Athletes are inspirational to so many people for so many reasons. Some people envy the fact that athletes get paid to play the game they love, while others marvel at how they are almost always in peak physical condition. Fans admire the dedication that athletes have to taking care of their bodies day after day in order to achieve optimal performance in their respective sports. This admiration is often followed by the feelings of, ‘I wish I could train like an athlete.’
But what if you can? What if you can take a page out of their training book? Here are four ways you can train like a professional athlete:
Team mentality over everything. You often hear professional athletes talk about how they are looking for ways to become the best teammate that they can be—and that means training with their team. Training with a buddy or group of people will not only bring you closer to them, but will help you stay accountable to your goals and give you the spark you may need to get your training done, sans excuses. Your team needs you, and with people looking to you to show up every day, you are less likely to succumb to your excuses.
Train smarter, not necessarily harder. According to Men’s Journal, some of the best athletes rely on rest in between their movements in order to maximize overall output from their workout. They may take the approach of maximizing their amount of reps or sets in an allotted amount of time, such as 30 or 45 seconds, while taking a brief pause to let their heart rate come down naturally and recharge before their next set. This allows their efforts to be greater in a shorter amount of time.
Rest up outside of the gym. While it is important to rest during a workout, it is equally important to make time to rest outside of the gym as well. This means taking the proper amount of rest days and getting enough sleep each night by perfecting a sleep pattern. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health for everyone, especially athletes. If you are training hard, you should be relaxing hard as well. Make sure you are getting the optimal amount of sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on a new day.
Fuel your body for peak performance. While your physical activity and workouts are an important part of becoming the healthiest version of yourself, nutrition and hydration are essential in your journey as well. It is important to make sure that you are fueling your body with the proper foods it needs in order to feel energized to complete your workouts and recover accordingly. Whether you follow a plant-based or carnivorous diet, try to stick to whole foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Don’t forget to hydrate as well—you should be getting enough water to help your muscles work and recover at their optimal performance!
While you may not be a professional athlete in this lifetime, you can still train (and eat) like one! You are capable of being in the best physical and mental shape of your life, with the help of a few tips from your favorite professional athletes. We hope that these four tips will help you create a new outlook on how you approach your nutrition, training, and sleep patterns.