Written by Jamie Bantleman
The major issue with training in the gym for sports people when their season is in full swing is that injuries occur and muscle soreness can massively affect performance levels. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your seasonal training covers the correct exercises as well as performing each movement in the correct rep and set range. It is also important to think about how your body moves in your sport and not to over dominate that particular plane of movement.
For example, if you are a tennis player, lateral movements are highly used throughout a match therefore focusing on injury prevention in this area is ideal, whereas your focus in a training session would include movements that differ to this; i.e. barbell hip thrusts or glute/ham raises.
Injury Prevention Is Key To Success…
If you ask the majority of the coaches who are working with clubs or individual athletes they would usually state that their number one goal throughout the season is to enable their sports people/person is able to consistently perform at the highest possible level. To do this, it would mean they would have to be 100% fit at all times and this is something that is very hard to do.
Of course, bad injuries happen in games/matches and this is something that is hard to avoid, however, we can do everything we can to help prevent this by strengthening muscles around commonly weak areas, such as the hamstrings and ACL. When looking at these types of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints we must take into consideration the way in which they move in your sport to then perform the correct exercises in your training programme to get maximal benefit.
You Are Not Training For Hypertrophy…
When training in season, our aim isn’t to get bigger and stronger, the primary function is to maintain muscle mass. We all know how difficult this can be due to the amount of calorie expenditure throughout your sporting event or match. To cope with this, the answer is simple, you must ensure your calorie intake is sufficient. Although, the day to day expenditure may differ so working out the calorie output on training days compared to match days is the best and most effective way of getting your calories and macronutrients right.
To do this, having your metabolic testing done by a practitioner offers the most accurate way in which to work out the correct figure for calorie intake and macronutrient requirements (I can do this from one of the UK’s fasting growing health clubs, Hale Country Club and Spa in Cheshire), or simply go online to find a less accurate but still very effective way of finding your basal metabolic rate using the Harris Benedict Method. Once you have found your figure that your body is expending in terms of calories, you can then build your diet to cope with the high demands of sport.
Often, we can lower our calorie intake to get leaner or have a better aesthetic appearance. Whether you are an average gym go-er or bodybuilder, we must ensure this does not happen in our diet. The reason for this is that on a low calorie diet our energy stores will be depleted and therefore we will not be performing at an optimal level for our sport. Although it is important to remain in great condition for our sport, this is simply a bi-product of an intelligent and effective training plan, diet and supplement protocol.
When looking at supplementation we should always aim to help aid recovery, re-build muscle tissue and replenish mineral and vitamins. Therefore, the day to day supplementation of a sports person should be a simple yet effective stack:
#1 Zinc 30mg per day for a male and 15mg for a female
#2 Omega 3 Capsules 6g per day
#3 Magnesium Citrate 800mg per night
#4 Daily Vitamins 2 Capsules per day
When preparing for a match on game day you should look at what energy stores will be required to be at an optimal level prior to kick off or the start of the match. Electrolytes and Amino Acids in particular are great to take prior to a match:
#1 ElectroFuel 2 Scoops prior to match
#2 Amino Boost 2 Scoops prior to match
#3 RecoverFuel 2 Scoops after the match