E = M.C 2
Saul Yudelowitz Bsc (Hons)
As a Sports
Biomechanic I have treated many athletes from many different disciplines for a
verity orthopedic problems and sports performance enhancement. Although they
come from different disciplines there are a few common denominators that they
- Demands on the athlete are
- The need to recover quicker
- The importance of recovery
during competition and
- Maintaining peak functionality
for the duration of the competition
The main issue
here is that athletes train like bodybuilders, training for muscle size and not
power! All sport is a measurement of power; we all here the questions, how fast
can you do 100 meters in, how many pounds can you produce per square inch with
a punch etc. The easiest way to explain this is by the scientific formula
E = M.C2 . To accelerate a limb(s) the body uses the fast
twitch muscles, all other muscle is dead weight, and from this one should
understand that training for power is the key to optimizing the above four
points. In rugby the engaging of a scrum is a great example of power
application. There are a few points that need to be brought to the fore for
athletes, you see unlike bodybuilders who go up on stage and only have to spasm
their muscles athletes need to perform on the sports field. For sports
performance and the ability to adapt to the ever increasing demands of the
professional game the following points are absolutely essential.
- Training to maximum effort all
year round will result in overtraining, injuries that reoccur and
eventually long term neural fatigue. This becomes a serious problem
(neural fatigue) as it could result in a non reversible
Athletes must periodize their training so that they can build up
to the final game through the duration of the tournament. The best teams who
win world cup championships are the teams that peak on the day of the final
game! Periodizing must take into account twelve months prior to the final game.
Dotting the Iís and crossing the Tís is required.
- Most athletes have a poor
understanding of the hormonal system; athletes at the top of their game
can produce anabolic hormones for 45 minutes. Olympic athletes can usually
get to 49 minutes. Exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system
which is catabolic, if an athlete needs to recover; the parasympathetic
nervous system is required for this anabolic purpose. There are many
methods for stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system besides rest.
It ties in with the time you spend exercising, so if you can lift
the heaviest weight with good form for more than five reps you are not
training for power! Six sets or more is not a power training routine. If
you are not recruiting the fast twitch fibers you are training to be slow
and slow athletes are never on the winning team.
- Working while an athlete has an
injury is going to lead to time laid off from competition; this also
results in a suppressed parasympathetic nervous system. The
parasympathetic nervous system heals and there are many ways to stimulate
it, rest being just one method! Most athletes I see are reluctant to
discuss the full extent of their injury with their manager due to the
commercial value of a contract! Learning how to heal is essential for a
- Athletes need to have a better
understanding of their body. Training for aesthetics and not functionality
will never result in improvements on the sports field. Most athletes
believe that they are always training for functionality however if you are
one who enjoys the pump of a muscle, you will not improve your power. When
a muscle is pumped it is a result of the accumulation of lactic acid,
water and blood that have pooled in the muscle to combat the fall in pH.
There will be some endurance benefits from this type of training.
Athletes who want to adapt to the ever increasing demands of the
game by improving on their performance, peaking at the right time, reducing
injury occurrence as well reducing their injury time, need to adhere to the
above points. Learning to apply power (accelerate) to a limb(s) relative to your
stability is the art of sport; this is how sportsmen make movement looks easy
to the layman however when attempted it is difficult to replicate.
All the information
on this web site is the opinion of the owner of Health and Performance and the
therapists that it represents. They are not designed to diagnose and/or treat
any condition. You should always consult with us before applying any information
in part or whole.
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