Written by Josh Thigpen
There seems to be a trend in the strength/fitness world of not preparing like an athlete. In other words, strength athletes are lazy to put it plain and simple. Many people love jumping on the latest hardcore bandwagon, but at the end of the day they don’t do half of what they could to improve. Most strength athletes are notorious for doing the things that are enjoyable, i.e. throwing around heavy weights and loads of food, but neglect things like stretching, foam rolling, active recovery, proper nutrition, supplementation, mental training etc etc. Trust me I have fallen into the lazy category as well. I don’t enjoy rolling out on my PVC frankly, but it doesn’t matter. I should anyway.
You might say that you have a job, family and a dog to take care of, and therefore are unable to train like an athlete. I say quit making excuses. How can we expect other people to take our sports seriously if we the athletes ourselves don’t take it seriously? Even if you only do your sport as a hobby, you would still like to perform at your best right? Time to step up your game no matter what level you are on and begin training like an athlete. I can remember when I was twenty two and training to turn pro as a strongman. I worked in a warehouse loading fifty pound boxes for eight hours straight, was a full time student in college, and still found time to prepare and train. Even with this lifestyle I won my Pro Card and went on to compete at Worlds Strongest Man that same year.
Real athletes take time in there day to stretch, do myofascial release, plan out a nutrition plan, watch film of there performances etc. It is never a coincidence when an athlete reaches the top of his or her sport. It is always because they were willing to do the little things necessary that the others won’t do. Can you imagine if a track athlete didn’t stretch? That simply would never happen. But in powerlifting, strongman etc. this is the norm.
Ask yourself these questions:
-Am I doing everything I can to be at my best?
-When can I find time to do more stretching and active recovery?
-When can I watch some film of my training/competitions in order to see where I could do better?
-When can I do some visualization?
-Can I fit in a little time to prepare food, so that I can eat better?
You will then start working on finding how to fit all of this in to your daily routines. It may seem like a hassle at first, but the end result is worth it. Its one thing to perform poorly at a contest or meet, but it is quite another to perform poorly because you didn’t do everything necessary to perform at your best. That is a sickening feeling, trust me I have had it before. Confidence on game day always comes from preparation. If you show up knowing you have done everything you can to prepare, you can show up ready to rock and roll, if not little seeds of doubt will creep into you mind, and can negatively effect your performance.
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Start to take your sport seriously as a sport. Start to take yourself more seriously as an athlete. Begin to thing like an athlete should when it comes to your day to day preparation, and watch the results take care of themselves.Josh Thigpen is one of the top professional strongmen in America and is a 3 time ESPN Worlds strongest man competitor. His career has spanned 11 years with 7 as a pro. He has competed in over 50 competitions in countries all over the world. Josh is the author of the revolutionary training system The Cube Method for Strongman. In addition to this Josh is owner and CEO of Conquest Nutrition, a sports supplement company. Josh is a sought after public speaker where he has used his athletic platform to speak to over a million people world wide with an inspiring message. Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter