense for them but may not make as much sense for you. Most people are training for looks rather than strength, speed, power, etc. But like I said before, these athletes perform great and look even better.
Athletes focus on a few specific things, which are explosive power, muscle strength/density, and mobility (functional movement). These athletes accomplish all of these things and in the process become extremely muscular and lean, which is an ideal look for most of us.
Now ask yourself, would you like to be strong, look great, and move extremely well pain-free? I do not think there is a single person would say no to any of that.
So what can you add into your training so that you train more like an athlete…
Sprints are a staple in any athletes training, they produce maximum force, use lots of power and strength, while building a solid foundation of muscle. Not only does it do this but these things together allow your body to burn a great amount of fat. It also cranks your heart rate and metabolic rate up, therefore you will burn more calories after via the EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) effect. Sprints can be added at the beginning of strength days, in the morning as a two-a-day cardio session, or by themselves as a full workout. No matter what way works best for you, you should implement these into your training asap if you would like to be lean like an athlete.
This is a huge part of why they get to the level they are at, smart programing. No major athlete just walks in the weight room and “Wings It”. They have a specialized program specifically made for them that periodizes so that they can progress throughout the year to become the best they possibly can. Just because we are not pro athletes does not mean we shouldn’t treat our training this way. This will give us better results and keep us safe while doing it. The smartest thing to do when striving for fitness success is to stick to the program and progress weekly. A 4-6 week program is usually the best way to go, this gives your body time to adapt but not enough time to stop progressing. But the main point here is that you get on a specific program designed for you and stay consistent with it, then you will achieve your fitness goals.
Every athlete works on mobility, and if they aren’t then they do not get much playing time I can guarantee that. The point of performing mobility drills and exercises is to move efficiently. This is going to help you train safely and prevent injuries, but it’s also going to give you the biggest bang for your buck during training. Great mobility allows your body to work efficiently and you will receive more benefit through exercising because of it. S incorporate a thorough warm up and cool down that included mobility drills, stretches and foam rolling and do not train unless you have done so first.
These guys and gals never slow down! They keep the drive high and the intensity even higher. Most pro athletes, but especially the ones who become the stars always push harder than the rest. So find that person in the gym who is always killin’ it, and keep up with them! If you keep the intensity level as high as possible during each training session you’ll end up shredded like an athlete.
Compare your body to a car, then think about what kind of fuel you’re putting in it. I don’t know about you, but myself and most high level athletes like to compare our body’s to a Ferrari rather than a Geo Metro. Therefore, I put premium fuel in my tank at all times. This means organic, natural, unprocessed foods that will allow me to perform at an optimum level. So don’t worry so much about the “No carb” diets and all that junk, do you really think a ripped athlete doesn’t eat carbs?! Hell yes they eat carbs, a lot at that. And don’t get me wrong, a professional athlete needs more carbs than most of you reading this and that is because they have ball practice, games and weight training 6-7 days per week. BUT, if your training as hard as you should be to achieve that athletic desired body than you do need carbs after training and that’s a fact! But again, premium fuel here people. No wonder breads and crackers! You must be eating quinoa and sweet potatoes over those simple sugar carbs. [check out my CARBS blog post for more info on all that greatness]
This one is huge to achieve the body of an athlete. They go to extremes and pay loads of money that most of us don’t have for the types of recovery systems they use. But that doesn’t mean we can’t implement the cheaper versions of this or simply decide to try a bit harder on the recovery side. I know many people who are so motivated to lose weight or build muscle that they don’t stop training. They workout every day all week and sometimes multiple times a day. But the truth is, less is more. Now that doesn’t mean your better off training once a week rather than five times a week, but it does mean you need 1-2 days completely off of training depending on your body type and training history. It also means you need as much sleep as possible daily, you need to foam roll daily, you should be taking ice baths occasionally, and working you deep tissue quality as much as possible also. [check out my RECOVERY blog post to be a recovery master]
I saved this one for the last because it is to me the most crucial and I wanted to end on this note.. You must have a motive to be able to train like an athlete, let alone accomplish the body of one. Every star athlete has the motive to become the best in his sport and on his team. We all know that feeling of being on a sports team and wanting to be the star player or the player who has the spot light of the game. Now imagine that on live TV! A lot of pressure but also a lot of drive to become the best. Now you may not be on ESPN during your training session, but keep the image of why you’re doing this and what your goal body will look like in your head at all times. This will help you stay on top of your goal and will focus on achieving it over anything else. Strive to be the best every single rep, set, training session, and meal, every single day. That’s how you achieve greatness.