Sometimes, it is easy to believe that the success of the top specimens of human fitness comes from a place of magic and luck. In truth, pro athletes work very hard, making the most of the talent that they have and the resources at their disposal.
That being said, there are always some tips and tricks we could use from them to improve on our own athletic performance. We are not talking about having a lucky wristband or avoiding gluten even if you are not allergic. The issue here is building muscle, staying fit, working on endurance, and optimizing your recovery time. Here are a few tricks pro athletes use that you could benefit from.
This one should go without saying, but it’s often disregarded. Rest is crucial, as it helps your body recover. Typically, there should be 48 hours of rest between periods when you are exerting yourself. This is why bodybuilders and other athletes divide their workouts that focus on separate muscle groups to stay in shape.
You might think that the key to obtaining your perfect body lies in non-stop training. Nothing can be further from the truth, as it is easy to hit the plateau. This means that your workout is stalling. One of the reasons for that is that your body doesn’t recover properly and, in turn, doesn’t progress.
Remember that sleep quality is more important than sleep quantity and, if you can’t stay still for a prolonged period of time, do some active resting, like light swimming, walking, or jogging.
To stay on top of your game, you need to eat right as well. Say goodbye to trans-fats and junk food in general. Consult a nutritionist to develop a proper eating regimen for you. The point we must emphasize it that carbs and fat are there to provide your body with fuel prior to a workout, while protein builds your muscle mass.
The additional benefit of a diet rich in protein is that you will feel full for a longer time than if you’ve eaten a meal that’s heavy on carbs. Forget cupcakes and eat chicken and fish.
It has been said before, and it has to be said again – supplements are not food. They just supplement your daily intake of nutrients, hence the name. They are additions to your diet, especially in times when you can’t get a decent amount of a few minerals in your food.
Magnesium has been praised as something that removes the feeling of being tired, as well as helping muscles recover after a stressful period – for example, a match that lasts for more than an hour.
Cool down after a workout with a cold shower, or an ice bath. This will help reduce swelling, as it cools your muscles down. It also boosts your testosterone and helps you deal with muscle soreness. Many athletes, especially American Football and basketball players, use this trick so that they are ready to get back into their proper training sessions.
Even when you are not working out, you need to do some light stretching. Consider Yoga and Tai Chi. The reason behind stretching is that it lets your body retain most of its mobility, even after it has been worked to the bone. It is very comforting to know that you can still use your body to the fullest, even if you sprained something.