Athletic endeavors such as sports are great pastimes, but they can also make for great careers. However, these positions are reserved for elite athletes. Athletes have a tough row to hoe, because suboptimal performance can result in injury, and achieving professional status requires peak physical fitness. Here are some tips that can help you elevate your game in order to go pro.

Augment Your Diet

Your diet provides the building blocks of your body, so your diet needs to be tailor made to accommodate for all of your workout and performance needs. This starts with the basics such as protein, carbs, electrolytes, and water. Carbs are necessary for the energy you need, but simple carbs can do more harm than good by absorbing into your bloodstream too quickly for that energy to be put to use. Complex carbs provide you with lasting energy by virtue of being harder to digest and taking longer to be wasted and become excess weight instead of fuel. Protein is important for repairing muscle, but protein is often gotten from protein shakes like Gundry MD Proplant Complete shake these days in order to maximize protein and minimize the fat that is often associated with pork, beef, and dairy. Dietary supplements of all kinds are used to provide more deliberate vitamins and nutrients to great effect. In particular, protein shakes pair well with pre workout blends that focus on providing additional energy.

Prioritize Targeted Exercises

Basic physical fitness routines are focused on achieving a balance of strengths intended to make day to day life comfortably achievable, but an athlete will have greater demand in some areas than in others, and so you’ll need to account for that additional demand in addition to general fitness. A comprehensive fitness workout needs to work all of the major muscle groups in equal measure in order to establish that balance, but a runner’s workouts need to provide extra work for the heart and lungs via cardio workouts and spend more time on increasing leg strength. Running itself makes for a great exercise for a runner, but leg presses can further increase the strength of the legs. A football player needs to work on their legs, as well, but they also need more muscle mass and core strength in order to take a hit with minimal risk of being knocked down or injured. On the other hand, a gymnast needs to be much more flexible, making yoga a great choice in addition to training the arms, legs, and core to a lesser extent that is still above average.

Practice Makes Perfect

While it almost goes without saying, you need to practice your skills in order to improve them. Moreover, you also need to practice to maintain those skills. Athletic skills depend on both your physical fitness and your procedural memory, both of which can deteriorate over time if they’re neglected. How you practice makes a world of difference, however. A serious competitive athlete may be tempted to spend too much time practicing, but procedural memory requires a period of training followed by a period of rest. That rest period gives your brain time to internalize your practice session and strengthen the neural connections in your brain that correspond to the skills in question. Likewise, fitness training depends on having a period of exertion and a recovery period. Practicing consistently is a known key to success, but less well known is that practicing too much has its downsides and can delay the overall development of a new skill.

Athletes will have an uphill battle ahead of them, because a professional athlete needs to be incredibly talented, disciplined, and fit in order to separate themselves from their peers. Athletic training therefore needs to be focused on building that level of excellence from the ground up. Using these tips, you can develop a diet and workout regimen designed to build the perfect body for your athletic endeavors.