Have you recently taken up running? Are you a cyclist? A weight-lifter? A rugby player? Perhaps you are just not making the progress that you would like in the sport that you love. While it’s natural to plateau as your training progresses, there are steps that you can take to jump start your fitness and become a better athlete.
Hacks To Become A Better Athlete
6 Steps To Becoming A Good Athlete
10 Oct, 2021
Why your training stalls
Your body is an efficient machine that tries to conserve energy for survival. This means it can be difficult to shed excess pounds no matter how much exercise you do. Your body will get used to the type and intensity of exercise you do relatively quickly. Plus, if you do lose some weight your calorific expenditure will lower when doing the same exercise. This can leave you on an annoying plateau where you are not seeing any positive changes. Do not despair, there is a solution. The one thing that might help is to shake up your fitness goals by cross-training.
Mix it up
Cross training means to practise another type of exercise to create balance or to target another fitness benefit. All pro athletes, use cross training to enhance their core fitness, strength, and flexibility. There are many benefits to this but doing the same type and same intensity of exercise constantly can be repetitive. It also risks injury, delays recovery and healing and may even create an imbalance in fitness. Go for gold by enhancing your fitness in areas that are not targeted by your main sport.
Unfortunately there is no elite contest for Pilates, but this is a fantastic discipline to incorporate into your training routine. Pilates increases your muscle strength and tone, particularly in the abdominal areas, the core and back. It can create balance if you tend to overuse one side of your body. It can give enhanced mobility and can even prevent injury.
Running, walking, and cycling are excellent cross training sports as they will increase aerobic fitness and build stamina. Walking in particular is underrated, but it’s a good option if you want to protect your joints from impact. Running will burn off more calories and boost your stamina faster, but power walking has been shown to burn an equivalent number of calories. If you are recovering from injury, walking can be a great way to stay mobile without putting too much pressure on your body.
Fancy a dip?
Swimming is a fantastic way to cross train. You will benefit from an elevated heart rate, but the water takes most of the impact stress away from your body. It is a great exercise for building endurance and improving muscle tone. Mix it up by practising several different styles within a training session to target different muscle groups. Cold water swimming has also been shown to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms and improve health.
Both weight training and rowing are good options to build muscle, especially if your primary sport requires a bit more power. You don’t need to build bulk, just use lighter weights, and add more sets.
If you have reached a plateau in your fitness and want to become a better athlete, implement cross training into your fitness plan. If you would like to take a more scientific approach, you can get a detailed analysis of your body’s genetic profile, allowing you to tailor your workouts to what suits your body best.