December 10, 2020
Understanding the habits of successful athletes and how they push past the mental and physical barriers is not a mistery. They were able to ascend to greatness, while the rest of us mere mortals struggle to work out 3 times a week?
Well, what are you doing at 4 a.m.? Hollywood superstar Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson has been awake for at least 30 minutes, stretching his glorious muscles.
We’re not saying you need to wake up at the crack of dawn to workout, but you might find some inspiration reading The 5 habits of highly successful (athletic) people:
Pro athletes don’t train because they have to, they do it because it’s part of their dna. Not literally, of course, but they did something that made exercise fun and a big part of who they are: Consistent training. They built it in as a habit, but they also had to learn to fit workouts in around the rest of their lives. No, you can’t just workout – you also need to have a life. There is school, work, kids, spouses, partners and other responsibilities. The pro’s found the time to put in the workout. Day after day after day.
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson says his day starts by satisfying his exercise habit. “I love putting in that hard work as early as possible to get my day started off on the right foot, mentally and physically,” he says. “Depending on the role I’m training for or playing at the time, I usually smash out about 30-50 minutes on the elliptical cross trainer first thing in the morning.”
It doesn’t matter if you run, lift, do martial arts or go for a walk – just be in the habit of daily exercise. It’s as important as any other part of your routine, like brushing your teeth or putting on your seatbelt, and will contribute to your long-term health and fitness.
“Alright team that’s it for today. Make sure you rest up over the next couple days, we have a big week ahead of us!” –Every coach, everywhere.
Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential, but why? When you exercise, your muscles develop tiny tears that help the muscle grow bigger and stronger as it heals. The recovery time is when your body adapts to the stress that was placed on it during exercise, and it is during this rest period when the real impacts of training take place, not actually during the exercise itself.
Recovery is essential to your ability to keep working out and playing sports. Sleep plays a major role in athletic performance and recuperation, and the quality and the amount of sleep has a big effect on recovery. Most muscle repair and growth occurs while sleeping, and athletes who do not get enough sleep can expect to see a decrease in their focus and energy levels, and an increase in fatigue – putting the athlete at a greater risk of injury.
Olympic legend Michael Phelps’ sleep situation is quite…different.
Eat your fruits and veggies, says Tori Bowie, the pride of Sand Hill, Mississippi, U.S.A. and former world champion sprinter.
When it comes to nutrition she keeps it simple. “I don’t count calories but am very picky about what I eat.” says Bowie, “I eat a balanced diet and stay away from junk food and fried foods.” She emphasizes eating lots of produce, finding that consuming plenty of both fruits and vegetables are great ways to stay hydrated.
Proper nutrition is important because it provides a great source of energy that is needed to perform an activity. The food we decide to eat impacts our strength, training, performance and recovery, so next time you’re about to kill that bag of chips, ask yourself how it will impact the pursuit of your goals.
Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t born with mahheev biceps (my best Arnold impression), he grew up in the little village of Graz, Austria, and only started lifting weights when he was 15.
However, even at that early age he had a positive attitude and had built a mental image of his future-self as a champion. After just five years of training, he won the Mr Universe contest – becoming the greatest bodybuilder in the world. Arnold went on to win 13 more major titles, and it was clear that focus and attitude played a big part in his success.
What Arnold had discovered was the power of visualization. There is constant communication between the mind and body, and with every thought, positive or negative, the body responds by manifesting those feelings. He also figured out that negative people tended to try to stifle him. But, like negative thinking, positive thinking can be contagious, so surrounding yourself with winners will help you become a winner. Then, like Arnold, you can create your own reality.
Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holding long-distance runner from Kenya, has a detailed way of maintaining his high confidence. Since the beginning of his career, Kipchoge has recorded each run in a training book, so that when it’s time to compete, he can look back and know he has done everything he could to set himself up for success.
Using a workout journal is one of the easiest and most effective ways to track your workouts. For example, a common workout mistake is a lack of variety – just doing the same old workouts week after week. Our bodies adapt to exercise quite easily, so if we always do the same thing, we’ll plateau as our bodies no longer change as a response to the strain of exercise.
To keep your muscles challenged, use the workout journal to help you track different training programs. This way you’ll be able to see your progress, and have the confidence to keep fighting towards your goal.
Never stop fighting!