Studying the top athletes in your field is the best thing you can do to reach the top yourself. You may not even want to make it to the top, but just see a little improvement. What do you have to do then? It is not only about the physical aspect of the sport, but also the mental aspect is crucial for top athletes! It is sometimes said that sports psychology is a study of success. However, in this post, we will focus more on the physical part of sports.
Top athletes don’t train two to five times a week, they train several times a day – in a wide variety of ways. While the training of competitive athletes is of course about increasing the performance of the muscles and improving individual coordinative and technical skills, regeneration and cross-sport training also have a high priority in the units in order to avoid one-sided stress.
Top athletes train according to a training plan that has been thought out down to the smallest detail. The trick is to maintain the balance between stress and relaxation. That’s why a demanding workout is usually followed by light workouts, recovery workouts, or even rest. In addition, competitive athletes usually train with a personal trainer and alone because they train according to their individual heart rate and always keep an eye on their anaerobic threshold (the highest possible load that an athlete can balance between the formation and breakdown of lactate).
The Importance Of Proper Warm-Up
Throughout their careers, athletes have learned that they must prepare their bodies for the games in order to perform at their highest level. Generally, warm-ups consist of static stretches, cardio, and foam rolling, but if muscles and tendons aren’t prepared for movements, they won’t be able to provide their maximum performance, reducing the efficiency and consequently limiting the effect. A lack of preparation is equivalent to preparing for failure.
Exercising More Than Once Or Twice A Week
Because it’s their job, athletes train every day. So, we can learn from them that training frequency not only creates healthy habits for future training but also challenges different parts of your body. This ensures that they receive adequate rest and recovery. The body cannot adjust to just one or two workouts per week, whether you are seeking aesthetic or performance improvements.
Work On Their Compound Movements
Performing compound movements like power cleans, squats, overhead presses, and deadlifts involve multiple joints at once, so you can gain more muscle. You learn to absorb and apply force through the ground with foot movements in which your feet are on the ground the majority of the time. The front squat ranks first in terms of squatting because it puts you in an upright position. This is more conducive to what you’d find yourself in for most starting stances. Pro athletes gain maximum strength for their entire body by getting low with the correct form.
The Importance Right Diet
The body of a top athlete is used to the high, regular strain, but it also needs the ideal fuel to achieve goals and best times – in this case, the perfect diet tailored to the training. Here, too, competitive athletes follow a well-thought-out plan that supplies the body with nutrients and vitamins in the right amount and at the right time so that the training can be as intensive and effective as possible.
Depending on the training status, the diet varies greatly here. While an athlete’s last meal before a competition in many sports was three hours ago and this consists mainly of carbohydrates, trace elements, and minerals, during breaks during competitions he primarily uses easily digestible carbohydrates and sports drinks to quickly replenish energy stores. After the competition, most athletes reach for fruit, nuts, and all kinds of water. However, this also differs extremely depending on the sport.
Train Often But Prioritize Recovery
Among the most important things athletes focus on is their recovery: Ever witnessed an athlete jumping in an ice bath? How uncomfortable! The reason they do it is that they know it will help them recover and allow them to train more rapidly and more intensely. Currently, ice baths are considered a little outdated. However, after your next cryotherapy session, you might find a cryotherapy chamber where you could cool down to temperatures of -1 for a few minutes.
Lastly, Mental Strength
Just as important, if not more important, than training and nutrition for top athletes is mental toughness. When a hobby becomes a job, the pressure to perform usually increases to the same extent as the fear of failure. Athletes often lose their confidence and skill when the passion they once had for a sport suddenly gives way to money and recognition.
Athletes have to deal with the constant pressure to perform, find their own peace before the competition, and be able to concentrate completely on themselves and their performance. This mental strength can be trained, which is why most top athletes have access to mental coaches in addition to nutritionists and trainers. They are there to ensure that competitive athletes don’t lose the fun of measuring themselves against like-minded people and pushing their bodies to their performance limits. Last but not least, top athletes should be able to run down the home straight with a smile or wait for the final whistle.
Top athletes don’t train all day every day – for them, relaxation, nutrition, and mental strength are at least as important as the training sessions. Because only with the right balance of everything is it even possible not to lose the fun of the former hobby.