"A Better Body-Composition Routine"
"Hamstring Injury Prevention"
- A BETTER WAY TO A BETTER BODY COMPOSITION?
you think of losing body fat, you think of long-duration aerobic
exercise (i.e. endless runs, stationary cycling to nowhere,
etc.). I want to change your way of thinking, provide variety
to your gym visits, and introduce you to a program that might
provide better results than the traditional daily monotonous
"cardio" sessions. It should even allow you to spend
less time in the gym, something we from which we could all
get me wrong! I am not outlining a better way to cardio-vascular
fitness. For that, you must adhere to the standard training
prescription and variables (frequency, intensity, and duration).
This is simply a program catering to achieving a lower body-fat
percentage and developing a muscular body. It may also provide
alternative ways to spend time in the gym. Let's put aside
the traditional program-design and give something else a try.
the muscle mass of the entire body and not just the legs.
This will require the use of resistance training. Provide
an adequate stimulus to the muscles to prevent the atrophy
(loss of muscle) associated with weight loss. Again, this
will require resistance training. Use a light resistance,
short rest intervals, and alternate muscle groups.
so this program is essentially CIRCUIT TRAINING (not really
a new concept), BUT/ using circuit training in place of endless
"cardio" is theoretically a more efficient and effective
manner to a better body composition. Remember that this program
is not for those seeking maximal strength development, increases
in muscle size, or optimal aerobic performance.
3 to 5-minutes of light activity to increase body temperature
and blood flow
a warm-up set of the first 2 exercises for a specific muscle
follow with some light stretches to prepare the muscles for
stretch after the workout to improve flexibility
1 - LEGS, SHOULDERS, and ARMS
standing calf raise
2 - CHEST AND BACK
| Reverse-grip pulldown
| Incline dumbbell press
frequency of "Body-composition circuit" depends
on the intensity of the workout. With a heavier load and fewer
repetitions, more muscle soreness will occur and therefore
greater recovery time will be necessary. If a light load and
fewer repetitions are used, the 2-day format could be repeated
up to 3 times in a week.
goals and time constraints of the individual following the
circuit will also dictate the length of the circuit. Theoretically,
a longer circuit (more sets) would provide a greater volume
of work and therefore more energy expenditure (increase expenditure
= increased fat loss). For those seeking the greatest amount
of energy expenditure, I suggest 45 seconds of each exercise
(about 15 repetitions) followed by 15 seconds of rest before
moving to the next exercise.
option is to include periods of aerobic activity within the
circuit. I believe the optimal prescription would be 2-5 minute
bouts of aerobic activity after every 3rd or 4th resistance
exercise. The addition of the aerobic component contributes
to an increase in energy expenditure and to overall fitness.
the circuit can be used for athletic training as well. Combine
the circuit resistance program with sport-specific skill stations,
plyometrics, "speed-quickness-agility" drills, and
sport-specific conditioning intervals to maximize training
time and increase the enjoyment of the conditioning session.
The circuits will help develop "strength-endurance"
and "power endurance" which are the ability to perform
strength and power skills under fatigued conditions. The sport-specific
skills should be simple BUT/ included in an intense circuit.
- INJURY PREVENTION: THE HAMSTRINGS
hamstring is a high-risk muscle and is commonly injured. It
is actually a group of 3 muscles and can be stretched across
two joints (the knee and the hip). The 2-joint nature of the
muscle contributes to the risk of injury.
hamstring controls and decelerates the leg in an eccentric
contraction. (Remember that an ECCENTRIC contraction is force
produced by a lengthening muscle). This eccentric work also
increases the injury risk of the muscle because high levels
of force are generated as the muscle lengthens (OR as the
muscles stretches). For the hamstring, this occurs during
fast activities such as sprinting.
the eccentric strength of the hamstring is weak then the individual
will not be able to control their limb during deceleration,
and injury may occur from poor shock absorption upon landing.
Also, it is essential that the hamstrings are fully warmed
up (light activity to increase blood flow to the muscle) to
increase the temperature of the muscle, thus making the tissue
more extensible and hopefully more resistant to injury.
injury often occurs during multi-joint activities, single-joint
hamstring training (i.e. lying hamstring curls) may not be
optimal injury prevention activities. I suggest incorporating
more sport-specific exercises such as reverse lunges, full
squats, and step-ups.
balance should also be a high priority. After developing a
sufficient strength base through these traditional exercises,
more sport-specific training methods can be used to develop
functional eccentric strength for injury prevention. Muscle
balance refers to both strength differences between muscle
groups and between the opposite sides of the body.
training in isolation can also be beneficial, BUT/ not the
traditional "negatives". Negatives use a load of
~110-120% of the maximal concentric force in a slow-speed
eccentric action, however, eccentric sport actions are high-speed
with light loads (the weight of the limb). Therefore training
with high-speed, multi-joint movements using a light (OR no
resistance) may be optimal. Plyometrics are also an excellent
training option because they develop sport performance and
eccentric strength, however, remember that a general base
of strength should be developed prior to plyometric training.
- SPORTS NUTRITION
is a quick run-down of the optimal performance eating guidelines
for my "summer athletes". Following the general recommendations will
benefit performance and prevent will ensure safe and enjoyable
performances. If you follow the recommendations precisely
and combine them with sufficient rest and recovery, you will
maximize your on-field potential.
is essential that fluids be replaced during activity and before
the next competition. This means no post-game caffeine OR
alcohol, BUT otherwise, drink, drink, drink and then drink
more (water, of course!). Monitor fluid losses by weighing-in
before and after training (drink 1cup/pound lost during exercise).
Drink up to 1-2 hours before competition and aim to drink
100-150ml of cool fluids every 15 minutes during activity.
Sport drinks (OR 50-50 water-juice dilutions) provide fluid
and energy and are absorbed quicker than water.
a high-carbohydrate diet (one good meal does not make up for
a week of poor eating). Do not try eating new foods on competition
days, experiment only during training. When and how much you
eat really depends the individual, BUT generally, allow 3
hours for a large meal to digest and about an hour for a carbohydrate
time and food suggestion
Light carbohydrate snack will prevent low-blood sugar.
Eat a high-carbohydrate breakfast.
Eat high-carbohydrate breakfast and lunch.
Eat a light dinner/snack 2 hr. prior to event.
+ milk, fruit, pancakes, bagels, yogurt, plus a protein
low-fat milk, thick-crust pizza, plus protein
bagels, yogurt, fruit, energy bars, sandwiches, plus protein
rice, potatoes, vegetables, lean meat or protein
cool fluids (beyond point of thirst quenching). Consume high-carbohydrate
foods (simple sugars) ASAP.
This can be pop, juice, energy bars, etc. Consume ~1.0g/kg
of carbohydrate ASAP after training and games to refuel and
prevent protein breakdown.
a high-carbohydrate meal before early morning games (see pre-event
meals for suggestions). Following the first game, carbohydrate
and fluid intake is very important (juice, sports drink, etc.).
Small snacks such as fruit and yogurt can also be eaten if
there is a sufficient break between games to assist muscle
re-fueling for the next game.
daily - 60% CHO, 15-20% PRO, and 20-25% FAT (& enough
because you have not eaten for ~8 h.
Ex) low-sugar cereal with 1% milk, O.J., toast,
is important to provide the body with energy every ~3
h to avoid fatigue. Consume a small protein/carbohydrate
snack. Ex) fruit and yogurt & a protein supplement
another high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein meal
lean-meat and cheese sandwiches, O.J., yogurt, banana
Kraft dinner plus protein (20g) and fruit
2 Wendy's junior burgers (no mayo), baked potato, &
carbohydrate-protein snack ~1-2 hours pre-workout
yogurt and fruit, fruit & protein (20g)
a carbohydrate & protein snack as soon as possible
to replenish energy stores for future workouts (75g CHO &
protein shake and juice or fruit or meal-replacement
shake or bar
2 hours of exercise, eat a high-CHO, high-protein meal.
steak, potatoes, vegetables, milk, fruit or chicken breast, 1 cup of pasta or rice, veggies, milk,
banana or 1 slice of pizza (no pepperoni
or sausage), O.J., banana, & yogurt