Can I let you in on a little secret? One little idea that has changed how I think, act and interact with the world. One that I remind myself about when I’m training, competing or just trying to get better inside and outside the gym. One little thought that I think will also change you.
The secret is this: there is no right way.
There is no one single right way to do anything. There is no set timeline to do it. There is no universal goal to achieve. You are not ahead of or behind anyone else.
There is just you, your goals, and your path to achieving those goals. It’s your journey. Whatever shape that journey takes is entirely up to you. All forward progress is progress if it is towards something that YOU want to achieve.
The progress of others does not matter. How anyone else is doing relative to you does not matter. Training is not win-lose or zero sum. For you to get better, someone else doesn’t need to get worse. What matters is whether you are doing what you can to keep improving to the best of your ability.
How freeing is that???!
Train hard. Recover harder. And stay focused on YOUR goals – they are the ones that matter to YOU.
Every athlete wants to get better, stronger, faster and improve! But what do you really need to make that happen? What does it take?
I can tell you what it doesn’t take. It doesn’t take hours-long workouts and killing yourself in the gym. It doesn’t take having the latest supplement or only eating all organic foods or severely restricting your diet. It doesn’t take having the fanciest mattress money can buy or spending hundreds of dollars on smart watches or gear. Your body won’t care if your mattress can heat and cool on demand if you’re only spending 6 hours a night in it. Nor will it care if your veggies are all organic if you rarely eat veggies in the first place!
Improving as an athlete means setting yourself up for success. At a minimum you need:
- enough training to cause your body to have to adapt and build
- enough nutrition to fuel your training AND rebuild afterwards, and
- enough sleep to recover and be ready for the next round of training!
Each aspect feeds into the others. Overtrained and under recovered? Your body can’t catch up with the demands and could get injured or even regress. Not enough training? There’s no incentive for your body to adapt to things it can already handle. Too little sleep or little food? You won’t be fully recovered from earlier training or ready to get the most of out the next session.
The key to to figure out what is enough for you – your body, your schedule and YOUR goals.
Step one to improving as an athlete is to figure out and master the basics. Once those are dialed in, then you can start to see whether you can improve with smaller factors – by training more, timing your nutrition or adding a supplement, upgrading your sleep quality. Focus on the 20% that will get you 80% of your results! We will cover each of these areas in upcoming posts – stay tuned.
Train hard. Recover harder. Repeat.
Everyone has the same 24 hours every day – 1440 minutes in which you can do just about anything. And what you do during that time can have a huge impact on your athletic performance, both positive and negative.
As a developing athlete, you are rightly concerned about getting in your training time. Of course, you need to be training to practice your skills! However, time spent training will likely take up a smaller portion of your overall weekly time than you think. A full-time job, school, commuting places, sleep, cooking, shopping, kids, home responsibilities, perusing the internet … all of these activities take up pieces of your time and not all are negotiable.
The solution? Develop your 24/7 athlete mindset – that everything I do, every choice I make for the next 24 hours is going to help me become a better athlete. Whether that means shutting off the phone to get to bed 15 minutes earlier, organizing your work life so that you can leave on time to get to training, meal planning on the weekend to make dinner simple, making the better nutrition choice – each piece builds towards being a better athlete. Training quality also matters more than training quantity – so make your hours in the gym COUNT!
Take a look at your own weekly schedule! Where can you be a better athlete, inside and outside of the gym?
Elemental: primary, basic, inherent, fundamental, from which all others are constructed
Athlete: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises or sports requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina
Hi there! I’m Amanda – athlete, weightlifter, coach, scientist and eternally curious human. I’ve created the Elemental Athlete to have a space to explore and share pieces that go in to building success as an athlete. Whether you are just starting out in your chosen sport or are one of the dedicated elite, I believe that everyone can benefit from fully exploring and understanding the basic principles of training, recovery and nutrition.
My goal is to share with you through trial and error the elemental blocks from which you can build yourself into a better athlete. Please join me on this journey of discovery – in life, health and weightlifting.