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Health is the foundation of performance.

Having enjoyed a very successful weekend of competitive fitness it's not surprising it lead us to thoughts & inspiring conversations centering around setting goals, tackling challenges, stretching comfort zones, and layering on or levelling up on some habits and routines in the pursuit of progress.

 

Our health – mind, body & spirit - set the standard of our performance.


One of the biggest misconceptions we see when someone is working towards their definition of ‘high performance’ – is adopting the mindset that more is always better.

 

Of course, sometimes ‘more’ is necessary – if your training stimulus or volume isn’t adequate your body won’t make the adaptations needed to improve your performance.

 

But very often its’ our health & health behaviours that need more focus:


Are we fuelling appropriately?

Our nutritional intake will play a huge role in our physical adaptation and recovery for & from training. Do you know what your body needs to be at its healthiest? If you don’t, reflect on this and identify:

Is it a knowledge gap? You don’t understand the principles of energy balance & macronutrients or perhaps you have never assessed or explored what your nutrition requirements are?

OR

Perhaps it’s a behaviour change/habit requirement – you understand what’s required but you are struggling to find ways to implement habits and structures into your day-to-day life?

These are two very different scenarios, which lead to the same issue – not fuelling appropriately for adaptation or recovery.

 

Top tip, identify the main barrier you are facing and either – develop a plan & to take action based off your own knowledge and research or invest in support to help you along the way.

 

Health first, performance second when it comes to nutrition.

 

Are we achieving the appropriate stimulus from our training sessions?

Knowing what the goal of your training session or training phase is, is so important to understanding what you are trying to achieve – are you in a hypertrophy phase where the focus is on building lean muscle mass? If yes, then focusing on consistency and quality in class and ensuring you are hitting your protein intake are the key predicators of your success in achieving the goal of building lean muscle mass. Simply adding more sessions will provide little benefit if you are not recovering with the necessary rest and refuelling for the adaptation.

 

Are we using training as a stress release?

We’ve all been there – life can be tough – some weeks test our resilience more than others – but have we ever thought about how that can affect our training, our performance and recovery?

Pretty significantly.

I would never tell someone not to use training or sport as a stress release – it’s one of the greatest benefits of exercise – get those endorphins flowing!! But bringing awareness to your sessions - identifying those ‘stressful’ phases in life and adjusting your training expectations accordingly can be incredibly beneficial when navigating challenging times.


For example, you are in the middle of exam season, somewhat sleep deprived, fuelling up on caffeine and sugar & maybe experiences waves of overwhelm in the build-up to a particular exam. These are not unusual phases around this time of year for students! It’s 100% worth prioritising an hour away from the computer, moving your body and meeting seeing some friendly faces – the key is adjusting your expectations accordingly - perhaps chasing PB's isn't always necessary ;)

 

Are we using training to off-set poor lifestyle choices?

Maybe you are training 4 or 5 times a week, but not experiencing as much progress as you would like, or perhaps expect?

For someone with ‘high performance’ goals – our weekends ideally stay as consistent

Taking an honest look at your other ’23 hours of the day’ or perhaps more accurately, reflecting on your Friday, Saturday, Sunday routines – is so often the key to identifying the true reason your progress may be slow, non-existent or you perhaps you are regressing in your performance, development, or health. Keeping our fundamental health behaviours in mind across weekends – such as hydration, food choices, and sleep – while enjoying the weekendy’ treats in moderation is key – how do your Friday, Saturday and Sunday compare to your Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday??

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Finally, no matter whether you are at the very beginning of your health, fitness, sporting journey or you are a professional athlete - the influence and impact that social connection and a sense of belonging can have on your mental and emotional health cannot be overstated. Strong social support networks provide avenues for sharing experiences, seeking advice, and receiving encouragement.


Whether it's pursuing sporting excellence, excelling in our careers, or simply enjoying life to the fullest, health remains the foundation of performance.

"There are few investments that yield as valuable a return as investing in your health".



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