Nowadays commercial gyms are way more and easily accessible than 10 years ago. Thanks to this, a lot of people are drawn to them because they pursue a healthy lifestyle. There is something nice for everyone – weightlifting, powerlifting, Tabata, Crossfit, yoga, etc. Still, not everyone is getting the results they desire and this often makes them quit. There are multiple reasons behind this and it’s not that people don’t work hard enough (or at least not for the most part). Today we’ll talk about how to become a better athlete in 5 easy steps. It’s not that hard, I promise, but showing up in the gym is not enough.
First and foremost, have a proper nutrition.
It’s considered that 70% of the results of an athlete are coming from his or her nutrition. People say “you are what you eat” and this is so, so true. If you’re eating junk food or just lots of processed food on a daily basis, hitting the gym 7 days a week wouldn’t save you. Soda and alcohol are not your friends. Liquid calories are easy to consume, while they are probably the worst of them all. To become a better athlete, you would need to keep your calories close to your maintenance (depending on your goals). Your diet will become a lifestyle and the pizza will be a treat once in a while.
Goal setting is another concept that most beginners ignore or neglect. When you go to the gym, do you ask yourself why you are doing it? Do you know what kind of outcome you are expecting? Have you thought about losing weight or gaining weight? Or about gaining strength? These are a few of the questions you may need to ask yourself before signing up for a monthly gym subscription. If you want to become a better athlete, you would need to set up your goals properly and then chase results.
To become a better athlete, you would need a good recovery.
Or as you may like it more – sleep. Research shows that sleep is crucial for your performance in the gym. This research paper is very detailed and I strongly suggest you read it end-to-end as much as needed until you’re certain you understood everything. Getting enough sleep and recovery will not only improve your performance in the weight room, but it may also help you maintain lower body fat %. Of course, this wouldn’t matter if you don’t have proper nutrition.
Picking the right training program is another major factor. In a recent blog post, I shared with you how I mine and all the research I did. Your training program depends on your goals – yes, everything is connected. You may also fine-tune your training program depending on your preferred training style or type of sport. It’s not always straight-forward and you may go through few trial and error cycles until you find the one that fits you.
Expensive gadgets and gear wouldn’t help you to become a better athlete.
Recently I posted on Instagram on that topic. Buying expensive weightlifting shoes, t-shirt, or activity tracker wouldn’t improve your performance. Or at least not to the level you think it would. I owned Fitbit Charge 2 and it helped me to track my heart rate during cardio workouts. Why that was important? Because I was consistently feeling mid-workout that I need to stop because I couldn’t breathe. Monitoring my heart rate helped me to pace myself better. Last summer I upgraded to Garmin Forerunner 945 because I wanted better sleep, recovery, heart rate, and overall activity tracking. Plus, it has nice smartwatch features and better battery life than the Fitbit Charge 2.
My point here is, think about why you need that expensive gear. Would it help you to become a better athlete or it is a status item? As I’m training without a personal trainer, my Garmin helps me to monitor and track my performance, thus becoming a better athlete.
To become a better athlete, you would need to align your nutrition, recovery, goals, and strategy.
Which of these you are already doing and in which area you think you could do better?