Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Training Like an Athlete-Part 1: The "Everyday" Athlete

By: Joel Luedke

Defining what an "athlete" is can be tough.  Most peoples initial reaction is what you see in professional and college sports.  They aren't the only ones that train like athletes though.  Whether you are training for something such as a race or another type of competition you also need to look at. your training from the eyes of an athlete.

We are going to highlight a few key areas we think everyone that treats themselves like an athlete should focus to make sure you maximizing your training.

Have a Plan (That Extends Beyond the Week)

This area is huge.  We've talked about it before that when it comes to a workout anyone can make you work hard and potentially make you sore the next day.  This can't and shouldn't be your goal each time you get a workout in, it can actually be very detrimental to your overall progress.

In the basics of setting up your training you have to find balance within the program.  You can (and should) balance your exercises in each workout.  That could take a lot of forms (see below).  In the slightly bigger picture you need to find balance across the entire week of your problem to have everything equal out to keep balanced and increase performance.

Upper Body Push/Pull
Lower Body Push/Pull

As you get your work in order you'll extend that within your 'block'.  This typically consists of 3-4 weeks and then there and adjust or a progression in what your workouts consist of to proceed in your training.  This plan needs to be looked at from an annual basis and looking at your biggest events and making sure your training sets you up to be at peak form during those events.

Don't Forget the Conditioning
The conditioning piece is often missing in the phrase 'strength and conditioning'.  This piece of your training can vary substantially.  If you are training for a race of some sort your conditioning could be the bulk of your training and you'll have to work your strength training in with it.

If you are a strength/court/field athlete you will need to build your conditioning into your offseason or out of competition time of the year.  This can take many forms such as working on technique of speed, building aerobic capacity and on sport specific drills.  This area can't be overlooked and can be extremely beneficial to add outside of your sport specific practice and training.

The Other 22 Hours of the Day
Training typically occurs for only 1-2 hours a day and that is where you make your training adaptations and continue to build your body.  While that time is extremely important, how you treat your body and what you do in the other 22-ish hours of the day are extremely important.  Nutrition is going to make or break your training.  That includes not just putting in good calories but also putting in enough calories is extremely important.

The other major area is sleep.  You NEED it.  It is really hard to recovery without getting enough sleep.  It is hard to run on 6 hours or less and still perform at the highest level in your training.  Get Sleep!

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