How to train like a professional athlete

So you’ve been watching the commonwealth games, you’ve seen the bodies, the records tumble and all the magic moments have inspired you to start training.

So how do you train like a pro?

Now most busy 9-5ers don’t have time to spend all training, eating and recovering like a professional but here are some simple tips to get you on the right track!

1. Plan

    1. – Plan your training sessions, seek some advice from a strength and conditioning coach or join into well-programmed group classes like @befit.training, don’t just go it on your own and hope for the best. This includes rest and recovery, periods of deloading, and days when you just do nothing. If you think that (insert athlete) just trained and hoped for the best, you are wrong! You don’t need to plan everything down to the hour or even the day, but a rough plan of programming will help you stay on track so you can achieve your goals.

2. Activate – I have spent a lot of time with athletes and there is one thing they do really well. This is activating their muscles before training; they just don’t rock up, do a jog then get into a strength session. They spend the time switching on muscles, and psychologically preparing for each session. If you are time poor try this little circuit;

  • 5 mins bike
  • 10 glute bridges
  • 10 side planks left and right
  • 10 bird dog variations
  • 10 downward dog walk outs to push up
  • 10 reverse lunges

3. Lift – Now we are training we can focus on compound movements! What are they you ask? Compound lifts use multiple joints at once such as; deadlifts, squats, overhead press and power cleans.  These lifts can be intimidating and can often have a bad reputation but when done correctly and in well-programmed sessions they are the most effective exercises. Don’t waste your time doing bicep curls and tricep push downs unless you want to be in the next Baywatch movie

4. Hydrate – Nothing fancy, just drink plenty of water so that your muscles are optimally functioning.

5. Active recovery – There is nothing worse than being stiff after working out, and the best way to speed up recovery is low intensity workouts. This can be as simple as going for a 20minute brisk walk or completing a low impact circuit to increase blood flow and get that body moving.

Here my brief low intensity workouts plan;

  • 250m row
  • 10.10 Cutsy lunges
  • 10.10 reverse lunges
  • 15.15 single leg calf raises
  • 10 squats
  • 10 mountain climbers
  • 10 HR push ups

Complete as many times in 30mins as you feel comfortable

6. Eat

    1. – Every athlete has a nutrition plan, now they are usually closely managed by a sports dietician and you don’t necessarily need that level on input, but seek advice from dieticians and get a nutrition plan to suit your goals.

7. Sleep

    1. – Busy at work, stressed at life, you need to recover. Your ultimate goal would be a quality night sleep averaging between 7-9hours. In our household we have a strict no phones 1 hour before bed policy as studies have shown the lights can affect our sleep patterns. This also means you get home and relax, focus on something else other than how many instagram followers you gained today.

8. Train with a friend

    1. – Training with a partner or in a group environment helps you get it done. It pushes that extra bit and keeps you accountable.

9. Rest, relax, recover

    1. – There is nothing wrong with a myofascial release, you can either do this yourself or…

10. Have the right gear

      1. – Using compression garments may assist in venous return, reduce muscle oscillation, improve thermoregulation, reduce lactic acid and recovery heart rate. These have important implications for athletes that perform repeated bouts of high intensity exercise.

My recommendation is to wear compression garments for 1-2hrs post training.

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