TEN WAYS TO BLUNT YOUR ATHLETIC POTENTIAL
Courtesy of CrossFit Oneworld
- Not having goals, both short term and long term.
A fitness regimen with no goals is like driving to a destination you have never been to before without a map or directions. Goals keep you on track. You seek out guidelines and information on how to achieve them. Make those goals!!!
- Avoiding your weaknesses.
Why is it everyone and their mother shows up on the days we do some crazy workout, but when weightlifting days or running days come up, people suddenly don’t feel so well??? Weaknesses stem from a series of issues. Suck at an Olympic lift? It is probably tied into deficiencies in the strength and flexibility department. Can’t get through that whole 5k run? You need to eat better and build up your cardio/respiratory endurance. Attack your weaknesses and your strengths will improve.
- Poor nutrition.
Food completely controls how your body functions throughout the day. It is the gasoline for your engine. An engine needs gas to run, and it runs better with good gas than it does with crappy gas. Start simple. Make changes in the quality of what you eat then fine tune it from there.
- Alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is good for only one thing: getting buzzed. Unfortunately, getting buzzed causes a bunch of bad things to happen, mostly lack of control. You don’t sleep well (despite possibly even passing out). It dehydrates you. You tend to succumb to eating crap. You are damaging brain cells and your liver. But did I mention that alcohol is really good for getting buzzed??
- Lack of sleep.
You can never get “too much” sleep. Our bodies are actually wired to go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up at the crack of dawn. Electricity has jacked up our internal clocks, so no matter who you are and how much you sleep, it is never enough. Sleep is a huge component in the body recovery system. Get more of it!!!
- Not taking proper rest/recovery time. Rest is different from sleep.
You need to let the body rest from your training regimen. Take a rest day every few days. I would even recommend that every few months you take at least a week off from high intensity training. Your body needs time to heal, along with your brain. You will come back rip roaring ready to go both physically and mentally. Recovery simply means listening to your body. Pain is different from the discomfort of training. Pain needs to be respected. Pain takes time to heal. Turn your ego off and let your body heal up proper. The dumbest thing I ever heard anyone say was, “It hurts to train, but I have to workout.” (That was me by the way….)
- Poor hydration.
Water is often an overlooked ingredient in a good training regimen. Water makes up about 60% of the human body. Lean muscle tissue is about 99% water. Bone is made up of about 22% water and even your skin contains water. There is not one system in the entire body that does not depend on water. You will be hard pressed to drink to much water in a day. Drink up!!!
- Lack of consistency.
It’s not easy to stick with a workout program. You can get very positive results working out only two to three days a week if you really work hard and follow a solid nutrition plan. Start small…commit yourself to two days a week and build up to three. Once you start training three or more days a week, you will make leaps and bounds in reaching your athletic potential.
- Lack of a proper warm-up/cool down.
Sure, argue all you want that when the shit hits the fan in life, you don’t get the chance to warm up. Very true, but a training session is not life. You are attempting to improve your athletic ability. You can’t do jack if you get hurt. Warm up those muscles, joints and connective tissues by doing active stretching in full range of motion. Take the time to do some good static stretching when you are done working out. Flexibility will increase. Injuries will decrease. Your workout performance will improve dramatically.
- Not listening to your coach.
An experienced coach knows what they are talking about. For the most part, I know I can judge a person’s athletic ability watching them perform a few simple tasks just within a warm-up. Why is it when I tell someone they should scale a movement or a rep count or the load, they don’t want to listen to me? The road to better athletic performance is a path easier traveled when you listen to an experienced coach. Trust me.