Maybe you aren’t looking to become the next Serena Williams, Derek Jeter, Usian Bolt, Michael Phelps or Mia Hamm, but if you participate in a strength and conditioning program you my friend are an ATHLETE.
So what are these “next level” athletes doing to build that ‘ideal physique’ that many of us train and work are tails off for? The answers probably won’t SHOCK you, but in order to reach your personal fitness goals, it may be time to hear the facts.
Eat to Perform put together a list of the Top 10 things that the best athletes do that you likely are not doing.
10 Things The Best Athletes Do, That You Can Too!
1. They don’t look for a quick fix.
That admirable, and ‘ideal physique’ came from dedicating countless hours of training and programming. These athletes did not earn their bodies over a couple weeks, and they never, ever gave up on their dreams. If you feel discouraged with your fitness results, as many of us do at times, you won’t find the resolution by giving up. You have to be dedicated to the basics, and put in the time. Enjoy the journey, and be delighted in your small accomplishments because in time they will be your BIGGEST accomplishments.
2. They know where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there.
The best athletes move from one goal to the next to uphold their sense of interest. If you find yourself struggling to maintain focus or passion, set a SMART Goal. Something as simple as a lifting PR, or taking seconds off your mile run – then set a deadline (realistic), and most importantly commit to the goal.
3. They don’t try to reach their physique goals by cutting Calories.
EAT TO TRAIN, do not train to eat. The best athletes are rarely looking to cut their daily caloric intake. Their food is used to enhance work capacity, and work to maintain and build the muscle they are training for.
4. They don’t obsess over their abs.
My friends those 6 pack abs do not come from 1000’s of crunches.
“The best athletes I know don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about how to get abs; the work they do ultimately just lands them in that spot.” Alex Viada, Ultra Endurance Athlete, Elite Powerlifter, and beer enthusiast.
Eat to Perform can agree that form follows function, and that if you want to look athletic… well, you are gonna need to BE athletic. Start training to improve your performance and the rest will fall into place.
5. They don’t worry about putting on body fat due to overeating.
Majority of athletes are training to gain hard muscle and not worrying much about losing fat. As Eat To Perform explains, if you want to squat more, for example, “You need to put a lot of quality work into developing your quads and glutes, perfecting your form, and increasing your work capacity. That cannot be accomplished in a Calorie deficit, and it’s a lot harder to do if you’re worried about your scale weight.” It all comes back to the Eat to Train/Perform.
6. They train smart and focus on incremental performance increases.
These days it seems that the majority of folks believe that to perform at their highest levels you should be training all day every, pushing yourself to exhaustion during every training session – more reps, heavier weights, tougher workouts, longer duration etc. The Fitness Industry has news for you – the best athletes DO NOT train this way.
So what are the fittest people in the world doing? They are varying their training with a combination of activities, intensity levels, and modes of training. You will probably find these athletes working on their aerobic capacity in the morning with high intensity interval training (HITT), followed by an evening weight training routine to develop max strength. (They didn’t start out like that, and typically they will do one or the other.) Many times, these athletes are working with coaches that have specifically designed training programs, applying progressive overload overtime so that their performance peaks at a specific time. This programming is never random, it is done with purpose.
7. They don’t feel guilty when they miss workouts.
Rest is not only necessary, it is immensely beneficial. If you are pushing the limits of human performance you will need to schedule yourself some much needed recovery time. If you are skipping training sessions weeks on end you may need to re-evaluate your time commitments, but don’t feel guilty about skipping a day if you have a consistent training record. A little extra recovery may boost your hunger and commitment in reaching that goal you set!
8. They surround themselves with people who’re better than they are.
What happens if you are the strongest/fastest/best athlete in your gym? The drive to better yourself dwindles, and you are no longer challenged by your surroundings – the old “Big fist-little pond” effect. Maybe its time to change perspective. Athletes will often put themselves out there and seek out new challengers. Find a workout, or challenger that will make you better. Don’t be afraid to fail, use competition as a motivator to advance towards your own individual needs.
9. They constantly seek out new information and develop a broad knowledge base.
Believe it or not, you have the same access to training, nutrition, or motivational materials that high-level performance athletes have. The difference? These athletes are constantly studying and applying new methods. Dedicate time to making yourself 1% better each and every day by reading, pursuing a certification or higher education, or seek out the knowledge of the best coaches in your area.
10. They do EVERYTHING they need to do to be the best they can be.
The best athletes in the world are not without the every day demands that we all face. Many are parents, with time consuming jobs but they make no excuses when it comes to eating clean, training, and recovery.
PMA – Developing a Positive Mental Attitude, or Mindset will help you become the BEST version of yourself. It is about improving the quality of your life, striving for constant improvement, nourishing your body, and being in control of yourself. There is an athlete in you, but you have to be willing to put in the time and “pay the price” for that ‘ideal physique’.
It’s time to set those goals, and go after them!
Source: Eat to Perform