Healthy Training

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In order to compete at peak levels, athletes need strength, endurance, speed, agility and other physical characteristics. In order to attain high levels of these attributes, you’ll need specific physical training, sometimes performing the same exercises differently, or abandoning certain beneficial workouts at one time of year because they are counterproductive.

 

 

Planning

Athletic training requires careful planning to create a calendar of workouts that progress from general to specific exercises. For example, in sports where fast movements are used, you will work on muscle building, which requires slower muscle movements and heavier weights, farther away from your time of performance. As you get close to your season, tournament or meet date, you will begin to train your muscles for use, decreasing the amount of weight you use and increasing the speed at which you work.
In essence, you start your training with slow, muscle-building movements and finish your program with fast, muscle-use exercises.

 

Specificity

One of the principles of training is that you match your work to the demands of the sport.  Soccer players will work more on lower body, while football player linesmen will have a heavy emphasis on upper-body fitness. A long-distance runner will train her body’s aerobic energy systems, while a tennis player will train using anaerobic exercises and drills. Athletic training allows you to “practice like you play, so you’ll play like you practice.”

 

Adaptation

As you continue to exercise your muscles in a certain way, your body will adapt to these movements and demands and make physiological changes to make it easier to handle these workloads. Less stress means less result, especially in areas of muscle building and calorie burning. A sound athletic training program builds in variety and change to challenge the body in continuously different ways to maximize the benefit of your work.

 

Active Recovery

Your body can only take so much stress and punishment before muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and tissue begin to degrade, sprain, tear, break or otherwise perform poorly. Building rest and recovery periods into your athletic training helps you keep your body in top physical condition by not overtaxing it. Total rest is not required during an off-season training plan, which might include light activity, and specific cross training, as simple as playing pick-up basketball or tennis during the off-season for football players.

 

Nutrition

Coordinating your nutrient intake with your training will help you maximize your results because your body can perform better and recover more quickly with the correct amounts of sodium, potassium, electrolytes, protein, fat, carbohydrates and water. For example, if you are a football player working on muscle building many months prior to the start of your season, you’ll eat more lean protein to help with increasing muscle mass. The morning of a game, you’ll eat more carbohydrates to provide fuel for your muscles during your activity.