What Does It Take To Achieve Elite-Level Fitness?

This is a collaborative post.

For many of us, just going through the motions and doing a bit of exercise here and there isn’t enough. We want to see how far we can push our bodies and what they are capable of. 

Of course, getting to that stage requires a lot of hard work and dedication. But what does it actually take? In this post, we find out. We look at how to achieve elite-level fitness and why it is something that’s within reach for most people willing to put in the time. 

What Does It Take To Achieve Elite-Level Fitness?

High Volume and Intensity

First, getting to elite-level fitness requires high volume and intensity. Athletes have to train much longer than members of the public to force their bodies to make the necessary adaptations to improve their strength, stamina, power, and VO2 max. 

For this reason, many athletes spend upwards of two hours a day training while that figure might be closer to 45 minutes for the average exercise enthusiast. What’s more, many of these sessions are gruelling. Athletes must endure highly challenging training that tests their bodies in ways most regular gym-goers don’t experience. 

All this training always requires a lot of energy. Athletes are famous for eating several meals a day, mostly carbohydrates, to provide them with the energy they need. 

Specific Training

To become an elite athlete also requires training specific to the physical activity, sport, or exercise you want to do. Training something completely different won’t always help you. 

For example, powerlifters spend most of their time lifting the heaviest weights possible. Their goal is maximum strength, so it makes sense to do mostly resistance training. Jogging might help them a tiny bit, but it is unlikely to get them to elite status in their sport. 

The same goes for runners. Sessions in the gym can help with overall strength and tone, but they probably won’t increase mile times by much, if at all. 

With that said, some athletes can benefit from off-target training when they hit plateaus. Exposing the body to new movements and exercise forms can provide it with the extra impetus it needs to keep improving. 

Advanced Techniques

It also requires advanced techniques to achieve elite-level fitness. Incorporating various movements for maximizing performance is essential if you want to progress to the top. 

Advanced techniques aren’t always straightforward to learn. However, most people can master them in a few months and begin developing themselves in the optimal direction. 

It can also help to get the body moving from time to time in different ways using a Rebounder or another technique. Constantly challenging it and working muscles from multiple angles helps to build a more rounded physique that looks fantastic and performs better.

A woman lifting a weight in a squat position.
Photo by Meagan Stone on Unsplash

Discipline and Focus

Besides these training factors, getting to elite-level fitness also requires dedication to the cause. Athletes are often among the fittest people in the world because they have to train hard to win. 

Focus matters most during tough workouts. You’ll need to develop mental tools to zone out during the most challenging aspects of training. It’s all about mental toughness, including overcoming setbacks and maintaining composure under pressure to achieve peak performance. 

Your focus should last all day, even when not training. For example, watch what you eat and drink to ensure it doesn’t impede your gains. Alcohol, sugary snacks, and animal foods harm fitness and reduce your body’s ability to recover and come back stronger. 

Stress Management

To achieve elite level fitness also requires being protective about your stress levels. You want to ensure you don’t feel panicky or anxious all the time as these emotions can get in the way of muscle development. 

Stress management for athletes takes various forms, including massage for physical strain, and therapy or meditation to deal with the mental side of things. If you’re struggling with an issue at work or home and also want to get fit, work with professionals to solve the problem. The more relaxed you feel outside of training, the more opportunities your body will have to recover. 

Plenty of Sleep and Rest

Surprisingly, once elite athletes finish training, their main task is to sleep and rest. Constant movement isn’t a good idea when you want to make large gains, so spending time watching movies on the couch or listening to music can work wonders. 

Babies are examples of the power of sleep and rest. These bundles of joy spend most of the day with their eyes closed because of the amount of growth they need to do. You can do the same with your approach. 

Read more: 3 Sports To Try If You Want To Get Fitter

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What Does It Take To Achieve Elite-Level Fitness?

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