Improving your athletic performance

Personal trainer Gerben Hierck shares his favourite tips!
As an expert in exercise and movement patterns, Gerben creates successful fitness plans and helps his clients to manage their exercise routines. He would be glad to help you improve your stamina, strength and speed and achieve your personal goals. He’s sharing his favourite tips with us today for improving your athletic performance.

How can I make progress?

‘That’s an excellent question! Why? As an athlete and trainer, I’ve discovered that there’s a huge difference between moving and exercising, and that you’ll start making progress faster if you properly understand that difference. Going for a few runs around the park is perfect for when you’re trying to maintain your stamina, to stay in shape. But if you really want to get fit you need to take it one step further by adopting an exercise regimen and sticking to it, and challenging yourself that little bit more. Each time you should get your body to do something more or something different; this will help you to build stronger muscles and improve your coordination, fitness level and stamina. You can really get more out of yourself that way. And that’s precisely why it pays off to give yourself time to recover: your body deserves it, and needs it in order to recharge before you’re ready to hit the gym again with new energy and even greater speed and strength! So be sure to challenge yourself, but also relax if and when you can. That way, you’ll get another step closer to your new, fitter self every week!

How often should I exercise in order to make real progress?

‘Generally speaking, I would say that more is not always, by definition, better... Only better is better! You should therefore ensure that your exercise regimen and recovery time are in balance. Give yourself enough time to recover after each training session, so that you’re good to go at your next training session. How do you find such a balance? That depends mainly on your situation and on you personally. Do you have a busy job? How well do you sleep at night? Are you involved in any other activities or have concerns that take up a lot of energy? These are all factors to consider – along with your goal and your current situation. 
But generally, if you exercise two to four times a week you’re definitely on the right track and have the potential to make some serious progress – especially if you take time to assess how and where you can improve yourself. Mixing it up a bit more, becoming involved in other sports and taking on new challenges can certainly help you to reach your goal faster, smarter and more successfully.’