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Five Ways To Eat And Train Like A Professional Athlete

Five Ways To Eat And Train Like A Professional Athlete

It takes more than the myth of natural talent to reach the summit of the sporting stratosphere. We exist in a generation where performance levels continue to elevate, records persistently being shattered and the annals of sporting history rewritten incessantly. Many of us watch in awe and marvel at the incredible exploits of these individuals, but what is it that separates them from the chasing pack?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, these superhumans of sport are no ordinary beasts – their dedication is unrivaled and their desire to succeed is as intense as the training regimes they put themselves through, day after day, week after week for an entire season. After all, these are the sacrifices and prices you have to pay if you want to be the very best athlete.

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Naturally we are all inspired by our sporting heroes, but there is no universal approach or routine for world-class athletes to live and die by. Their training programme is structured around many different facets including their sport, body type and age, but by following and implementing these five methods into your schedule – you too can train and eat like a champion.

1. Increase Your Intensity

A real energy sapper. High intensity workouts will push your body to the limit and generate superior improvements in fitness far quicker than a typical steady-state cardio workout. Repeated shorts burst of frenetic and furious exercise followed by bouts of less intense movements or even complete rest will prove to be an efficient way of burning more fat and increasing your metabolism.

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These are just two of the many benefits associated with pushing yourself hard into the anaerobic zone by using this simple concept which is scientifically proven to produce extreme results.

2. Progressive Overload

It is commonplace for individuals to be rhythmic and monotonous in their workouts, but you have to be relentless in your quest to ensure your performance level refrains from plateauing. Try to increase and vary the workload involved during your sessions to force your body to make changes in an environment outside of its comfort zone. This can be done through heightening the demands on your body such as lifting the same weight for more reps or raising your top speed when cycling.

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Keeping your body guessing by changing your routine will ensure you continue to see results even after months of consistent training.

3. Avoid Undernourishment

Theoretically the logical line of attack to lose weight is simply to avoid calories, but this hypothesis is counterproductive. The very best athletes will eat little and often to ensure they stay fueled and avoid fatigue, whilst still being able to apply themselves thoroughly during their workout.

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Rigorously restricting your calories means that your body will find it difficult to hold onto every calorie because you’re eating schedule is so insubstantial. This mode of starvation will mean more energy in, less out and all your hard work exercising will be in vain.

4. Stay Hydrated

Many of us fail to stay hydrated when competing and instead look to caffeine to stimulate our performance levels. However, drinks such as coffee can often dehydrate you due to the excessive caffeine content. Regular intakes of water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and your muscles lubricated, so after your workout it is more straightforward process to replace what you’ve lost. Try to aim for two liters a day.

5. Recovery

This overlooked component is a vital part of a top athlete’s life on a day-to-day basis and involves strict discipline ranging from applying ice to sore muscles to getting sufficient sleep to making certain their body has time to recuperate. It is imperative that you cool down properly and consume a high-protein meal or snack within half an hour of completing your regime to help increase the impact of your exercise. This will prevent your body from using its own muscle tissue for energy and help advance muscle synthesis.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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