From beginner to champion in 6 months

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champion trophy

6 months to gold

Scottish dentist, Apple Doepner, has won gold in an International weightlifting competition just 6 months after taking up the sport.

That’s beginner to champion in 6 months — now there’s an endorsement for training well.

Ever wondered what you could achieve in 6 months if you invested in your mind and body? Maybe there’s a medal or two out there for you too. Read on for potential-fulfilling inspiration.

Making a statement

Bradley Wiggins

Image source: Razvan Photography
Say it, then believe, à la Bradley Wiggins

Aged 12, Bradley Wiggins told his teacher that he would be Olympic champion one day and wear the yellow jersey in the Tour De France. Rather a bold statement for a youngster, but he delivered and exceeded his aims.

His sheer determination to achieve was the driving force behind his future success. It took a few years of dedicated training, but he never lost his focus and eventually he hit the target. Before making your own statement of conviction, understand where you have a natural advantage.

Genetic engineering

Mo Farah

Image source: Erik van Leeuwen / Wikimedia
Built like Mo? Get running!

We’re all put together differently and genetics can provide huge mental and physical advantages in certain disciplines. Apple Doepner may have won a gold medal just six months after taking up the sport, but she is naturally a strong lady and frequented the gym before taking up the sport.

Maybe you’re a natural athlete, or own a powerful punch, or maybe you’ve always been really muscular. Find your genetic strengths and weaknesses and set realistic ambitions in a discipline that favours how you have been built by nature. After all, it’s a waste of time aiming to break Mo Farah’s long distance running records if you’re built like a tank.

Planning your route to success

Ricky Hatton

Image source: Laura Conerney / Wikimedia
Plan like Ricky – though perhaps avoid the weight gain!

Once undisputed boxing champion of the world, Ricky Hatton was renowned for bloating and overeating between fights. Yet he still managed to go from an overweight and bloated 200lbs to 140lbs of sculptured muscle in a few months. Achieved by a well-planned routine with clear goals.

So rather than rushing into the gym with Eye of the Tiger on the radio and bursting a few blood vessels as you overdo it and damage your motivation — make a plan. Use the Internet or seek the advice of people that know what they’re doing and then build the best possible training routine for YOU.

Start with minimal reps, short routines and don’t lift too much weight too early. Get into a rhythm over a couple of weeks and then map out dates where you will step up your training — whether that be lifting heavier weights, achieving faster sprint times or dropping weight.

Goal setting is really important as it provides something to focus on and work towards — set multiple targets over a 6-month period and hit them. You’ll be amazed by your progress if you stay focused.

Focus. Determination. Training

Helen Glover

Image source: Richard Gillin / Wikimedia
Rowing partners Helen and Heather

Genetics is important for sure, but sheer determination and focused training will get you really far too. After winning an Olympic rowing gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, Cornwall-born Helen Glover made a confession.

She admitted that she achieved the Sporting Giant criteria of 5ft 11in (and gained her place on the GB Rowing Team’s Start programme in 2008) by standing on her tiptoes. She was actually closer to 5ft 9in, which was not considered ideal (or a genetic advantage) for somebody taking up rowing.

Four years of dedicated and focused training turned a rowing beginner into the reigning world and Olympic champion in the women’s coxless pairs.

Fuel for thought

Arsene Wenger

Image source: Gordon Flood / Wikipedia
“Well done for eating your greens, lads!”

Diet is highly important and can be the difference between winning and losing. You will only become a machine if you provide your body with the fuel it needs to help you build the machine. Arsene Wenger has been the manager of Arsenal Football Club since 1996 and has won 11 trophies.

When he first took on the job he introduced the English game to the importance of diet and was one of the first managers to employ a dietician to work with his players. Within two years he completed a league and FA cup double. These days every top professional team in the world employs at least one dietician.

You’ll mostly need protein for muscle building, carbohydrates and good fats for energy and lots of water to keep everything cool and well maintained. If you can’t find enough natural sources of what you require, or don’t have time to cook, then you’ll need supplements like whey protein powder to fuel your body with what it needs.

Start as you mean to go on — plan your diet alongside your training goals and increase your protein and carbohydrates intake as your train harder.

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