Has your exercise routine gone stale in recent months? Do you find yourself going through the motions without making significant improvements? If so, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, smashing through the glass ceiling of your physical limitations is easier than you think. Recent innovations in training methodology and technology mean many athletes are now doing things they never thought possible.
If you feel stuck in a rut, however, you may not know where to start when it comes to improving your athletic performance. After all, you’ve got an overwhelming number of options, and it can be challenging to understand what’s the most effective use of your time.
But we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for the best methods of taking your training to the next level without overcomplicating things.
Define Your Athletic Performance Goals
Let’s start with a simple question. How do you want to improve your athletic performance?
Is it about sculpting your body, dropping weight, or improving muscle strength? Or are you interested in response time, mental prowess, and muscle strength?
No matter what your approach may be, defining your athletic performance goals in a clear, measurable way will help you make consistent progress.
It’s also time to shake up your workouts. What are some effective ways to do this?
Try incorporating yoga, pilates, or aerobic exercises into your routine. Functional exercises represent another great idea that we’ll explore further a little later in this article.
The bottom line is this. Changing up your routine forces your body to react to different situations and training conditions. These activities can also prove fantastic for avoiding and preventing repetitive muscle injuries.
Measure and Track Your Performance During Training
Coaches certified in strength and conditioning have long been in the business of data collection. They track everything from times and distances to weights and heights. Collecting this information about the athletes they work with permits them to objectively define improvements in performance.
What can you learn from these tried and true coaching methods? The quality of information you have about your past athletic performance will help you make informed training decisions moving forward.
Besides recording these numbers, you should also make notes about subjective factors that could impact your overall performance. For example, you should rank:
- Your daily readiness to perform physically
- Your preparedness level
- The content of the drills performed
- Any feedback you received from coaches or other athletes
- Atmospheric conditions
That way, you’ll gain a better sense of how you perform under different circumstances and in different situations. You’ll start to see patterns and can make adjustments or come up with plans to tighten weak spots of your performance as well as see where you need to train harder.
Use a Smartwatch to Track Your Progress
If you’ve got a coach that regularly tracks this information for you, ask to review it regularly. If you don’t have a regular trainer keeping track of your progress, that doesn’t give you an excuse to stop keeping records. After all, wearables abound today.
They can monitor and keep track of your progress for a specific workout or activity. You can use this data to set incremental goals.
Invest in a smartwatch, and use it as an informational hub. A sophisticated watch can track a variety of parameters, including:
- Exercise reps
- Heart rate
- Running distance
- Elevation changes
- And much more
Consider streamlining your data collection by having it automatically go to your tablet, computer, or smartphone. That way, you’ll be able to sit down and analyze it fully.
Add Functional Workouts to Your Repertoire
Where and how should you perform functional workouts? They should be performed in the gym and consist mainly of drills. These drills permit your body to experience muscle stimulation and stress while varying activities.
What distinguishes functional training from other workout types? Think of functional training as exercise with a purpose. It focuses on movement patterns that let you push the envelope on athletic performance by focusing on details of motion and function that may currently be holding you back.
What might a typical functional workout look like? It often consists of multiple-joint exercises such as lunges, squats, deadlifts, and push-ups. The best workouts will incorporate movements in multiple planes.
What’s the ultimate goal with functional training? These exercises enhance your body’s ability to perform efficiently as one unit. By training multiple muscles at the same time, you strengthen your body’s ability to function better overall.
Staying properly hydrated is one of the most important priorities you have as an athlete, and it can have a significant impact on your performance. Getting dehydrated is easier than you think, so you’ll need to make sure you keep plenty of fluids handy while training.
Remember that whether you’re sweating it out in the mid-day sun or exercising in a cool indoor gym, your body will lose plenty of fluids through sweating. Your muscles also produce heat while exercising, and this increases your core body temperature.
Sweating represents your body’s attempt to stay cool. How much fluid can you actually lose through perspiration? Up to 45 ounces of water per hour if you’re involved in an intense workout.
If you get dehydrated enough while working out, it can even lead to injury, loss of consciousness, and life-threatening heatstroke. How do you stay hydrated and avoid these problems? By making sure that you drink between 20 and 40 ounces of water per hour throughout your exercise routine.
You should also drink plenty of water before you start exercising. That way, you’ll have enough liquid available to produce sweat. Water will also help with muscle recovery.
That said, too much of a good thing applies here, too. It could lead to nausea and bloating, which will negatively impact your athletic performance.
So, stick to the recommended 20 to 40 ounces. Paying attention to hydration will significantly increase your athletic performance.
Get Mental With Your Training
Athletic performance techniques include training your brain. Yet, many athletes neglect this area of performance. You must understand that sports and athletic endeavors involve more than just muscle performance.
If your mental game isn’t there, you’ll never take it to the next level. What are some of the latest ways athletes are training their brains? They include devices that take advantage of visual stimulants.
To perform these exercises, you must respond to the stimulant as accurately and rapidly as possible. When you use these devices in concert with cutting-edge tracking tools, you’ll gain powerful insights that you can use to continue honing your athletic prowess.
When you first start participating in sports vision training, you may feel like you’re not doing much. But be patient, and stick it out.
Remember that athletes all over the world perform cognitive performance exercises. Why? Because they work by improving visual accuracy, response times, memory, and much more.
Don’t Skimp on Recovery
Many athletes make the same mistake. They focus so intensely on working out that they overtrain or train inefficiently. This approach can lead to exhaustion, poor performance, injury, and other health problems.
Remember this. Your muscles need time to recover and heal.
After all, your muscle tissues experience tiny tears every time you exercise. While this process remains vital to building muscle and bulking up, if you don’t permit your muscles to repair, you’ll have the opposite effect.
Although athletes believe in the mantra of working through the pain, this approach can be self-destructive. If you don’t give your muscles time to recover you will experience serious injuries. In fact, nothing leads to more muscle strains and injuries than inadequate recovery time.
Besides allowing your muscles time to recover and repair, focus on replenishing your energy stores. How do you do this? By replenishing your muscles’ glycogen supply by eating carbohydrates post-workout.
Don’t Neglect Post-Workout Stretching
What’s another tip for quicker recovery? Make sure that you stretch properly before and after workouts. While many people remember to warm up and stretch before an intense workout, a surprising number of athletes neglect a post-workout routine.
Don’t make this mistake. Post-workout stretching allows your muscles to cool down.
It also leaves them more pliable and helps you avoid muscle soreness and joint stiffness. Stretching after a workout can also improve your range of motion and up your overall performance results.
Get Professional Massages
What else should you add to your post-workout routine? For a more effective recovery technique, add regular massages to your agenda. Soft tissue massages can speed up muscle recovery time.
When you work with a professional masseuse, they can also help you with muscle realignment and the reduction of inflammation. Massages ease tightness while improving the function of your circulatory system, too.
Massages also help reduce the build-up of lymphatic fluids in muscle after an intense workout. This buildup can be a common cause of muscle cramps and stiffness, but regular massages mobilize lymphatic fluid, flushing your system free of toxins.
Professional massages will also permit your blood to have an easier time flowing through your body. This, in turn, can pump oxygenated blood and essential nutrients to your sore muscles, making muscle recovery a more rapid process.
Fuel Your Body With the Right Nutrients
If you’re training hard but filling your body with junk, your performance will suffer. The same goes for athletes that don’t take in the correct number of calories per day. Or who neglect consuming the optimal macros for their needs.
You can set the tone for each day by choosing a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Make sure it provides you with an adequate supply of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. A hearty breakfast will provide you with the fuel you need to power your muscles and your brain.
Besides starting out well, what are some other nutritional considerations you should bear in mind? Avoid simple sugars and carbs. They lead to drastic blood sugar drops that can leave you feeling exhausted, which is the last thing you need in the middle of a training session or competition.
What’s a better alternative? Choose complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat foods, legumes, and vegetables. These foods fall relatively low on the glycemic index, which means they take longer to break down.
Positive routines regarding food allow you to regulate your blood sugar, enjoying a steady supply of energy all day long. Not only do you need to know what to eat, but you also need to know when to eat. Stick to meals every three to four hours.
Pre- and Post-Workout Meals Matter
You should also fuel workouts with a protein shake about 30 to 60 minutes before your session begins. That way, you can saturate your muscles with the amino acids vital to bulking up throughout your routine.
After you’ve completed your workout, you’ll need to eat again. This post-workout meal will help you replenish the nutrients lost during exercise. It’ll also help you speed up the recovery process.
What’s the ideal post-workout meal look like? It should contain up to 80 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein.
For less strenuous workouts, you can go with slightly reduced percentages. That said, it’s hard to go wrong with a carbs to protein ratio of 2:1.
Add Supplements to Your Diet
No matter how careful you are with your diet, ensuring you get the nutrients you need can be difficult. For this reason, high-quality supplements can help you guarantee you get all of the essential macronutrients you need.
When it’s all said and done, your system can’t run optimally without the proper nutritional support. Which multivitamins make sense for many athletes? Premium brands that provide a full dose of Vitamins C, D, A, E, and B12, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
You may also wish to consider supplements specifically designed to aid muscle building. These supplements can help with protein synthesis processes, resulting in better performance and the chance to get stronger.
Buy SARMS to find out more about what high-quality supplements can do for performance.
The tips above will help you take better care of your body and improve your athletic performance. Diet and exercise represent two critical components of this transformation. So keep up on practices like pre- and post-workout stretching as well as getting professional massages. Want more articles like this one? Check out the rest of our blog!