Marathon runners do it. Professional basketball players, snowboarders and surfers do it too, but no one—no one—trains harder and smarter than Olympic athletes. However, just because you didn’t land a spot as one of world’s best athletes in Sochi doesn’t mean you can’t train just like them in order to play on their level. Reconfigure your athletic workouts, and play at their level all year round!
Start by Increasing Your Mind Power (the Most Important Part of Your Body)
The power you have to move past all physical limitations isn’t just a privilege—it’s your right. No matter how active or what shape you may be in right now, everyone has to start somewhere. If you want to complete in your first marathon or become a skilled surfer, start every morning by visualizing what that looks like.
How do you feel surfing those waves and riding them out wave after wave? How does it feel to be complimented on your 1st place time at that upcoming triathlon? Spend just a few minutes a day focusing on how it feels to be the athlete you long to be. Your mind is the most powerful part of your body. And, just like those biceps or thigh muscles you shape to be stronger, your mind is a muscle that needs to be strengthened as well.
Pay Attention to Your Body Cues
Whether you’re sprinting or swimming; jumping or playing competitive dodge ball, your body will tell you what it needs. Nothing kills an Olympic player’s performance like an injury, but an injury often results in their refusal to listen to their body’s early on signs of discomfort and pain. You probably have similar body language cues that your knee or back has given to you from time to time.
If you push yourself too hard (such as putting too much weight on yourself during a chest press) your body will pay the price. If you feel lightheaded after running on the treadmill during a faster speed, listen and respond. Slow it down. Give yourself a few minutes to rest, or a few days to recoup. Then, start up again and give any signs of discomfort or pain immediate attention.
Up Your Weekly Workout to ‘Daily’
Train like a professional athlete by enforcing this one, simple rule: make your workouts a daily one. Each one of those Olympians you saw on the slopes and in the skating ring had a goal (to win the Olympics.) For you, your goal may be to down a dress size, or to get a six pack. Whatever your goal may be, make it your mission by hitting the workouts, upping your time on the track (or on the bike, in the pool or on the elliptical) and devote yourself completely and utterly to it.
Commit to a daily workout that allows you to make progress on what you set out for, while also achieving so much more! You may not be an Olympian, but when you change up your workouts, you’ll have the persistence of one (with a body to show for it!)