It takes a lot of commitment and hard work to reach a healthy fitness level, but it takes more to maintain it, especially as you age. The metabolism and capabilities of a 20-year-old are vastly different than those of a 40-year old, so it’s essential to adopt proper strategies and techniques that’ll help you keep fit – whether you’re a young pro athlete or a mature fitness enthusiast.
However, before we go into details about the best strategies, it’s critical to understand that every athlete is different, and there’s no single key to success that’ll work for everyone. Instead, it would help if you learned to listen to your body and adapt every strategy to suit your unique needs and capabilities.
With this in mind, let’s examine some of the top strategies and see what it takes for athletes across all levels to maintain their wellbeing and ensure their peak performance.
- Variety Is the Spice of Life
Even budget buds can be a positive thing when they introduce some variety into your life. After all, this anticipation anxiety means that something new is coming your way, and without this variety, every day would be the same, and you wouldn’t be able to move forward. It’s the same with exercises.
If you continually do the same exercises, activate the same muscles, and use the same resistance, you won’t be able to move forward. Your body will adapt to the “stress” of training and stop responding to it.
There are a few phases of adaptation your body goes through when you start exercising:
- Beginner phase – happening in the first few weeks when you start exercising. Your body is slowly getting used to the new activities and trying its hardest to adapt. You’re most likely to experience muscle soreness and exhaustion (and likely regret) in the beginner phase.
- Intermediate phase – usually happening between weeks four and sixteen. During this time, your body is trying to become more resilient to handle the same type of “stress” more easily if it recurs. As a result, you’ll usually notice a significant increase in muscle mass during this phase.
- Pro phase – happening after 16 weeks. This is the peak of adaptation as your body barely needs to do anything to handle the “stress” of exercising. You can efficiently perform the activity without breaking a sweat.
Once you’ve reached the pro-phase, it’s critical to add some variety to your exercise regime along with your pets. Otherwise, you’ll have hit a plateau. You’ll stop losing weight, stop gaining muscle, and you’ll become stuck. So even if you’re satisfied with your fitness level at the pro-phase, you’ll need to add variety if you want to avoid injury.
The easiest way to include variety is by following the F.I.T.T. principle – change up Frequency, Intensity, Time, or Type of activity.
- Performance Tracking Is a Must
One of the most straightforward strategies that athletes adopt to stay fit is performance tracking. It’s an excellent way to gauge your current capabilities and spot when you’ve hit a plateau. E-commerce development developers have designed apps for the same.
Pro athletes often use wearables like smartwatches or even high-tech vests to monitor their performance and analyze their fitness level, but you don’t have to invest all your savings into that. Sometimes, just a pen and a piece of paper are enough to track your performance correctly.
Keep track of core activities such as squats or bench presses, jot down the weights you’re lifting, the number of reps, and your subjective intensity level. It’ll help you stay on top of your fitness regime, and the raw data will show you just how quickly you’re improving.
- Recovery Time Is Just as Important as Training
Every athlete has heard the saying “no pain, no gain.” While that’s often true when you’re in the beginner phase of training adaptation, it could be a sign of trouble if you’ve been exercising for a while. Overtraining is a serious issue that shouldn’t be disregarded as it can lead to injury.
If you want to prevent yourself from overtraining and ensure that you can keep up with your fitness program, it’s critical to set time aside for muscle recovery.
Although that can mean taking a full rest day or two, it can also just mean adding variety and taking a rest day for the specific muscle group that’s tired. So, instead of doing squats every single day, for example, alternate between squats and bench presses. And if you’re feeling tired, take a full day off – it’s much better than overtraining.
- There’s No Alternative to Free Weights
Regardless of the type of athlete you are or the fitness level you’re trying to achieve, there’s truly no alternative to weightlifting Olympic-style.
Free weights allow you to exercise your whole body, not just target specific muscles. They build muscles, improve your mobility, and help you work on the tiny and often neglected muscle groups that help stabilize you.
However, keep in mind that it’s critical to follow the proper form when weightlifting. Even the smallest load can lead to injury if your technique’s off, so master the form first, add weights later.
- The Right Food Can Make All the Difference
Finally, the best strategy to adopt to keep fit is following a proper diet. You need adequate micronutrients and micronutrients that nourish your muscles and help you maintain a healthy weight that supports your athletic development.
Pro athletes often follow a rigorous diet plan that’s designed to improve their peak performance. The key to a healthy diet is including variety and avoiding overeating. It’s as simple as that.
Maintaining your fitness level can be a challenge if you don’t have any guidelines to follow. But, with these five strategies, you’ll be good to go. You’ll reach your desired weight and muscle mass and keep fit without much fuss.