The complexity and variability in our lives make each training session different than those that preceded it and those that will follow it. Sleeping poorly, missing a meal, taking a hard test in school, or getting into an argument with a friend or loved one can all impact your performance in a training session or athletic competition. While the process of physical preparation conducted at ADAPT takes these outside stressors into account, there are actions you can take that will increase your preparedness for training.
Use the following checklist to make sure you are ready to get the most out of each ADAPT training session:
Your preparation for a training session begins before you wake up in the morning. What time did you go to sleep? Do you keep a regular sleeping schedule? How would you rate the quality of your sleep last night? These are important questions that we will ask you to help identify ways to improve your sleeping patterns and increase your preparation for training.
ADAPT Recommendations: Sleep at least 8 hours each night. Consistency is more important than duration so try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day.
Nutrition is a broad topic that is best tackled in detail on another post (most likely a series of posts) and is also very individualized. In this post we will focus on what you eat 30 minutes to an hour before a session. Suffice it to say that you should eat before training, particularly if you are exercising in the morning. Adding adequate carbohydrates to a pre-training meal or snack will ensure that you can train at a high intensity, which is essential whether you are looking to build strength and power, lose body fat, or both. Also, consuming protein in a pre-exercise shake or snack will help drive the muscle building processes during and after training.
ADAPT Recommendations: Choose a pre-exercise snack that contains carbohydrates and protein to help you perform your best in each training session.
Coaches and nutritionists love to cite the research that indicates that it only takes a 2% drop in hydration level to see significant decreases in performance. And for good reason! It is one of many compelling arguments that encourage you to drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure your body is ready to perform. Drinking more water is one of easiest ways to feel better and train harder each day. Take a break from reading right now and go pour yourself a glass!
ADAPT Recommendations: Drink ½ to 1 ounce of fluid per pound each day. Ideally, most or all of the “fluid” you consume is water. Be sure and drink 7 to 10 ounces of water right before a training session.
- Dress Appropriately:
I will resist the urge for a shameless ADAPT t-shirt plug here and simply suggest wearing comfortable fitting clothes that permit lots of movement (certain pants and skirts may not do the trick). The most important clothing choice you make for training involves your footwear. Make sure you select shoes that permit stability moving side-to-side in addition to straight ahead and backwards. You obviously do not need new shoes every training block, but those three-year-old sneakers with the holes in them that are barely holding together with duct tape (come on, we all have at least one pair) are not the answer either.
ADAPT Recommendations: Wear comfortable fitting clothes and shoes that permit motion and provide stability in all planes of movement.
- Think Like a Champion:
This is perhaps the most important point on this checklist: you are in control of your motivation to train. It is impossible to control exactly what will happen to you both positively and negatively each day. You might do poorly on a test one day and get invited to the prom the next day. Both will affect your willingness to train hard. It is best to be able to separate the other events of the day from what is happening now, in the present. You have this power because attitude is a choice. Your choice. You should respond to adversity and triumph in the same way, by continuing to consistently work hard in training because of your commitment to your own growth and development.
ADAPT Recommendations: Separate what is going on outside in the past or future (school projects, who won that game yesterday, what’s on TV tonight) from what is about to happen now in the ADAPT training space (a session that requires your focus and effort). Choose to have a great session!