Not all training programs are created equal for developing your all-around athleticism. The ultimate workout program that will allow you to become an all-around athlete requires balancing strength training and endurance training. Read on to learn more about how you can build an all-around athletic training program.
What You Need to Become an All-Around Athlete
Ultimately, the characteristics of an all-around athlete are open to interpretation. Nevertheless, we typically view the all-around athlete as one who can easily learn most sports skills and generally outperform others in them. Furthermore, someone with a combination of strength, agility, physical endurance, balance, speed, and power is an all-around athlete.
Another important component of most sports is concentration or mental focus. What unites sports such as boxing, soccer, and darts is principally that they all require high levels of awareness and focus, not just muscle strength.
In addition to diet, sleep, and mental health, an all-around athlete requires a well-rounded strength and conditioning training program to reach their peak performance. Most broadly, there are three elements of athleticism-focused workout routine: strength training, aerobic training, and flexibility. The latter is an important aspect in preventing injuries. However, the two most important elements are strength and aerobic training.
Strength Training Workouts for All-Around Athletes
As a fundamental aspect of athletic training, training that will increase your strength should be included in any athletic training program.
Strength training follows several principles. Most basically, these principles are progressive overload, specificity, and rest and recovery.
Progressive overload consists of progression and overload. Overload means lifting a weight until you can no longer repeat a given motion. Progression refers to the increase in the repetitions and weight you can lift as you continue to overload over time. Note, however, that measuring fitness is more than increasing the amount of weight you lift and can include your heart rate, body mass index, and blood tests.
Specificity means that to improve a certain athletic movement, you have to repeatedly do that movement. For instance, to improve your ability to bench press, you have to bench press or perform other very similar pushing activities. In simpler terms, train specifically to your goals.
The principle of rest and recovery has two senses: the intensity of your workout while you’re doing it and the time between workouts. Both components are important for your program’s effectiveness.
Effective Strength Training Workouts for All-Around Athletes
The most effective strength training workouts typically consider the following aspects.
- Athletic movements are functional compound movements. Consequently, athletic strength training will minimize the use of machines and isolated movements. Most functional athletic movements are made on your feet, not sitting down.
- Athletic workouts should be intense. Long breaks between sets and sets not done to overload are less effective than ones done to overload with short rest periods.
- Athletic strength training trains the whole body. That means you should be training your upper body and lower body and across your whole range of motion. You can split your program between upper and lower body, or you can do full-body training split between pushing and pulling movements.
Endurance Training Workouts for All-Around Athletes
The other fundamental element of athletic training is endurance, which is important for athletes because it allows them to perform an activity at a high level for a longer period of time.
In general, the best endurance training uses high-intensity intervals. The notion of “high-intensity interval training” has become a trend in itself. However, many traditional exercises such as sprinting, mountain biking, lap swimming, or even boxing or basketball are effective endurance exercises. These exercises may all improve both endurance and stamina.
Endurance Exercise Safety
The key to safe endurance training lies in improving your ability to endure within a given time, not increasing the amount of time you can perform an activity. Excessive endurance training can lead to negative health effects. Unsafe endurance training can even cause cardiovascular problems due to the heavy demands it places on the cardiovascular system.
Furthermore, while strength training increases the production of anabolic hormones and balances cortisol, endurance training can lead to increases in cortisol. However, if done for shorter, more intense periods of time, endurance exercise should have the same positive and regulating effect on hormones that strength training does.
Scheduling Workout Sessions to Become an All-Around Athlete
Scheduling workouts doesn’t need to be a challenge! In addition to adequate preparation to avoid preworkout mistakes, such as eating too much or too little before a workout, the main things to consider are frequency and rest.
All-around athletes can do a couple of things to balance their workout sessions with other parts of their lives. First, plan workouts ahead of time so you know what you’ll be doing when you begin. Second, keep workouts intense to get a lot in in a short period of time.
To become an all-around athlete, you should aim to train four to five times per week. However, two sessions a week can be sufficient to see improvements in all-around athleticism. Training only once a week is less effective because targeting each part of the body will become more challenging and because the time between workouts may be too long to build strength and endurance. Sessions can be divided between strength training and endurance training, but often athletes will include both during each session.
You can also train more than five times per week. However, avoid training as intensely as you would if you trained fewer times per week: beyond muscle soreness, overtraining could lead to detrimental health effects and slow your ability to progress.
Along with diet and mental health, you must incorporate a range of strength and endurance exercises to become an all-around athlete. Your workout program should therefore contain functional exercises that target both strength and endurance. To get the most out of your workouts, Six Star Pro also offers several nutrition products that will help you maximize your training performance.