If you’re an athlete, there are probably many fitness traits of successful athletes you’re already aware of. Or, perhaps, you’re just embarking on a physical lifestyle and would like a few training tips to get you started. Finding a good fitness role model can propel you to continue to reach for your goals and embrace the future you have ahead as a new athlete. Consider some of these fitness traits of successful athletes, and if you have a favorite athlete you love, give them a shout out in the comments section.
One of the most common fitness traits of successful athletes you’ll see is persistence. Persistence to keep pushing and striving to achieve in the midst of struggles is something almost every athlete encounters. One of my favorite athletes, Brendan Brazier, faced many dietary struggles in the beginning of his own fitness career. Until he learned that a high raw, vegan diet fueled him better than no other, he was never able to achieve his personal desired energy levels. Since he persisted in finding what works for him, he is now one of the top athletes of the world. Not to mention Brendan is an amazing author along with creator of one of the world’s top vegan fitness products, Vega by Sequel Naturals.
2. Clean Diet
No matter if you’re vegan or not, your diet should be clean when you get serious about your athletic journey. Most every successful athlete has a healthy eating regimen, though that may differ depending on their personal food choices. Sure, they have cheat days as many people do, but when they’re in training mode they stick to a clean diet to fuel their athletic routines.
3. Train Hard
You can’t become a true athlete without putting in some serious training time. Most athletes train for most of the day when they are in competition mode. Many report having training sessions up to 8 hours at a time, and some have twice-a-day routines. One fitness trait that you need to train well is diligence, whether that means getting up at 4:30 a.m. or going to bed by 10 p.m. to get enough rest.
While we’re on the topic of sleep, it’s a top priority for anyone serious about their athletic performance. Sleep is the best time for your muscles to repair and rebuild. Your energy will suffer, along with your muscle recovery without enough rest. Aim for at least 7 hours at a minimum, with 9 being optimal. Do what it takes, but get to bed already!
5. Different Routines
You’ll never see an athlete do the exact same workout each day. They know better! Sure it might feel comfortable, but no progress is met this way. You need to challenge your body if you want to enhance your athletic performance. Change up routines, try a new workout, and do exercises that incorporate all muscles of your body, not just one or two large groups like your legs or arms.
6. Take off Days
Another top tip that all fitness athletes make priority in their schedules is taking an off day. Pick the best day of the week for you, and eliminate any intense form of training. Walking is fine, but try to let your body get as much rest as possible during this time. It gives your muscles extra time to recover, allows your body to refuel glycogen levels, and you’ll find it gives you more energy in your workouts the rest of the week.
7. Fuel Properly
You don’t just need to fuel properly before your workouts, but also immediately after. This feeds your muscles and allows them to flourish as best as possible. Before your workouts, it’s best not to eat something too dense like a heavy fat. One exception is coconut oil, since it’s actually a metabolism enhancer. The best options for pre-workout fuel include something that has a little protein, a few carbs, and a tiny bit of fat. My favorite? Chia seeds! They’re amazing for providing long-lasting energy and also help hydrate your body by holding water inside. You can make chia gel, or sprinkle the seeds on some oatmeal, in a small smoothie, or just drink them with some almond milk. After your workouts, you need to refuel with something of the same ratio of nutrients, but preferably easy to digest carbohydrates to replenish fuel, and also protein to feed muscle recovery. Again, it’s best not to eat a heavy source of fat after a workout, which slows down digestion and can alter how quickly carbs and protein are absorbed into the body. A good idea is a green smoothie with your choice protein powder, some berries, maybe a banana or sweet potato cubes, and perhaps some chia or flax. Oh, and of course, don’t forget the spinach or kale! Chlorophyll from greens will help eliminate post workout inflammation and also help enhance muscle recovery and energy levels.
All fitness athletes know that these 7 items above are critical to their success. If you’re an athlete, who’s your favorite successful fitness athlete? What trait do you try to emulate most from them into your own routines?