If you want to perform as an athlete, you have to live as an athlete.
There are three points that you can not overlook: food, hydration and sleep. Success is made mostly out of the gym.
Food. We all know that food is the fuel to our bodies, it provides energy and keeps the body working. But do we always keep in mind that we build up our muscles with what we eat, therefore does the quality have a straight connection with the fuel we take in? You can smash gym session after gym session, but if you do not eat right your results will never arrive to the level they could otherwise. Instead of building up muscles, you could be just “destroying ” your body in order to rebuild it in an another form.
Hydration. Up to 60% of human adult body-weight is water, a loss of 1% already pushes you to the limit of dehydration.
Dehydration (from 1-2%) could affect physiologic function and negatively influence the performance. Huge water loss (more than 3% of body weight) further disturbs the physiologic function and increases the risk of developing serious problems: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.
To avoid dehydration one should always keep an eye on their water intake.
Individuals looking to achieve rapid and complete recovery from dehydration should drink 1.5L of water for each kg of body weight loss (Sawka & Burke, 2007).
Last but not least, sleep: Olympic athletes sleep from 8 to 10 hours a day, going to bed around 11 pm. To increase the quality of sleep remember to not stare at screens (Phone, TV or Computer) 30 minutes before going to sleep and make your sleeping room as dark as possible: darkness lowers blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature, which are key elements for restful sleep. Nerves in our eyes sense light and transmit a signal to the SCN telling the brain that it’s time to wake up: once there was just the sun to regulate our sleep, these days, if overlooked, artificial lights can ruin our proper rest.
Warmup & Recovery
The reason why you always have to warm up before training lies both in improving your performances and avoiding injuries. Spend 10-15 minutes on dynamic warm-ups, light jogging, mobility work in order to improve flexibility and coordination.
A dynamic warm up prepares your muscles and opens your joint for maximum flexibility, which means you can perform each exercise with the correct technique, which helps to maximize the results and avoid the risk of injury.
On top of that, doing a dynamic warm up can promote the blood supply to muscles and help to activate your central nervous system, preparing your muscles for a great workout and maximum effort.
As well as not starting your workout without warming up, you should never stop one without properly stretching your muscles. Stretching helps to facilitate recovery, reduce pain and soreness.
Planning & Monitoring
Training is a long journey to achieve the target you have set, it has to be carefully planned on both the mental approach and the pure training plan.
Behind great athletes you can always find a great coach who is able to bring out the best of his/her mental and physical preparation.
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be” – Tom Landry
A good coach is crucial when planning training sessions and adjusting them over time to achieve the target fast and in an effective way.
Tom Landry himself, known as one of the most important and innovative coaches in NFL, became a legend because of his management capabilities as coach of the Dallas Cowboys, creating many new formations and methods.
Great and winning coaches are characterized by innovative mindsets and investment in new technology to to add value to their knowledge. They don´t plan the athletes journey just upon their feeling, they lead sportsmen mixing their personal evaluations and proven methods with trust of the results from new technology that provides objective feedback and several info that could not be obtainable without it.
Cover-Photo credit: science-all.com