MonthJanuary 2018

The Myths Of Nutrition In Football

Disinformation in Nutrition VS. Muscle Mass

In Football, we often hear players say that they have to bulk up and gain muscle mass. While this is often true, a lot of disinformation about how to gain mass is thrown towards the topic of nutrition.

To Induce Muscle Hypertrophy…

It’s true that to induce muscle hypertrophy, a player needs to train hard and eat more Calories than the number of Calories that he burns at rest and during his training. Because the metabolic rate of a football player is high, this means that he needs to eat a lot of Calories.

Hypertrophy and strength for football

The problem

The problem is that football players believe or are sometimes told that the as long as they eat enough, they’ll be fine and that because they practice sport, the sources of Calories aren’t that important.

Eating anything to bulk up

Because of this, a lot of football players binge and eat whatever they want like some powerlifters or strong men and this has a big incidence on their metabolic pathways and their hormonal health which affects their work capacity for football. Even strong men that eat a lot of Calories are aware that some food can induce inflammation.

What’s the big deal?

So what’s the big deal with this nutrition article? In football or in any other sport, the athlete who trains with more intensity more often becomes the best. However, to do so, the football player must recover properly and with ethical means. If not, he will be in an overreaching or overtraining state.


Ignorant or Complacent?

Some strength coaches or nutritionists will use calipers to check body fat and if the football player is lean, they will consider him like ok. However, the only information they have about the player is his subcutaneous fat. That’s not enough information to predict how his metabolic health is doing. Those coaches are either ignorant about other ways of assessing body composition and metabolic health or they are complacent about the way they assess this aspect.

Catastrophic Results

We use the RJL BIA system to assess our players and in the video below, the criteria and norms that we aim for are presented. Some people might think that football player must test well. Sometimes, the results are catastrophic. When we improve them, the health, muscle tension and work capacity improve significantly.

Good for football and for life

In conclusion, we would say that if you want to know what to tell to football players who want eat well or if they want to learn it, here’s a great online sports-nutrition course.  By integrating good eating behaviors, performance and health will improve. This will be good for football and for the rest of their life.

Tensegrity In Football

What is tensegrity?

Tensegrity is a word that was created from the words (tension + integrity). Because football is a game of power and contacts, tensegrity is used for performance and injury prevention. Here’s a 2-minute video showing the concept of tensegrity.

Why be aware of tensegrity in football?

Why should football strength and conditioning coaches be aware of tensegrity? Because football payers need a lot of power to perform well. Power output will be generated from proximal (hips and spine) to distal ( feet and hands) by summation of accumulated torques in a proper sequential order of joint movements.

Limit of speed and power methods

There are plenty of training methods to improve speed and power and they are all very efficient to transfer on the football field. The only limit is that almost all of them use movements that are performed in a sagittal anatomical plane.

Power and speed development =  mostly sagittal plane exercises

So, exercises, like plyometrics, sprinting, pushing a prowler, running with a sled or doing Olympic lifting, are great ways to develop power and they are all performed in the anatomical sagittal plane.

The problem with overusing sagittal plane for football

The problem is that the connective tissue that builds our body has a network of fascial lines that surrounds our body in many directions.

We are as strong as our weakest link

If we only train our body in the sagittal plane, our connective tissue will only become stronger for the parts of the fascia (connective tissue) that work in the sagittal plane. but we are as strong as our weakest link. The challenge is to use exercises that occur in the frontal and transverse plane. There are less known and they are it is not possible to develop as much power as in the sagittal plane.

3D Exercises

So, using training methods that originate from track and field (sprinting) and Olympic lifting (power clean and power snatch) is great to develop power and to measure it. However, rotations and contacts in football necessitate football player’s body to strengthen the body with 3D exercises.

Challenge of the strength coach

The challenge of the strength coach is to keep using speed and power development movement performed in the sagittal plane while integrating exercises in the transverse and frontal plane even if the exercises performed in this plane won’t develop as much power and strength. These auxiliary exercises will strengthen the weakest links of connective tissues. Here’s a video using a vipr.

Developing farmer’s strength

Using an 8 Kg ViPR is enough to strengthen your body in its weakest links just like farmers do. Using Indian clubbells are also a good way to develop circular strength. However, the strength coach needs to know how to use them. 

Tensegrity in a football-specific perspective

Here’s a video showing how to strengthen the whole kinetic chain while doing football-specific drills for quarterbacks.

Trend or most?

It is sometimes difficult for a strength coach to know if exercises or training equipment are a trend or a must.

Some coaches never change what they do because they think:

Why change something if it’s not broken.

Other coaches follow too much the trends as a marketing tool sending the message that they know how things evolve. However, they often:

throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Like Bruce Lee said:

Absorb what is usefull, reject was is useless.

It’s always a question of balance.

National Sports Performance Association’s Annual Event

As a coach, stay motivated to motivate!

To be a great coach, you need to stay motivated and educated on the most recent trends. The best way to do so is to do workshops. This is exactly what happened this week-end with the first national conference of the National Sports Performance Association.

Football Strength and Conditioning live event for coaches

This event was a great success with great coaches presenting and attending the event! A few great events will be available for strength and conditioning coaches in 2018!