Peak Performance and Workouts that Work!

Spring is here (for the most part) and many of us are training with renewed energy, having a focus on new fitness goals or upcoming sports events. I’m inspired to help you reach a peak performance, and to do that by using workouts that work…for YOU!

The traits of peak performers and the parameters of effective workouts have been recent discussions on the podcast, and I’d like to share a few highlights of those shows with you here.

Peak performance applies to many areas of life but I’ll focus on health, fitness, and athletics for now. I recently participated in a round-table discussion with several physical therapy and athletic preparation colleagues. Here are a few of the things we’ve observed in peak performers over the years:

  • Training for high performance, and executing in sports, requires a foundation of good overall health. Establishing a baseline of health through nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle practices is essential in reaching high output levels and sustaining them over the long term.
  • A positive attitude is necessary. This is confidence not arrogance, and a belief that one can and will embrace the process of peak performance.
  • Training should be a habit just like brushing your teeth. Take away all the frustration and anxiety by making your exercise habit a daily priority. No matter what, just do something every day that brings you closer to your goal.
  • Use intensity wisely. Intensity in training is critical in providing the stimulus for advancement. Learn to apply it strategically to get optimal results.
  • Embrace recovery and pursue it just as enthusiastically as training. Actually, make it an essential part of your peak performance system. Avoid going hard again until you are sure you have absorbed your last session. Embody the equation: Training + Recovery = Success (fitness, skill development, etc.).
  • Be adaptable and make adjustments in your training as needed. Listen to your body, analyze your progress, utilize a coach, and fine-tune your training to stay on your goal-oriented path.
  • Use your training as a learning opportunity. Discover more about yourself, learn scientific principles, and enjoy the process of experimenting.

Moving from an overall perspective on peak performance, you can adjust your training programs and workouts to better fit your body and goals. There are many ways to ensure that you get better results from training and here are a few:

  • Look at the physiologic demands of your event or goal. Adjust your training to approximate the percentages of capacities that your target requires.
    • For weight loss, emphasize your nutrition but use your movement to keep your metabolism idling along, occasionally slightly revving, and burning fat.
    • Use heavy, low-rep Resistance training for optimal strength development.
    • Employ hypertrophy range (8-15 rep) training for mass gains.
    • Improve movement quality with MOSTA (mobility-stability) training.
    • Build endurance through LISS (low-intensity steady state) workouts and high rep circuit training.
    • Enhance speed, power, and durability with HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Sprinting.
  • Know your body type and match your training to it for better results.
    • Small, medium, or large diameter skeleton?
    • Hypermobile (loose), average, or hypomobile (stiff) joints and connective tissues?
    • More fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscle fibers
    • Respond better to high intensity workouts?
    • Prefer more or less frequency or volume?
  • Exploit your strengths for achieving your highest potential.
  • Shore up your weaknesses for better all-around capacities.
  • Achieve a balance between metabolic training (such as improving lactate threshold) and mechanical training (optimizing technique) to max out your potential and longevity.
  • As always, keep an open mind, don’t take yourself too seriously, and help others.

Those are some of the discussion points in the most recent podcast episodes. I hope this information can help you to get just a little more out of your training this spring and summer. I’d like to see you take your performance a bit higher, have more fun, and enjoy greater health. If you’d like to dive deeper into these subjects, pick up your copy of AnimalFit today, or sign up for a Coaching Package with me. Make this your best season yet!

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