Are you convinced that the number on the scale is related to your performance? I think it’s time to step off that scale and look at your body composition and strength-to-weight ratio instead. Body composition is determined by the percentage of fat and muscle in your body, while strength- to-weight ratio is about building the most functional muscle for your size. Strength-to-weight ratio is especially important for endurance athletes as they want to be light and quick. If you’re an endurance athlete, having too much bulk may weigh you down—to go faster and further, you must be leaner and stronger. Here are ways to increase your strength-the-weight ratio:
- Strength Train for Performance, Not Bulk
Weight-lifting is extremely important when it comes to leaning out and being strong. To increase the strength and functionality of your muscles, try to incorporate strength training into your workout routine—especially if you are an endurance athlete. Try implementing maximum strength training workouts, using heavy weights that permit only a small number of reps—only 1 to 5 per set. For runners, maximum strength workouts that incorporate lunges, squats and core exercises 1 to 2 times a week can help you to see an improvement in your overall performance!
- Consume Nutrient Dense Foods
Improving body composition and sport performance doesn’t have to be boring or dull, it can actually be fun and delicious! Consume foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy oils are great staples to stock up on, as they are extremely nutrient dense and will provide your body with the clean energy it needs to fuel and recover from workouts. Choose organic and local whenever possible!
- Add High Intensity Interval Training
Good news: you don’t have to spend hours on the treadmill! High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is your new best friend. HIIT training focuses on bursts of high intensity exercise with little or no rest periods: sprints or burpees are a perfect example. HIIT will complement your endurance training by building a leaner and stronger body to take your further!
- Power up with Protein
It’s no surprise that when talking about a lean body with high strength, protein is involved. As a major macronutrient, protein builds lean muscle and helps the body recover, which is essential when trying to achieve a high strength-to-weight ratio. Choosing an appropriate protein source is vital. You want to select a source of protein that is easily digested and assimilated, such as plant-based sources. Be sure to consume a high protein meal 45 minutes after you restore your muscle glycogen with a ratio of 4-to-1 carbs-to-protein ratio with Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator or fruit with nut butter. Check out Thrive Forward for more high protein meal suggestions.
Achieving a high strength-to-weight ratio doesn’t have to be difficult. Proper nutrition and small adjustments in your training is all it takes! Step away from the scale and pay more attention to your strength gains and body composition for a healthy, strong body that performs better!
Want more? Head to FuelYourBetter.com and check out my video on how to make sure your body composition isn’t holding you back from better.