Five Powerful Ways to Improve Your Performance
It seems like everyone is looking for a way to improve performance. You can be a regular gym-goer or some high school, college or professional athlete, it doesn’t matter, everyone is looking to get better on some level. The same holds true for each one of us when it comes to diet and exercise.
There are many ways to optimize performance such as fueling your body with high octane fuel. If nutrition is not the goal, it may come by way of another avenue. Possibly through recovery aids such as a massage gun or ice bath post workout, some mobility work pre workout or maybe in the form of more uninterrupted sleep. The following five methods will lend additional insight regarding this topic.
Improve Performance via Caffeine
A simple yet effective way to elevate performance is to have a small dose of caffeine prior to exercise. A good recommendation is between 3 to 13 mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight. For a deeper look at the benefits of caffeine on exercise performance, check out the International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand on caffeine and performance.
Enhanced Mobility is Key
Mobility refers to a joint moving through its full range of motion, unrestricted and without pain. When you’re unable to do this, it’s considered dysfunctional movement. The end result is inefficient range of motion which prevents optimal performance. Moreover, the body does not work to its full potential because of the restricted movement. Simply put, improving mobility will make you stronger, run faster and jump higher.
Nasal Breathing Over Mouth Breathing
Something top athletes have known when trying to improve their performance, that it’s better to breath through the nose versus your mouth. This may sound trivial but trust me it’s not. There are many scientific research papers and books published on the topic. The book, Breath by James Nestor, talks at length about the importance of nasal breathing. Check it out to learn about the history and additional information on the benefits of nasal breathing.
Nasal breathing, as opposed to mouth breathing, offers a wide range of advantages, especially when it comes to more efficient exercise. It basically allows more oxygen to get to your active tissues when you exercise. Exercise stimulates nitric oxide production just like nasal breathing does. Nitric oxide is also involved in bodily processes like widening blood vessels, known as vasodilation. This, in turn, increases delivery of oxygen to working muscles during exercise. The by-product of all this is enhanced exercise performance.
Avoid Stretching Prior to Exercise: Do a Dynamic Warm-up Instead
Stretching prior to exercise is not beneficial unless you’re looking to decrease power output. Rather, perform a brief (5–10 minute) dynamic warm-up before any running or strength training session. Dynamic warm-up exercises are usually bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, push-ups, hops, inchworm, shoulder rolls or leg swings, to name a few examples. The research all points to using dynamic warm-up over static-type stretching before athletic competition or exercise in general.
Recovery (More Sleep) Improves Performance
When adequate recovery between workouts, does not occur, the body invariably has trouble adapting to the demands of training. Shifting mindset, making sleep a top priority, goes well beyond just lifting more weight in your next workout. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed individuals getting less than 5.5 hours of sleep a night, lost 60 percent more lean muscle that those who got adequate sleep.
Additional research from the University of Chicago showed subjects who monitored their caloric intake and averaged 5.5 hours of sleep had more body fat compared to subjects who were consistently getting 8.5 hours of sleep.
We know losing lean muscle and gaining body fat is never a good mix, especially if you’re looking to improve the way you do things. The book, Biological Rhythms and Exercise, looks at the relationship between performance and sleep. The author, Thomas Reilly, states, “weight-training exercises may be unaffected by partial sleep loss early on in a training session, but the performance suffers due to lack of drive and concentration as the (exercise) session continues.”
There are many healthy ways that an individual can improve performance. Hopefully, one or more of these options will do just that for you! Stay strong.
Jefit App: Stay Stronger Together
Jefit, named best strength app by Men’s Health, Greatest, Forbes Health, Men’s Journal and many others, has a community responsible for 92,000,000 workouts to date! The app, which recently passed 10 million downloads, comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app has ability to track data, offer audio coaching cues, and can share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. #staystrongertogether
Originally published at https://www.jefit.com on April 27, 2022.