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One Mistake Athletes Make & How To Fix It

Jack of One Trade, Master of None?

Posted by brayalbertini - May 26th, 2015

A lot of athletes focus on one aspect of training, and neglect the others. I’ve listed the traits of an athlete, and how to develop them.


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Are you strong but having trouble climbing a staircase without having your heart pop out of your chest? Are you fast and agile, but can’t take the toothpick out of your burger? Good for you, you’re in the right place! If you haven’t already guessed, the topic of this article is to inform you on a common mistake made by athletes, and why it can be detrimental to your overall fitness and health. Total athleticism and fitness comes down to 5 general aspects,strength, speed/agility, endurance, flexibility, and coordination/balance. Many people, myself included, only focus on one aspect of athleticism.


Through my strength-building venture I felt like I was in the best shape ever, until I was involved in a pick-up basketball tournament. Having to stop every 2 minutes for a breather, as a teenager was embarrassing, especially when you’re lean and active, It didn’t make sense to me I had always considered myself an athlete, but what athlete can’t endure 20 minutes of moderate running? Someone who drops all other training to focus on building strength, my cardiovascular health and endurance had suffered a significant drop n the months that I didn’t train it, and from that moment on, I knew I had to train like a real athlete and put more effort in.


Great, you just read an article about a personal story with no actual useful information, but wait, there’s more (I should be an infomercial host)! I’m going to break down each subcategory of athleticism and tell you what you can do to increase them.


Strength

Strength is the maximum amount of weight you can perform a lift with for one repetition. The most common proven method of building strength isprogressive overload; this is basically gradually putting more stress on your body by adding more reps, or loading more weight on the bar each workout. Strong Lifts 5×5 is my favorite routine for strength, because through personal use it has doubled my original cumulative strength. 


Speed & Agility

Speed, is how quick you can get from point a to point b in a relatively short distance, like a 40-yard dash, speed is not to be confused with endurance. A good way to gain speed is by mastering take off, and the actual mechanics of running for speed. After that you should look into resistance parachutes or maybe even a weight sled. To increase agility, perform different patterns on an agility ladder, increasing your speed each time.


Endurance

Endurance is how far you can run, and what conditions you can run under. A good way to build stamina and endurance is to run on different terrains and gradually increase the distance that you run. Don’t let a little rain hold you back from your runs, and certainly don’t shy away from sprinting up a few hills during your training!


Flexibility

Flexibility is how far a something can bend or stretch without breaking, in this case that something is a muscle. Through experience I’ve found that this exercise is either overlooked or never done properly, and you’ve been doing it since kindergarten gym class… that’s right, stretching! There are more types of stretching than I have time to list, so I’ll keep it brief. Static stretching is a basic way to increase flexibility, all you have to do is assume a position and hold it for at least 30 seconds. Make sure to stretch out all of your muscle groups on your off days for 20 or more minutes, and all muscles that you will be using on training days for around 20 minutes before the routine.


Coordination/Balance

Coordination is how well your limbs work together to complete a goal. If you can’t walk without tripping over your own feet, then chances are you’ve been ignoring this type of training, or there is somethingverywrong with you. Jumping rope is a simple exercise that increases coordination. Your brain often relies on visual confirmation to keep your body coordinated, performing agility patterns with your eyes closed will make it ten times as easy to perform with your eyes opened, but be very careful and wear proper ankle support. Similarly, balancing on one foot or on a beam of some sort with your eyes closed will greatly strengthen you balance.


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MEMBER COMMENTS

Scott_Herman

Great article bro!  But to add my two cents.. most people when they run up stairs hold their breath... so thats why they are so winded.... and being out of shape doesnt help either haha :)

Keep em coming bro!

Fox84

cool article, what has helped me when it comes to balance and speed and agility is parkour, i have watched alot of videos from the tappbrothers, they are the ones who help set up and test out the course for american ninja warriors, they are very lean and tone, not much of body builder or great mass of muscle like Scott Herman, but doing some of their workouts will greatly help  you increasing stamina, flexiblty, speed, and balance oh and also coordination, to make those leaps and rolls climb 8 ft walls , hope this also helps with everyones fitness journey, takecare @brayalbertini

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