Jan Cortes •
Training like a professional athlete is hard. However, this shouldn't dishearten you from trying it out. As the Olympics have recently started, now's a fun time to get active.
While there’s no gold medal waiting for you at the end, the benefits are certainly worth it. If you’re ready to start your training, here are 10 ways on how to train like a 2021 Tokyo Olympics athlete.
1. Warm Up Properly
You certainly wouldn't want to pull a hamstring right when you've just started your training. Make sure that you warm up properly beforehand. For athletes, a warm-up includes a couple of static or dynamic stretches, a small amount of cardio or some foam rolling. This will help prepare your muscles and tendons for what’s coming.
2. Activate Your Muscles
Once you’re done foam-rolling, you can activate your muscles by pulling on a resistance band. To start, stand on a band, grab it with both of your hands then raise it all the way up over your head before dropping to mid-level to form a T-pose. Raise your arms back up overhead, do an overhead shrug, go back to mid-level and repeat. This should activate your muscles and improve your joints' stability.
3. Prioritize Compound Movements
When you use more muscles, you end up training more of them. With ground compound movements like deadlifts, front squats, power cleans and overhead presses, you use multiple joints all at once. This activates more muscles, helping you build your overall strength.
4. Start Jumping
Make your movements more explosive by jumping more effectively. By working on your jumping and landing techniques, you will perform better in vertical sports. Try squat jumps, box jumps and quick vertical jumps.
5. Stay Hydrated
Once you’ve put in the work and start sweating, make sure to stay hydrated. Drinking water will not only keep you moving but also help your muscles function better while training. To know the amount of water you need to drink per day, multiply your body weight by 2/3.
6. Train for Mileage and Endurance
In order to train like a world-class athlete, you need to master the basics, which means building up your mileage and endurance. There are various ways to do this, but the easiest way is to get a pair of running shoes and start putting in some miles. This will help you build a good base for more intensive workouts.
7. Schedule Your Workouts
If you ever find yourself skipping workouts because of your busy schedule, then it’s time to be diligent in keeping your routine. Stay on track by jotting down what you're scheduled to do as well as your progress. This will keep you from succumbing to laziness.
To get you started, a fitness journal will help you keep track of your schedule, progress and gains, giving you a better sense of achievement.
8. Work On Your Mentality
Athletes are known to be strong enough to push through mental barriers to have the willingness to move forward no matter what. To get you inspired, read stories of athletes as this will help you stay motivated especially when you're feeling down.
9. Get Enough Sleep
There’s no substitute for sleep. In addition to helping us stay healthy, sleep also puts us in an anabolic state that’s optimal for muscle-building and growth. As such, try to get as much sleep as possible and be consistent with your sleeping schedule. Opt for a full seven to nine hours of sleep daily.
10. Practice Active Recovery
To speed up recovery, try engaging in slow and short low-intensity workouts like walking, dynamic stretching and sled dragging variations. This will help increase blood flow without causing soreness associated with eccentric contractions. It’s also a good way to prepare your exhausted muscles for rest and recovery.
Best Athlete Supplements
Here are some of our recommended pre and post-workout supplements that will boost your training: