Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating on the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Science, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing advice for better life. Follow him on Twitter.
Since the dawn of society, humans have been awestruck by prominent individuals towering above everyone else with their prowess, physical traits and handiness.
Today, sport arenas are home to incredible feats that bring forth a thunderous roar of the crowd, and gyms are teeming with people seeking to pack on mean muscles and gain size.
Some athletes make the difference on the field and display peak performance even when everything seems to be working against them.
Their way to success was long and paved with a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears. They prove that commitment is the basic fuel for top results, not genetic gifts and performance-enhancers.
Some people have been blessed with more dexterity or strength than others, but this notion is misleading.
Namely, everyone can work hard on maximizing their potential, and true progress comes with lifts and drills. The first thing that top athletes have in common is a realistic assessment of their advantages and drawbacks.
Lionel Messi was the smallest kid around, while Tom Brady was ridiculed for his lack of speed. Despite this, both of them have managed to overcome their challenges and become renowned sportsmen.
Minimizing weaknesses and taking advantage of your strong points are two sides of the same coin.
Hence, coping with defeat and failure is just as important as knowing how to behave in the presence of dazzling success.
Prime athletes are masters of grooming a proper mindset, one that pushes them to go an extra mile, even when they are on the verge of collapsing. Physical pain during a deadlift workout is nothing compared to the lack of will to achieve greatness and invest the whole of you in the endeavor.
Successful athletes know what they want to accomplish and set clear goals. This approach is evident as soon as they start warming up.
This initial stage is paramount to optimal performance, as it activates your joints, muscles, core and central nervous system. Experts argue that in order to lower the risk of injury and boost performance, it is best to include cardiovascular conditioning, low-level agility and balance, as well as dynamic flexibility in the warm-up routine.
Pre-workout time is also a perfect opportunity to let go of distracting thoughts and free yourself from worries.
This is to say that the most accomplished strength athletes are capable of grasping the big picture and taking a holistic approach.
They invest time in developing nutrition plans and daily schedules, not just workout programs. Recognizing the value of rest and relaxation, they strive to find some time for recharging their batteries, and melting the stress away.
This may include basically anything that comes to mind: some athletes practice yoga, while others even indulge in a hit or two of cannabis, the effects of which have been long debated among the professional community.
No matter if you choose yoga or MJ, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Whatever floats your boat is fine, provided that you are aware of the possible drawbacks.
Paddle your own canoe down the restless streams of life, but be careful when sailing close to the shore.
Also, things that entertain and delight you must not distract you from your fitness goals.
When it is time to work out, lock yourself in and get rid of the phone if needed. Even better, utilize your gadgets for monitoring your heart rate, running speed or distance, or rep and rest time.
Finally, bear in mind that there is no such thing as cutting corners and finding shortcuts once you are on a mission to achieve top-notch results.
Weightlifters know that each rep, muscle failure and strain count, and take them a step closer to their dreams. They cannot afford to sacrifice the intensity of the exercise for the sake of sheer quantity.
Displaying consistency during practice and nurturing discipline in the long run, they are able to stay ahead of the pack and win acclaim.
Get the Ball Rolling
A bulk of advice you come across as an athlete seems like a no-brainer.
Yet, once you start digging under the surface, the hole is much deeper and darker than you though.
The key is in assembling inner generators for a long race, and knowing how to prepare your mind and body for upcoming trials.
So, supply them with sufficient fuel to last all the way and endure all physical hardships.
It is time to step up the game, get out of the bed earlier, improve your conditioning and introduce new exercises into your routine.
The ball is in your court, so you better not drop it.