Athletes may work out 4-6 times a week for 1.5-3 hours in addition to sport-specific training and conditioning. The typical personal training customer may exercise 2-4 times per week and may or may not complete extra conditioning. Even though they may not appear to be doing much, an athlete's body is constantly changing and adapting to the demands of regular exercise.
In order to maintain fitness level and avoid injury, athletes should try to exercise at least half an hour a day, five days a week.
They also need to rest their bodies properly after each workout and daily activity. Rest helps the body repair itself and re-energize for more intense workouts and sports activities.
What kinds of exercises are best for athletes? Athletes should focus on strength training and cardio exercises to improve muscle mass and endurance, respectively. A good starting point is the list below; you can add other forms of exercise if you want.
Strength Training: Weight machines are great options for athletes because they allow them to work all major muscle groups while reducing the risk of injury.
Cardio: Running, walking, biking, swimming - these are all good choices for athletes who want to improve their cardio fitness. Swimming is particularly good for athletes who want to build strong muscles while still having full use of their legs.
Let's start with some broad strokes: Obadike recommends that the average athlete work out three to four days each week. Take note of the word 'at least'—these three to four days form the basis for every athlete, regardless of sport or specialty. If you're an elite-level athlete, you might be able to go five days a week, but most people won't have enough time to fit in so many workouts.
Now, let's break down these three to four days into specific times and minutes per session. First, you need to determine how much time you can reasonably spend on your sport without becoming exhausted or injured. After all, you don't want to risk being on the field or court when it really matters if you're going to burn out before the season is over.
Once you know how much time you can spare, you need to figure out how much time you should actually spend doing so. Start by dividing the number of hours in your weekly schedule (about seven) by two. If you end up with more than three hours, then you should probably pick another hour or two each week to devote to your sport.
Finally, you need to consider what type of exercise you should be doing. There are two types of exercises: high intensity, which include things like sprinting, jumping, and lifting weights, and moderate intensity, which include things like biking, walking, and swimming.
A typical pro athlete might train 5–6 hours per day, six days per week. This may not appear to be a lot of hours, but the intensity of training is insane. In fact, without appearing arrogant, an average-fit person would struggle to complete one of our warm-ups. Pro athletes can sustain this level of activity for years at a time.
To put this into context, an average adult man can exercise for 30 minutes at a high intensity twice daily, and that's all he needs to be healthy. On top of that, professionals need to rest too. The Chicago Bears football team, for example, has a practice schedule that includes a weekly game and takes them through the whole season with a few breaks in between.
The point is this: to become an elite athlete you need to be willing to work extremely hard for many hours each and every day. It's not easy being an athlete!
Now, how does this relate to you? If you want to become an elite athlete, you need to be willing to put in hundreds of hours of training per year. It might not seem like much time, but believe me, you'll feel like you're accomplishing something when you're sweating for hours on end.
Of course, not everyone who tries to become an elite athlete will make it.