Athletes competing at any level of sport should understand the importance of taking an academic approach to training, particularly since there are so many underlying factors that can influence the degree of success an athlete is able to achieve in competition. According to John Pryor, strength training should be varied from sport to sport and athlete to athlete so that it is able to yield the greatest possible benefit for the athlete. Pryor also encourages his athletes to develop an understanding of how to maximize the gains they make in training outside of their workouts, as diet and recovery play a major role in determining the overall success of a training program.
Elite athletes have the benefit of working side-by-side with coaches and team doctors who have spent the entirety of their professional career studying and performing research on the subject of athletic performance and overall health and wellness, so athletes at other levels of sport should recognize the potential benefit of studying on their own to yield a similar benefit. Some of the most successful athletes began by performing research on different kinds of training methods in order to apply these principles to their own training program with the goal of determining the most effective approach. By studying health and medicine and applying it to athletic training, it becomes much more likely for the athlete to make the greatest gains possible from a training program.