Rarely are there quick fixes to getting stronger faster, EXCEPT when you don’t have all of these dialed in.
When we start implementing change around these 4 things with our athletes, AMAZING things begin to happen.
1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
If this is hard for you, take a look at your sleep hygiene:
- Wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time every day
- Avoid electronics and screens an hour before bed
- Avoid caffeine 8-10 hours before bedtime. Even if you can fall asleep after a pot of coffee or an energy drink, research shows us the caffeine does impact the quality of our sleep and makes it less restful.
- Expose yourself to sunlight within 30 minutes to an hour of waking. if you wake up before the sun rises, turn on bright lights in your house, and then go outside for a few minutes once the sun comes up
2. Prioritize your pre and post-training meals
There’s been some debate in the nutrition world about whether or not nutrient timing matters. I think those debates are missing one key element: just because something is “okay” doesn’t mean it’s optimal for increasing performance. Another issue that is missed in the literature is the timeframe referred to as the pre-training meal time. But that’s a topic for another discussion.
- Eating at least 3 hours before training is always going to lead to higher quality training that not eating at all. Aim for a high carbohydrate meal, a serving of protein, and limit fats in the hour before training.
- Your post-training meal represents an opportunity to immediately begin the recovery process. The better you recover, the better your next training session will be. Imagine those wins stacked on top of each other time and time again!
3. Eat enough food
One of the biggest mistakes lifters have been making when they get to us is chronic undereating, and most of the time it’s completely unintentional.
- The IOC recommends athletes consume 45 calories per kg of fat free body mass as an ideal caloric intake. Not there? Work with a nutritionist who specializes in helping athletes bring their caloric intake up without gaining weight (this is something we are experts at, you can apply to work with us here).
4. Manage your stress
Training is a stressor on our body. So is mental stress. Our body can’t distinguish the difference. The greater the stress (physical or mental) the more your body has to overcome to recover properly. It is very common for us to see a slight decline in recovery and performance metrics when athletes are under more work or life stress.
By developing a daily stress management routine, you can mitigate a lot of the effects stress can have on your body and gym performance. These are some of our favorite techniques:
- Guided meditations (you can find them on YouTube, Spotify, or various meditation apps)
- Walking outside
- Reading a book
- Connecting with a friend
Give these a try for a month and watch your strength, energy, and recovery EXPLODE!!!
We utilize all of these methods, and more, within our nutrition coaching programs. You can fill out an application to see if we’re a good fit for your goals!