When was the last time you saw someone in incredible physical shape step off an elliptical? Maybe once or twice? Maybe never? That’s certainly not the foundation of an elite athlete’s training.
Elite athletes train the same way that brilliant scientists research; they are constantly focused on learning and growth, and their routines and methods grow as they gather more data.
Here is one way to look at it: you should learn something new as often as you can and work hard to master it. If you have to work to advance your mental capacity, shouldn't it make sense that you work to increase your physical capacity as well? If you simply repeated third grade arithmetic over and over, would it prepare you for anything other than being good at the third grade? Of course, it wouldn't. This begs the question: why do people get stuck doing the same "routine" at the gym week in and week out? Is that preparing you for anything other than that same routine? Elite athletes don’t fall into that trap.
The best way to get results is variance and consistent inconsistency. For myself and many of the premier athletes that we train at Trilogy, the answer is a solid base of compound lifts like the squat, deadlift, and press and a good mix of constantly varied conditioning drills. The goal being to elevate the difficulty with every physical advance.
Athletes challenge themselves to get better. Want to train like an athlete? Keep challenging yourself.