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Harry Cochrane 29 Dec 2021 4 min read

3 Key Benefits Of Having An Athlete Mentality

You may not be competing for an Olympic gold medal, the Rugby World cup,  or the next grand slam, but that does not mean you can't train like you are. Indoor Classes Head Coach, Harry Crochane touches on three key benefits of having an athlete mentality...

1. Purpose and Accountability

Having that purpose to keep you accountable gives you something intangible to hold onto when the going gets tough. This doesn’t only benefit you in terms of your physiological development but from a mental capacity stance too. Purpose and endeavour are fantastic intrinsic motivators, but without a structured plan in place, we won’t be able to get the utmost out of our training. Therefore, to correlate that release of serotonin into something tangible, we need hard quantitative data to back up and validate our efforts.

We are creatures of habit, and we need structure in all aspects of life for us to have the opportunity to be successful. The skillset and mental fortitude built up within a program like UFIT Performance can be very transferrable into your working life.  The drive, focus, and development this product oozes will galvanise your everyday efficiency and productivity.

Having a structured program involving test weeks and manipulation of variables, such as load, intensity, and duration, gives us constant reference points and ensures that we're heading in the right direction. This will ensure that we're not training aimlessly without a purpose, and will help us to achieve our long-term goals.

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2. Variety

No matter what level of ability, training at times can have the tendency to become tedious, which can inhibit our progress. Just like our eating habits and interests in life, we require new stimuli to keep us entertained and engaged. Our body is no different. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the exact definition of insanity, so why should our training be any different from our everyday need for change and variety. After all, it is the spice of life! New training movements and exercises with manipulation of variables will also recruit different muscle groups and types to enhance development and give our body the advantage of adaptability, meaning we're more ready to take in whatever life throws at us, and we're not just pigeonholed into a specific mold of training.

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3. Muscle Recruitment and Efficiency 

Our usual training regimes, styles, and programs probably won't give us access to exercises and movement patterns correlated to power components. From having a training program that is purely made up of movement patterns and exercises revolving around strength and CV, we are typically only recruiting our type I muscle fibres. This is fantastic when it comes to slow endurance movements or moving a light load for a prolonged period, but it lacks recruitment of type II muscle fibres. These muscle fibres are responsible for our ‘fast twitch’ movements encompassing the ‘all or nothing law’. These fibres have a higher activation threshold, meaning they can conduct signals at higher velocities and aid us in movements that require speed and power; elements we require for most sporting and recreational activities.

Power training can also increase our intramuscular coordination, enhancing the rate at which the central nervous system (CNS) responds to a stimulus and recruits the appropriate response. In layman’s terms, we can react quicker and more efficiently in certain situations (sporting or non-sporting). For athletes, power training can be an effective method for enhancing performance, but for us everyday folk, it’s a fantastic under-utilised tool to increase lean muscle mass and improve definition.

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"Why would I use power components as part of my program? I’m not an athlete and getting on a bit, they aren’t good for my joints." 

This is something we hear quite a lot in the industry and it needs addressing.

Type II muscle fibres that aren't utilised during adulthood will atrophy and become dormant, meaning if we aren’t regularly taking part in exercise that requires activation of these muscle fibres, we are likely to see a degenerative process occur which can lead to loss of muscle mass and functional capacity. By adopting a program that consists of safe power movements activating type II muscle fibres, we can see significant gains in lean muscle mass and dynamic balance (reducing the risk of falls).

‘A ship in the harbour is safe, but that’s not what they are built for’.

It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and unleash the true athletic potential you may have not yet had the opportunity to ignite yet. Personal development is something that should be at the forefront of every training program and it’s the core underlying tone of what we are setting out to achieve with UFIT Performance. We are so excited to launch this product and we can’t wait to have you guys on board. Don’t miss the stop because the train will have left before you know it - your time is now!

TRAIN LIKE AN ATHLETE