Blog - Aesthetics:
Live & Train like an Athlete

By definition, an athlete is a person that is trained, skilled or proficient in exercises, sports or games requiring physical strength, agility or stamina.

I have always had a functional philosophy from when I first qualified as a trainer, and if you are reading this as one of my clients you will know that I do train my clients as athletes. Just like sports specific coaches I aim to develop Mobility, Flexibility, Strength and strength endurance, Power and power endurance, develop cardiovascular capability, improve balance, identify structural weakness etc, etc........the list goes on and on.

As the opening paragraph says anyone who is active and exercises or takes part in sport at any level is in fact an athlete. You do not have to be a professional to be an athlete, you do not have to be a certain age to be an athlete and you certainly do not have to compete with anyone else other than yourself to be an athlete.

Comparisons to professional athletes physiques is common, but whether you want to look like a weight lifter, sprinter, 1500m runner, rugby or netball player it is easy to forget the sheer hard work, desire and dedication that goes into creating that physique. It is a by product of the dedication they have given to their chosen sport.

Three distinct elements that the athlete has to master in order to achieve that physique are:

  • Physical conditioning or training

  • Nutrition

  • Lifestyle mindset

Sounds very simple and straight forward on the face of it, but as always success comes from mastering the fundamentals. Forget the bells and whistles of fancy diets and training fads, achieving the physique you want will have to be hard earned, and that’s the way it should be as gaining extraordinary achievement should never be easy whether we talk solely about physique or look at other elements like performance.

The athlete must have consistency and correct frequency within their training regime. The training also needs to be specific to what they are trying to achieve. Missing training sessions due to the fact they didn’t really feel like it that day is not an option.....well it is if you want mediocre.

Maintaining a strict diet specific to the goals that they are striving to achieve and being obsessive about hitting their protein, carbohydrate and fats intake day-in day-out is also a basic must. Not to mention about getting tons of vegetables and fruit with the essential vitamins and minerals that they will need to support their bodies through the tough training process. Athletes will also strive to find out more about what they should be doing........what could I improve, what needs to be added to my diet and what do I need to exclude or cut down on? Actively seeking that information and then applying it is another distinction between someone who is seriously trying to achieve results and someone who is just ticking over.

The thing that I feel differentiates an athlete from somebody who just likes to keep active is the lifestyle mindset. Recovery is one of the most important aspects of finding the optimal balance. Again as I mentioned with the training aspect, I see many people talking in the fitness industry about the training aspect of things. We can train all day long with the most powerful training systems going......the best workout designed specifically for you. However, without the optimal nutritional balance and unless you let your body rest and regenerate in the correct ways, then you can undertake the most amazing training programme and follow it to the letter.....and you will still feel lethargic and have no energy.

So in summary there will be people reading this thinking that they do not really want to take it as seriously as an athlete, this is’s good to stay active and leave it there. If you are somebody reading this that is thinking, I want to commit whole heartedly to my training, get the most I can from my body including performance and physique. I want my diet to be as optimal for my body and targets as it can be and I have the commitment to rest and recover between training sessions the best way possible, even if that means more early nights and potentially restructuring your work commitments.....then you already have the mindset of a pro athlete.

Thanks, Russ

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