Train Like A Pro

  • By Lance Watson
  • Published Feb 6, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:37 PM UTC
Photo: Challenge Wanaka/Getty Images

Steal These Pro Habits

Pre-workout mentality: They decide on their attitude, create process and outcome goals, understand the purpose of the workout and the main set, and visualize efficient movement prior to arriving to their training session.

In-workout attitude: While training is physically difficult, elite athletes typically have fun with that challenge and remain focused. They are on task for drills and intervals, and during recovery portions mentally prepare for the next interval. They control self-talk and choose a positive mindset to boost self-esteem. They capitalize on the good days and put the bad days in perspective. They make time for a post-workout debrief and analysis.

Logistics: They organize their equipment and become systematic about equipment preparation for training. They create workout timelines, arrive early as a habit, and create some time after training as a buffer in case things go longer, so a key set or cool-down isn’t cut short. They log their workouts, with the goal of tracking performance to see patterns—especially ones that work well.

Body preparation and maintenance: They make time for proper stretching and an easy warm-up, and they do a proper cool-down to flush lactic acid from muscles and to facilitate recovery. Massage is scheduled regularly on the night before a recovery day to give the body time to absorb training. They eat a pre-workout meal (finishing at least two hours prior for moderate to high-intensity sessions) and, for post-session nutrition, include carbs within a half-hour of finishing, and carbs plus protein within two hours of workout completion.

Lance Watson is LifeSport head coach (

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