5 Tips to Train Like a Professional Athlete

From special diets to ice cold baths, we’ve all heard about the lengths a professional athlete will go to gain a competitive edge. Building muscle, developing speed, and improving agility are beneficial ways to enhance your athletic performance.

But, to dominate on the field and in the gym, it takes a lot more than simply developing your body. Are you ready to take your performance to the next level? Below are 5 ways to train like a professional athlete:

1. Prioritize Compound Movements

When you can stimulate more muscle, you can gain more muscle. With compound multi-joint movements such as squats, deadlifts, power cleans and overhead presses, you get the best bang for your buck when trying to stimulate the most amount of muscle fibers. Consequently, when more muscles are used, more load can be applied, and this will help develop your overall strength.

2. Work Out Your Brain

Pro athletes like Matt Ryan and Steph Curry train their brains to get a leg up on the competition. You may be wondering, “how exactly do these pro athletes train their brains?” They use a cognitive training tool that improves mental abilities that are critical to sports performance. These abilities include awareness, attention, and decision-making. They are beneficial for identifying key play opportunities, filtering out distractions, responding more quickly to plays and predicting your opponent’s moves. With the combination of reading, brain training games and equipment like NeuroTracker, you can indulge in some cognitive training.

3. Incorporate Plyometrics

Jumping is an exercise that can make your movements more explosive. Consequently, this could improve your overall sports performance. If you work on your jumping and landing mechanics, this could have a high carryover to multiple sports. Some of these sports include basketball, badminton, soccer, volleyball and tennis. To train like a pro athlete, you can start by incorporating some basic plyometric exercises such as squat jumps, box jumps and quick vertical jumps (spending as minimal time on the ground as possible).

4. Drink More Water

For your muscles to function optimally during training, it’s crucial to drink enough water and to stay hydrated. The sheets of connective tissue that attach and enclose your muscles are largely composed of water. So, if you get dehydrated, it can negatively impact your performance. In simple terms, the sliding surfaces between these sheets of tissues and other structures can become “glued” down. As a result, you may experience cramping while working out, which compromises your training session. For high-performance athletes, experts recommend multiplying your bodyweight in pounds times 0.6 to get the number of ounces you should drink each day.

5. Incorporate Active Recovery

When you have stiff, sore muscles, the last thing you feel like doing is working out. Experts say, however, that the worst thing you can do when you have over exhausted muscles, is to do nothing at all. Pro athletes engage in short, low-intensity workouts, to speed up recovery. Even small workouts such as walking, 15-minute dynamic warm-ups and sled pushing / dragging variations can increase blood flow without causing soreness.

Sure, becoming a pro athlete requires hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. At least now you know the ways you can take your training to the next level.