Our top five bitesize chunks of training advice will help you get more from your sessions, train harder and avoid injuries.
From the best athletes in the world to regular gym-goers, the following five points are applicable for all.
Take these onboard and you can’t go too far wrong:
The natural human instinct is to keep on training and training, pushing yourself as hard as you can.
Ultimately, though, if you adopt this approach – you will eventually grind your body to a halt.
Adequate rest allows your body to fully recover from intense physical activity, reduce inflammation and give muscles the opportunity to build and regenerate.
Rest in-between sessions will help your body stay fresh and avoid injury. As will practices like using ice baths or simply a foam roller.
This is applicable to the very best athletes – from Cristiano Ronaldo to Andy Murray – rest and recovery is absolutely vital to high performance levels.
MIX UP YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE
Variety is the spice of life and all.
Avoid getting bored or fed up of your training programme by mixing things up as much as possible, changing training locations and disciplines.
For example, if you’re a runner – mix up your running routes to keep your workouts fresh and mind active.
If you’re a gymer, the same rule of thumb applies, i.e. complete arm sets one day, legs the next – it’s generally just good to keep your brain guessing and you’ll see the long-term benefits.
AVOID USING YOUR MOBILE PHONE
This is a classic and just common sense.
Okay, so we’re all guilty of looking at our phones during a training session sometimes, but try and just keep your phone in the changing room.
Constantly checking and replying to messages, changing music track and not switching off from the world will slow down the intensity of your training dramatically.
By using your phone, you could spend up to 20 minutes more in the gym, instead of an intensive more meaningful stint where you’re working close to your maximum heart rate.
The latter is where you want to be. This will help you increase your lactate threshold point and you will notice the overall impact on your fitness level.
EATING THE WRONG THINGS
Most of us feel hungry after exercise but make sure you top up your body with the right fuel.
Protein is the best post-workout source as it helps to rebuild muscle tissue and aid recovery.
Avoid heavy carbohydrates or fatty snacks after training, eating too much really defeats the object of working out in the first place!
USING THE WRONG KIT
Our final point isn’t quite as important as the four above, but nevertheless, make sure you are well kitted out and prepared for the activity you’re undertaking.
For example, if you’re training for a marathon – buy the right footwear to fit your foot type. Otherwise, you risk injury.
From professional athletes to regular gym-goers, if you feel good with what you’re wearing it will boost your confidence.
Research has also shown that it can have a positive impact on performance.