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.
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 a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and good fats (such as avocado and olive oil) are great staples to stock up on.
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 training can be used as a complement to your endurance training.
Power up with Protein
As a macronutrient, protein builds lean muscle and helps the body recover, which is essential when trying to achieve a high strength-to-weight ratio. If you’re looking for an easy way to add 30g of plant-based protein to your routine, try Vega Sport® Protein.
Achieving a high strength-to-weight ratio doesn’t have to be difficult. Proper nutrition and small adjustments in your training go a long way.