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Thread: The Fitness Thread

  1. #1
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    The Fitness Thread

    Howdy gang.

    I like to think of myself as someone who tries to keep fit but I haven't always been this way. I've been through my fair share of trial and error to find the workout(s) which work(s) for me. The point in that I learnt a lot from reading up and asking others who'd done the hard yards before me. So there's always new things to try to supplement or redesign one's workout. So I'm going to post as much of my workout and hints/tips as I can remember right now and why I do what I do. What I'd like to promote is others doing the same thing so we can learn from each other what works and doesn't work in getting fitter. Most of us who've been doing work for a while would be well aware of what doesn't work because dammit, trial and error is your friend! Want to talk diet eventually, too.

    So here we go.

    My workout is actually fairly simple but it's gotten me great results.

    CARDIO

    This is the one everyone hates, right? I know I do. I love being able to run around in sports, etc. but dammit, I hate slogging it out on a treadmill or bike in a gym. HATE It. The crap thing is, you have to do it. But not in the way you think. If the aim is to lose weight, punishing yourself with jogging for a long time on the tread is a recipe for disaster. And it relates to your maximum heart-rate.

    Basically, your max HR is 220bpm - your age (in my case, 193). The ideal fat-loss range is 60-70% of that rate (in my case, approx 115 - 135bpm). No kidding, that's basically a fast walk. Taking your dog for slightly above a leisurely pace will achieve that. In that range, you WILL lose fat. The downside, you have to do it for a long time. Between 45min - 1hr every workout is the MINIMUM. The longer the better, really. And it works; for months, my weight didn't change no matter how hard I was pushing myself on the treadmill. I put it down to gaining mass from doing weights but it was frustrating. Then I started just walking instead and in my first week, I lost 2kg. Seriously, it works.

    When you jog, your heart-rate enters a mode which is 'cardio-vascular'. Basically, jogging lots increases your ability to retain/disseminate oxygen in your body (called the VO2 Max index). So you basically increase your ability to jog for longer period of time. Your body doesn't lose fat. It will only lose fat in jogging if you jog for a REALLY long time (a slow-ish jog for 30 - 45mins) and that's only because your body will eventually lower your heart-rate towards the fat-burning range. Why kill yourself when you don't have to (if your aim is to lose weight)? Walking will eventually start to increase your V02 anyway.

    Because I wanted to lose weight AND get fitter, now my workout is to do lots of walking every day and once a week to do a jog in order to shock the body into action. How about WHEN you should do cardio? Ideally, in the morning before you eat so that your body starts on the fat reserves first. If you have food in your stomach, your body will try to get rid of that first. If you do it in the morning, wait about 45 minutes after you finish before you eat. You'll see results quite quickly.

    My workout; 1/2 hour of fast walking on a incline on the treadmill at gym and then 30 - 45 mins with the dog when I get home.

    GYM

    Okay here comes the fun bit. My workout is basically a mix of compound exercises with a few isolation exercises. I do 3 x abs exercises and then I hit the weights room and do 3 x exercises each for two different muscle groups (six in total) and have six muscle groups to do in all on a three-day rotation. So basically, on Monday I'll do three chest exercises and three shoulder exercises, on Tuesday I'll do 3 x bicep and 3 x tricep and on Wednesday I'll do 3 x back exercises and 3 x legs. Then repeat (yes I train every day!). You don't need to go every day, though.

    A few tips;

    - Always do big muscle group exercises first and small ones second. Why? If you fatigue your big muscles in doing the small muscle group exercises, you won't be able to lift as much and won't be getting maximum benefit out of the exercises.

    - Combine exercises (big and small muscle groups) with muscles that are near each other. It's why I do triceps and biceps on the same day. Same with chest and shoulders. Basically, when you're doing your chest you're also working the shoulders a little. Vice versa when you then do the shoulders. It basically ensures you're getting as much out of your muscles as you can.

    - How do you know how much to lift? First off, a 'rep' is one 'lift' of the weight and a 'set' is a group of reps. For example, in most muscle groups I do 3 sets of 10 reps each. Okay so do a set (say 8 - 12 reps) and if your arm is quivering and fatiguing at, say, 10 you're probably at the right weight. If you can't do 6, drop the weight. If you can do 12 without too much effort, lift more. It's that simple.

    - Isolation vs compound exercises; in isolation exercises, you lift weights whilst immobilising the limbs generally so that you target one muscle group. This means you put more pressure on the group and generally-speaking, build lots more muscle. So if you want to get big or sculpt your body, isolation exercises are for you.

    Me, I prefer compound exercises when you 'recruit' more muscle groups to do an exercise. The benefit is that you work more muscle groups in the single exercise and overall strength is bettr. Downside, you don't get as 'built' looking.

    - Do as many free-weight exercises as you can. The results are better and it means you don't have to wait for machines which are being used quite as much. You can just grab a couple of dumbells and do multiple exercises.

    Okay so because I won't presume to tell people what exercises they should do (and it's better for technique if you get shown rather than describe it here), I'll just say what my favourite exercises are in each muscle groups;

    Chest; Inclined bench-press. Basically it's a normal bench-press but on a 45 degree angle. It hurts the most but I've gotten the best strength results out of it becase it does upper-chest muscles as well as the usual chest ones.

    Demostration; http://www.theministryoffitness.com/...benchpress.htm

    Shoulders; Shoulder press. You basically use dumbells to push 'upwards'.

    Demonstration; http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...lderPress.html

    Biceps; Dumbell curl. Basically, it hurts the most but your bicep strength increases a lot quite quickly. Ensure you keep your arm 'supine' i.e. wrist facing upwards, not inwards. It's not that important to have strong biceps, though; your triceps are bigger muscles and get used a lot more.

    Demonstration;

    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Biceps/DBCurl.html

    Triceps; Tricep extension. Owwww, but damn it works. As the link says, watch your back, though.

    Demonstration;

    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...ArmTriExt.html

    Back; Bent-over row. Does your upper-back, shoulders and side abs so a great versatile exercise. Make sure your not weight-lifting arm is in line with your bent leg and that the barbell is in line with your leg which hangs out to the side. DO NOT twist your back when you lift i.e. keep the shoulders level. Use a mirror to do this.

    Legs; Full squat. This one hurts like hell but there's no better leg-exercise. Definitely one to do once you've been doing weights for a while because if your technique is wrong, you'll hurt your back and knees.

    Demonstration; http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...FullSquat.html

    So there we have it. I'm sure I'll think of more to say but for now, let's see what everyone else does. I'm really keen to hear because I'm always trying to find ways to make my workout more varied and interesting. Hope this has helped you if you're just getting started too!
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 16-05-2006 at 09:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    International Captain Buddhmaster's Avatar
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    Pfft. Run far and lift heavy ****, you'll be right

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    BARNES OUT dontcloseyoureyes's Avatar
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    That's pretty much what he told you to do. Just in all technical ways.
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    International Captain Buddhmaster's Avatar
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    I clearly did not read it


  5. #5
    Banned Shounak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhmaster
    I clearly did not read it
    You clearly are not wearing underpants..

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    BARNES OUT dontcloseyoureyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhmaster
    I clearly did not read it
    Fair call.

  7. #7
    Cricketer Of The Year Mr Casson's Avatar
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    I lost 40kg without starving myself or going to the gym.
    'Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'farewell! Every happiness and prosperity! If, in the progress of revolving years, I could persuade myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you, I should feel that I had not occupied another man's place in existence altogether in vain.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Casson
    I lost 40kg without starving myself or going to the gym.
    Christ, that's over 6 stone! What's the secret? Tapeworm? Laxitives? Fingers down the throat?!
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  9. #9
    C_C
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    Interesting thread, Corey ( btw, where have you been ? Not a peep in MSN or here for weeks!).
    I would say that what fitness regimen to follow depends a lot on what your goals are.
    To just bulk up and look like those guys pulling a truck with their shoulders, its gonna be totally different than if you wanna pull a Bruce Lee.

    Personally, my fitness criteria is very simple : Not to look good but to feel good and have a lot of agility.
    Often fitness guys arnt very fit in reality - sure, they got humongous chests and arms but most of them are unbalanced physically. I've seen many guys get injured in real life physical stuff because while their biceps look like Arnie's , their triceps look like Monica Belluci's.
    Or while their shoulders and chest look live Vin Diesel, their back looks like Zhang Ziyi.

    I tend to go for agility over strength- simply because in real life situations, agility serves you better than pure brute strength.
    As a result, i tend to focus a lot on stretching and exercising my stomach/lower back.
    Its very important to stretch, as it keeps your muscles on the edge and you are ready for 'sudden action' without requiring elaborate warmups or lumbering around like a behemoth.
    Exercising the stomach/lower back is very important ( more so than upper body i'd say) as it is the conduit between your legs and upper body. A fit core would not only transfer power better from the legs, it often is the weakest link in the armour and as the saying goes, a chain is as strong as its weakest link.
    Hips, lower back and stomach are hard to exercise nonetheless.
    As per cardio- i find running on the treadmill to be boring and less taxing than running outdoors - the start-stop nature of running outdoors, along with the absence of a perfectly flat deck not only gives you a greater cardio output over time, it also strengthens the stabiliser muscles, which come into play a lot more outdoors compared to on treadmills.
    Not to mention, i dont like the idea of running on a solid block of steel with a rubber sheath over it - Perhaps my knees are fragile or perhaps we wernt meant to run around on surfaces with zero give but i find running over grassy outfields infinitely easier on my knees and ankles than thudding along the pavement or the treadmills.

    And if running bores you, there is another awesome cardio exercise out there that IMO is not only fun, its a total body workout : swimming.

    When it comes to muscle-building, i care more for toned muscle with endurance over muscles that can lift a truck. I gained 15 pounds of muscle once when i was 21 and even though i looked very good in the mirror, i found that i was slower than normal and my cardio capacity was reduced. I suppose that makes sense because bulkier muscles will use up your sugar reserves a lot quicker than less bulky muscles and that they weigh more (thus making them less agile).
    As long as i can bench 120-150 pounds, i am happy. Anything more than that and its a waste of time because it serves no practical purpose. But muscle endurance is very important, as in real life, sustained effort is often more widely required than short bursts of He-man stuff.
    I may be wrong, coz i aint no fitness expert, but i prefer this way much more than 'strap a belt on your back and try to squat with 300 pounds on yer back'.
    Oh and last but not the least, whatever you do in the gym, do it slowly in a controlled fashion.
    Because, not only is good form imperative to remaining injury-free, it is also a lot more work. Benching 100 pounds in perfect form ( arms perfectly balanced, bar comes down to touch your chest, slow deliberate movements etc.) is a lot harder than huffing/puffing/grimacing with a quivering arm to raise 150 pounds.

    PS: if you are a short guy like me ( 5'7 or thereabouts), go for agility and toning over bulk-mass. You wont ever get the same bulk as a NFL linebacker but its a lot easier for you to gain agility and endurance to trump the linebacker in almost any real life activity.
    Last edited by C_C; 16-05-2006 at 02:18 PM.

  10. #10
    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    I could stand to drop a couple of stone. I'm probably pushing 15 stone now which is my heaviest ever....for a 6ft guy who's pretty broad-shouldered that isn't too bad, but considering I was 12 and a half stone 2 years ago, it's not great.

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    Hall of Fame Member steds's Avatar
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    Cardio? Gym? Wtf's this? Walking to (running, if I'm late) and from town works for me, although the return journey is usually kebab in hand. Odd game of rugby/football/cricket too, if I can be arsed. I'm not particularly fit, but I'm not fat.

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    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    I exercise every day now.

    It's one I designed myself, called the left-hand pint-lift.

    Now I realise that this could leave you grossly misshapen, what with the left arm suddenly developing huge muscles and stuff, consequently I am working on a variation for the right side of the body.

    It's called the right-hand whisky-lift.

    It doesn't take someone with the brains of Scott Styris to work out that you need to perform an awful lot of right-hand whisky-lifts to equal one left-hand pint-lift - which means that my exercise regime has no flaws whatsoever.

    Apart from the one I fall down to quite often.
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    I need to get back into shape, hoping that playing footy will help. Then come about July I'll put in the hard yards for cricket. Although not sure if I'll do gym work again after it nearly screwed up my cricket season last year. Don't think strength is all that necessary for spin bowling, just want to work on cardio and core.

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    State Regular PommieMacGill's Avatar
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    I've lost quite a bit of weight recently, nearly two stone in fact.

    When I last checked myself on the scales earlier this year, perhaps three or four months ago I was just over 15 stone, yet now I find myself just over 13. I'm just about 6ft so I guess that's just about average or so?

    I don't know why really, I've not gotten into an exercise routine. I'm just not eating as much as I used to and I've just cut out a lot of the snack food etc. I'm also starting to go the gym, in fact my first session is this Thursday, going with a friend and I'm really looking forward to it.

    I've never been fat or thin, just well built and that's the way I want to stay. If I can tone up my upper-body I'll be well pleased!
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    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    I'm so big-boned, I think my skeleton weighs over 20 stone

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