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Hit Your Peak: 10 Tips For Maximum Athletic Performance

Hit your peak and boost your game with these 10 pro tips designed to help you maximize your athletic performance!

OK, so maybe you're not an Olympic athlete. Maybe your dreams of playing in the NBA died when you realized 5-foot-8 is the tallest you'll ever be. (No offense to Nate Robinson, of course.) Heck, let's say your athletic endeavors only go as far as Sunday afternoon city-league soccer games. The truth is, no matter how much or how little you participate in sports, you should be concerned with your performance.

Your workout should do more than just help you burn fat or build muscle—it should help increase your balance, strengthen your functional movements, and make you a more athletic person. Athleticism is just as important in the gym as outside it.

Take the necessary steps to maximize your performance in the weight room, on the court, or in the pool. Too many people go through the motions without considering how much better they could be doing. The result: Substandard training leads to mediocre results.

Use these training tips to ensure that you get the most out of your workouts. The better you train, the more successful you'll be in your athletic efforts. Don't train for show. You need show and go. You'll look better, feel better, and kick significantly more butt.

1 /// Change Your Lifting Strategy

Unless you are a bodybuilder, physique athlete, or just into sculpting your body, you won't have to worry about how big your biceps are. If you're training for athletics, you can leave hypertrophy behind and focus on building strength.

As an athlete, your goal is to increase your strength and your ability to accelerate. Compound movements, like squats and power cleans, are great for increasing speed and strength. You also need to lift heavy weight. Couple heavy lifts with lightly-loaded speed lifts for maximum benefit.

Compound Movements

2 /// Focus on Explosion

Forget about time under tension and extremely slow, torturous reps. Drop the slow stuff and start moving weight as explosively as possible. Keep the bar under control, but don't hesitate to move through the concentric portion of a lift with everything you've got.

The best movements for athletes may not even have an eccentric portion. Too much time on the downward portion of a lift can make an athlete unnecessarily sore and detract from his or her performance on the field. How do you think Reggie Bush's coaches would like it if he showed up to a game with sore legs?

3 /// Take Your Cardio Outdoors

Spending half an hour locked into a fixed plane of motion on the elliptical isn't really functional for an athlete. Take your cardio outside. Outdoor cardio workouts like hill sprints, rollerblading, or mountain biking will more closely mimic the movement patterns you'll do during your sport.

Better yet, try doing agility drills in an open field. You'll boost your balance, control, and improve your cardiovascular endurance at the same time.

agility drills

4 /// Take Cat Naps

The best thing for recovery is sleep. For maximizing your body's ability to rebuild muscle tissue, nothing comes close to eight solid hours of sleep. If you're having a tough time logging those hours, squeeze in some cat naps. Twenty or 30 minutes of sleep after a workout can go a long way toward boosting your recovery.

5 /// Supplement with Glutamine

Glutamine is an excellent supplement for optimizing recovery, especially for athletes who train frequently with extreme effort. Use it after a workout to restock your body's stores and help keep your immune system going strong.

6 /// Get Plenty of Calcium

Most people think of calcium as the bone-building nutrient. What they don't know is that it's also imperative for achieving proper muscular contractions. As a result, if you're not taking in enough calcium, your athletic performance can fall short.

Be sure to regularly eat foods such as low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and skim milk. If you're lactose intolerant, consider taking a calcium supplement.

7 /// Fuel Your Training

Athletes need to perform at their peak, inside and outside the gym. If you're training for performance, an extremely low-carb diet isn't the best plan. Any form of intense training demands glucose as a fuel source, so you need to fuel your workouts with carbs.

This doesn't mean you need to adopt a high-carb diet. But, make sure you get something like 40 grams of carbs before you hit the field. This will help you quell fatigue and maintain energy. To help your body recover, consume carbs post-workout as well.

8 /// Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Even slight dehydration can negatively influence your performance. It's not something to take lightly. You need to hydrate before, during, and after your training. Like we learned in elementary school: Your body, like the planet, is mostly water, so drink up!

9 /// Take Rest Days

On your rest days, rest. Don't do an active recovery cardio session or go for an hour-long brisk walk for "leisure." Make a solid commitment to rest your central nervous system. You'll feel better going into your next training session.

10 /// Periodize Your Training

The most popular form of period training is conjugate training. Say what? Conjugate training means you're improving multiple fitness qualities at the same time. So, even if you put 50-70 percent of your work on max effort, you never completely ignore speed or agility.

In more simple terms, don't just go into the gym and lift willy-nilly. You need a specific methodology that will help you reach your goals. If you're serious about boosting your performance power, consider working with a certified strength and conditioning specialist or other qualified trainer. He or she will be able to develop the right plan for your needs.


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About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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Jes486

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Jes486

About the Calcium. Since recently I started drinking less milk, because of the fact that Calcium blocks the absorption of Zinc.
Zinc is needed together with Magnesium for the testosterone production. I read this when studying the way ZMA works.

On the other hand Calcium is needed to prevent Osteoporosis when we age. So I would actually come to the conclusion not to drink too much, but just what is needed work the human body.

Nov 1, 2012 3:20pm | report
 
seblofer

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seblofer

I'd say to take as much as YOUR body requires. Keeping a moderate intake is okay so long as it is within what your body needs.

Nov 1, 2012 8:26pm | report
3rd_PLaneT

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3rd_PLaneT

:l Youre that serious about zinc?

Nov 2, 2012 6:59am | report
DocF

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DocF

Really good article, enjoyed reading this.

Nov 2, 2012 5:05pm | report
 
20fourseven

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20fourseven

no mention of vitamin D through regular sun exposure? Vitamin D plays more of a role in performance than calcium.

Nov 4, 2012 11:27am | report
 
amils26

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amils26

Eating ,Trainning and Sleeping sleeping ...Sleep is the key .

Nov 7, 2012 11:04pm | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 167.55 lbs
  • bf: 16.0%
chicagoshelp

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chicagoshelp

Great idea to spread the word about learning what you are doing and then creating your own custimized routine. This way of attacking training is what keeps me going for sure, 100%. I mean like my dad told me do it right, mentally attack the movement with purpose or why progress at all... SOmething like that anyway keep it up!!!

Nov 9, 2012 7:53am | report
 
tiuvarta

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tiuvarta

To me the best way of doing the cardio part of the work out is to actually play a sport, rather than just going for a run. Football, soccer, beach volleyball or waterpolo will keep your mind busy while working your cardio, balance and reaction time.

Nov 15, 2012 11:04am | report
 
FitForFreedom

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FitForFreedom

Yeah it's crazy how much tiring and sweaty I get from playing a simple game like Walleyball rather than doing conventional cardio.

Nov 18, 2012 11:16am | report
BallOutFitness

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BallOutFitness

I loved this article, im a big fan of hydration and out door ardio! sprinting and heavy squats and DEADS are the WAY TO GO. i PRd in deadlifts on my channel!

Nov 22, 2012 4:45pm | report
 
BallOutFitness

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BallOutFitness

I loved this article, im a big fan of hydration and out door ardio! sprinting and heavy squats and DEADS are the WAY TO GO. i PRd in deadlifts on my channel!

Nov 22, 2012 4:45pm | report
 
Fabulous1

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Fabulous1

The simple equation is this: 33.33% Exercise - 33.33% Diet/Supplements - 33.33% Rest/Recovery:( Not necessarily in that order because they are all equally as important). If you do more of one then the other lacks. You can't excape this law.

Nov 29, 2012 9:15am | report
 
Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Comments

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