Your new workout plan: train like an athlete
Ready to amp up your workout at home and train like a pro? Sleep harder, listen to music and put some science in your swing with a little help from mobile tech.
So, maybe you can’t fit a first-class gym in your house. That’s OK. You can still train like a professional athlete. They apply all sorts of practical and logistical tricks to their training routines—everything from getting a good night’s sleep to analyzing a golf swing with machines that record up to 1,000 data points per second. So amp up your workout plan and train like a pro. Here’s how.
Do a variety of exercises
If you’re a professional skier or snowboarder, the run of your competitive season pretty much begins and ends with winter. Football in the fall. Baseball in the spring. During the off-season, the pros take a break from their sport, but not from training. Mix up your routine with a variety of strength and cardio training to avoid injury in the off-season. Or learn a new sport just for fun.
How about Taekwondo? The Taekwondo Masterkit is a free app that features a variety of moves you can do to start mixing up the routine. The app shows you high-quality images and tutorial videos of kicks and blocks that you can try on your own. If you’re looking to get out of an exercise rut, apps such as Just 6 Weeks will take you through a series of exercises that are designed to help you build strength and push through a plateau over the course of six weeks, one pushup at a time.
Hire a personal coach
Elite athletes have a team of people applying science to their workout routines. But if you don’t have the time—or the funds—to go that route, then the Fitbit Charge HR Wristband can do the job.
With real-time stats displayed on the wristband, you can track the number of steps you take each day, the distance traveled, calories burned and the number of stairs you climbed. The Fitbit Charge HR even tells time on the bright OLED display. The wristband wirelessly updates the information to the app installed on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. You can also compare stats with friends to stay on track, or get inspired to take that extra set of stairs.
Wear it at night and you’ll get stats on how well you slept, to ensure optimum rest and recovery. And, the silent vibrating alarm will wake you up for those 5 a.m. workouts—without disturbing the rest of the house.
Make sleep a priority
Most athletes stick to a sleep routine. They go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Every day. Get plenty of sleep, and your muscles can recover as your body releases vital growth hormones. Lack of sleep can release the stress hormone cortisol, which can sack your metabolism and negate all that hard work you’ve been doing to get fit.
Not convinced that sleep is actually part of the training? After obtaining extra sleep, “athletes swam a 15-meter meter sprint 0.51 seconds faster, reacted 0.15 seconds quicker off the blocks, improved turn time by 0.10 seconds and increased kick strokes by 5.0 kicks,” according to a study published in Science Daily®.
What’s your sleep routine? Track your sleep and tweak the routine with the Fitbit Charge HR, or another activity tracker. The wristband and app monitor the number of hours you sleep each night, and how many times you wake up. Most people are surprised to learn how little sleep they get each night, and if you’re training like a pro athlete, something as simple as not enough shuteye could be throwing off your results.
Pump up the volume
Where would Rocky be without his theme song? You need a theme song. Studies show that you’re closely synced to the tempo of the music you’re listening to. A study about the effects of music tempo on cycling performance looked at 12 male cyclists and found that they worked harder and got more enjoyment from faster music.
So get your playlist and a good pair of headphones. The flexible, sweatproof Plantronics BackBeat FIT headset is a great choice for working out to your favorite playlist, delivering heart-pounding bass and crisp highs. The contoured eartips let you hear your surroundings, regardless of how focused you are on your workout. Also, without any wires to slow you down, you can go as fast as the music takes you.
Watch your form
Take a smartphone video of yourself and watch your swing, or get a professional analysis with some high tech, like ZEPP™ Golf. The sensor attaches to your golf glove and captures a variety of data, measures and analyzes your swing in three dimensions and records 1,000 data points per second.
The device also tracks the speed and tempo of your swing. You can also score your swing to see how it measures up to your goals. Put the device in your back pocket and see how much your hips rotate. And if golf isn’t your thing, there’s also the ZEPP Baseball Swing analyzer.
No more excuses. With smart accessories and a few tweaks to your daily workout plan, you can truly train like an athlete.