We can’t all be Olympic athletes, but that doesn’t mean that the tactics and routines that elite sportsmen rely on don’t apply to us.
With that in mind, here are just a few techniques used by world-class Olympians that anyone can pick up and try for themselves in their own homes.
1. Eat small, frequent meals
A healthy diet is essential for everyone, but an Olympian’s diet and health aren’t geared towards weight loss; rather they choose a nutritional and calorific balance that gives them the fuel they need to succeed.
The same goes for your own exercise endeavors. Avoiding fatty, sugary foods is fine, but you can’t eat nothing but salad and undergo intensive workouts without creating problems. Instead aim to eat smaller meals regularly enough to ensure you have the energy required to fulfill your fitness ambitions.
2. Don’t skip a day
One of the other main things which athletes do differently to regular people is train rigorously on a daily basis.
Obviously, that does not mean that you have to spend hours in the gym throughout the week to reach your physical peak. Rather it is simply sensible to implement regular exercise as part of your daily schedule, rather than staying inactive for long periods, then trying to make a difference in short bursts.
Even something as simple as going for a 20-minute walk every single day will make a major difference to your overall health, especially if you are prone to procrastinating when it comes to workouts.
3. Set achievable goals
While every Olympian wants to be the best in their chosen event, they recognize that this is not realistic in all but a small number of cases. Indeed it can be demoralising to have aims that are too lofty, which is not ideal for improving performance.
Instead, the pros and their trainers set goals which they know can be achieved, so that when this happens they can celebrate and move on to the next target.
Simplicity is also important, so when building your own workout plans be sure to aim for something you can confidently attain, and do not try to shoot for the moon until you feel you are actually ready.
4. Be focused
Focus is something that Olympians have in spades, and you can’t really manufacture this if you are only exercising for fun. But what we mean by implementing focus as part of your exercising is to work out what kind of improvements you want to see and adjust your workouts accordingly.
For example, some people train for weight loss, while others do so to build muscle mass. Whatever your intention, focusing your training on this will deliver the desired results in less time.
That is not to say you have to only do strength training, or running, or any particular form of workout if you do not want to develop a particular body type; for general fitness, just go with the flow! It’s just that those who do set goals have to be focused to reach them.
5. Avoid overtraining
Earlier we mentioned that training daily is worthwhile whether or not you are an Olympian. This is true, but that does not mean you should push yourself too hard, because overtraining is a real risk, especially for elite athletes.
The old saying ‘no pain no gain’ is a dangerous one in this context, as you might think that if your body is feeling the strain, it has to be good for you.
Muscle and joint pain that lasts for a protracted period, as well as other signs of overtraining, will let you know where your limits lie. Balance in all things will let you master your body and be more like an Olympian from day to day.