Retired Athletes Guide: How to Train Now

While competing, working out was never difficult to plan. You turned your mind on autopilot, and showed up to the scheduled practice, weights and conditioning. You worked your ass off for the allotted time and then continued your day. You had guides and breakdowns on your specific daily training. So honestly, planning a workout was a non-issue. Everything was mapped out, all you had to do was show up.


You are extremely skilled in “how to train to win championships,” but have never been taught on “how to train for life.” We interviewed former athletes... here are their top thoughts.

Set New Goals For Training:

While competing, athletes had one goal… to win. Now during training, retired athletes need new motivation. For some, marathons, triathlons, spartan races, or crossfit can fill that void. These events give purpose and create the structure that was previously lacking. Other former athletes disagreed and found these types of events too intense and not sustainable long term.


The one thing they agreed upon, was the importance of enjoyment and measurable goals. An athlete has to enjoy the workout, or they will never do it. These goals can be simple, like mastering a handstand, but they must keep one coming back for more. Athletes are goal fixed and progress obsessed. They need to continually find short-term and long-term goals that keep them motivated.

1) Make Fitness a Priority:

Many athletes skip workouts because a perceived lack of time. This is the first span in their lives that workouts are optional. Work schedules play a big role in why people skip workouts.

3 Ways to Make Fitness A Priority

  1. Become your own coach, and plan workouts into your week.
  2. Reflect on your plan and modify your schedule, if need be.
  3. Hold yourself accountable and track your results. Athletes who tracked their progress, had better results and accomplished their goals.

The best thing you can do is make working out a priority again, just as it was when you were competing.


2) Engaging Workouts:

Athletes find that choosing their own workouts can be fun and liberating. They are no longer tied to one training style. For the first time, former athletes are free to lift, swim, run, or bike, basically anything they want for exercise. They suggest trying different fitness styles. They were surprised by what became their new love. Comment below with your favorite type of workout.

3) Set an Intention for Working out:

In the past, the goal of working out was to be the best at a sport. The mindset for every workout was intense and intended to be extremely difficult. For many former athletes, this may not be the case anymore.

Alex Feeken (Mpowher Athlete Member) mentioned how critical the transition of her mindset was when she began working out again after retirement. At first, she discovered that her workouts were too intense and not sustainable. Alex realized that her "goals had changed since competing, and the intensity of her workouts didn’t need to be as high in order to stay in shape and healthy."

This is a great idea to keep in mind during workouts. Athletes suggest, taking time to reflect on the purpose of the workout. For some, this may mean a period of hard training for a marathon, crossfit game, or Spartan race. Meanwhile, other’s intentions may be to stay active and keep a healthy sustainable lifestyle. Whatever the goal, make one, find the motivation to workout


Where there is success, there is a plan. Start by making goals and getting into a routine. What are some of your favorite ways to work out? What motivates you to hit the gym? Let us know, we would love to share what you do with the Mpowher Athlete Community!

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