Why Swimming Is the Best Form of Exercise?

Swimming is obviously the hot favourite sport of all fitness freaks. Swimming is known to provide something that none of the aerobic exercises do. It provides the capacity to work the body without any kind of harsh effect on your skeletal system. Swimming is usually considered to be the most effective way of enhancing your heart rate and boosting blood circulation. Swimming is the most efficient way of reducing and maintaining a normal weight. But this is certainly not the end. Swimming is associated with a host of fat burning and muscle building benefits. When you hit the pool and enjoy a number of laps, you are ensuring overall physical fitness along with muscle toning and breath control. Swimming training program is best for:

Managing Weight

You could expect to burn about 367 calories if you indulge in only half an hour of breaststroke. This definitely, is way ahead of walking, running or cycling in terms of results.  You could browse online to check out the exact number of calories, your favourite swimming stroke would be burning.

Reducing Stress Levels

As per many studies and surveys, it is proved beyond doubt that swimming is great for releasing tension and stress. Most people admit that swimming makes them really happy. They feel immensely relaxed and completely rejuvenated after swimming. Swimming is a good way of soothing your mind. Swimmers are much less prone to stress-related depression, tension, confusion, and anger.

Strengthening & Toning Muscles

Water resistance is known to be 44x greater as compared to air and that implies that you would need to work even harder while moving through it. It is similar to working out with machines or weight without any need to costly or cutting-edge equipment. Swimming is the most cost-effective way of strengthening and toning your muscles. Since water is supposed to be 12x denser than air, swimming is regarded as a far more efficient way of muscle toning when compared to other cardiovascular workouts that could be done on land.

Exerting Low-Impact

You seem to bear only 10 percent of your actual body weight while swimming because of the buoyancy of water. Thanks to the reduced stress on bones and enhanced ease of movement, swimming poses much lower injury risks than any other form of exercise.

Improving Your Sleep

Swimmers usually experience sound sleep all night long. They would be the last people to complain about sleep issues and disorders. They would not be confronting problems such as insomnia, disturbed sleep or waking very early.

Lowering Risk of Diseases

Swimming is a wonderful form of cardiovascular workout. It is effective in controlling blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure, and reducing bad cholesterol level present in your blood. You could cut down the possibilities of developing stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes if you are a regular swimmer.

The idea of cycling or running around a given track endlessly could be quite boring for many of you and quite stressful too. Swimming, however, is known to release and boost endorphins in your body which promote feelings of well-being. Studies have revealed that you could achieve similar relaxation responses as yoga while swimming.

Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling is one of the most popular methods athletes use for recovery and preparation. All around the world, from local level right up to Olympic level, athletes can be seen seesawing, rolling and contorting in every which way over a small foam tube, trigger ball or even an old scuffed up lacrosse ball. This is usually paired with the athlete screwing up their face in pain, and counting down the seconds until it’s over. Why do they put themselves through it? What does it even do? This article will help shed some light on why athletes love this pain, what it does for their recovery and performance and how you can implement it in your own training.

Pic 1- NBA Superstar Lebron James using a Foam Roller at team USA practice


Foam rolling is a relative of the massage-therapy family. Massage has been used for centuries1 as a tool to help aid ailments and improve movement and performance. The main benefits of massage are relaxation, decreased muscle tension and increased mobility1. Pressing and prodding into our bodies has been an integral part of our manual therapy methods, and it seems like a natural progression that we substituted our hands for a hard rollable surface. Foam rolling, as we know it today, began to surface in the 1980’s among medical and dancing circles6 , but has origins earlier than that. Here is a video in the 1950’s of women working to slim down their stomachs, waistline and legs and increase flexibility with rolling machines.



While that may look silly to us, the mechanisms and benefits of foam rolling are still not totally understood. The level of scientific research is relatively inconclusive2 , but we cannot ignore the widespread usage among any level of performance. They can now be found in any commercial gym, department store or sporting club, elite to local level. This does not Pic 1- NBA Superstar Lebron James using a Foam Roller at team USA practice completely validate the technique, but it does provide a justification for both usage and further research. That brings up the question: What do they do and do they actually work?

Myofascial Release

Firstly, we must discuss what fascia is. It can be defined as a soft tissue component of the connective tissue system within the human body3 . It serves three main purposes
  • Provide strength and structure (around muscles, tendons and Joints)3
  • Maintain relative positions of organs3
  • Provide a route for the distribution of vessels and nerves 3
When we foam roll, the main things we are trying to achieve is increase mobility4 , provide a more localised and more effective warm up4 and help reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness [DOMS] 4,5. Increasing mobility via foam rolling has been termed “Self-Myofascial release”. This is achieved by putting pressure on fascia, and trigger points throughout the body, to increase blood flow to low flow areas4 and help decrease tension in the area. However, this is not fully understood and it is unclear whether or not this is the fascia, the muscle, or a combination of both that relax to cause lengthening and loosening in and around joints and muscle bellies2 . There is conflicting evidence as to whether or not it actually does improve performance physiologically2,3, but I must mention there is a large psychological affect to foam rolling, which cannot be ignored when discussing foam rolling5 . We do know that it can aid in warm-ups and mobility so it is very commonly used. Here at Acceleration Melbourne, we use trigger pointing before training to aid in mobility and work into sore spots, then utilise foam rolling after training to help speed up recovery and lessen the impact of DOMs.
Pic 2- There are a number of different Foam rolling tools and brands you can choose from

Practical Applications

So now you know where it has come from, and what the science says. But what does that mean for you specifically? What can you do before and after training to see benefit? Here is a breakdown


  • Foam rolling is typically focussed around the legs, hips and back. Many people choose to roll from the bottom up, so working from the feet, to lower legs, thighs etc., which should be the beginning of your rolling program. A particular focus should be placed on the hips (Hip Flexors, Psoas, Hip Rotators) and the surrounding muscles (Upper Hamstrings, Upper Quadriceps, Gluteal muscles), given their importance for human movement and propensity to get tight. This will include rolling on the front, side and back of the hips as well as inside (adductors) and outside (ITB) the legs and lower back as well. The next step would be to direct the rolling to the upper back, or thoracic spine. This is another critical part of the body where flexibility is imperative. Rolling in and around the shoulder blades(Rhomboids), near the neck (Trapezius) and towards the arm pits (Latissimus Dorsi). The last step would be a self-directed session, to work into any sore or tight spots. There are trigger points around the body (Psoas, Hip Flexors, Calves etc.), which will help release surrounding areas. Experiment with a smaller, more direct force (like a trigger ball), and find what works best for you.


  • Foam Rolling and trigger point therapy has essentially three uses: Warm-ups, recovery and flexibility training. It can be a good way to start your warm up, as you are increasing mobility and flexibility and it can help you physically and mentally prep for the rest of your pre-game activities. I would program it at the start of the warm up, and not just before the game as you should be completing very game specific and high intensity efforts just prior to game time. I would suggest keeping it short and sharp (10 mins total, 20-30 seconds per muscle) as time can be limited pre-game. As part of your recovery, I would lengthen the session out and spend a bit more time on each muscle. Obviously this is dependent on you and how you are feeling post-match, but I would take up to 40-60 seconds per muscle and spend 15- 20 minutes rolling out your body. As part of your flexibility training it is up to you how long you roll for, but in some respects the longer the better. As long as you can handle the pain and are still feeling benefit, I would say keep rolling!


  • Your tolerance to pain and your flexibility will largely determine the pressure you will be able to apply. Foam rolling can be very painful, especially in tight and sore spots. If you can handle the pain, and are feeling the muscle relax and gain more mobility, press away. But if you find it too painful, and aren’t seeing any benefit, find a different angle, or a different tool to press into that area. The benefit of foam rolling will be limited if you only press lightly, so try and let as much of your weight down onto the roller as possible. Over time, your mobility and flexibility will increase, which will allow you to feel more pressure and find new positions to roll into.

Recovery- The why and how

Recovery from any kind of athletic performance, has come a long way over the years. From the days when drinking beer and smoking cigarettes were a way of saluting victory, before heading off to work for a week, we have reached an age where recovery is an essential part of performance, and thanks to advancements in science and technology, we have a wide variety of recovery modalities to choose from. Through what we see on TV, newspapers and social media, elite athletes use a huge number of recovery methods, from advanced technology (Cryotherapy, compression pants), cruel and unusual methodologies (needling, acupuncture, full ice baths) and good old fashioned trips down to the beach. Advertising, social media and first-hand accounts can make the recovery picture very blurry, and people often get caught up with the latest and greatest technique, without covering the basics. This article is here to tell you the science behind recovery, where it all fits into the picture, and to help you make better informed choices when programming your recovery.

Pic 1- Len Dawson Smoking at Halftime of Superbowl 110

“Formula 1, the fastest sport on earth, is won by those who learn how to take pit stops most effectively. The same principles apply to humans” Professor Damian Hughes3

Hans General adaptation theory

I want to explain a bit of the background behind recovery and adaptation. Back in 1946, a man named Hans Selye, who theorised exercise to be a “stressor”, which in large doses, could harm or kill an organism1 . He wanted to observe what a sub-lethal dose of training would do, and what happened within the cell. His premise was that when a stress (exercise) is applied (to a human), the response will be an adaptation (increase in fitness/strength/power etc.) to compensate for the next stressor2 . Essentially, your body says ‘oh damn that was stressful. I need to prepare myself for the next time, so I can better handle it’. If the stress is too great, the body will not be able to adapt, and will go into exhaustion, or over training. Below is a nice graphic demonstrating how this theory plays out

Fig 1. “Stages of General Adaptation Syndrome”, Richard, R. 20166

Recovery Pyramid

Now you can understand why recovery is so important. While the training is the stressor, where we prompt an adaptation response, the recovery phase is where the actual adaptation occurs. It therefore represents half of our training emphasis, at least according to our body. It is literally where we improve, where we get better, and neglecting it is hurting athletic progress no matter how you cut it. Many people under-utilise this, and are only looking forward to the next training session, or how to next to work their bodies, without understanding how much benefit a proper recovery plan can help.

“Failure to recover sufficiently from the continuous demands and stress of life, training and competition can lead to a cycle of impaired performance and accumulated fatigue” Nick Grantham3

So what now? I’ve explained the why, but I have not stepped into the how. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, recovery can be a very simple thing. Put as simply as I can: Eat well, sleep better and look after your body & mind. This obviously glosses over a lot when it comes to how to do so, but when we observe the recovery pyramid3 , it becomes clear why we need the basics to become our major focus.

Fig 2. “The Recovery Pyramid v.2” Grantham, N. 20133

“But what about ice baths? And Hydrotherapy? Skins?! Have I been wasting my time?” Short answer, no. These will not necessarily harm performance, but if we are discussing the most effective ways to recovery from performance, nutrition, body management and sleeping form the pillars of our success. It is easy to get caught up in the latest craze, as we have seen people do time4 after time5 , which is not to say they don’t work, but they tend to be minimally effective, and very expensive, where the most effective tools are always at our disposal.

“Unless you get the basic pillars of recovery right (Sleep, nutrition, hydration) the benefits to be gained from any other modalities, no matter how hi-tech, will be minimal” Chris Barnes Msc3

Practical Applications

So where does this leave us? We know we need to sleep better, eat better, utilise body management techniques, periodise & plan our training with ongoing monitoring, and throw in some hydrotherapy or icing when required, but how do we do that? The aim of this article was to explain the why and how of recovery, so practical applications for each recovery method are beyond the scope of this article. However, I will provide some basic recommendations, and provide links and information to further research areas where required.


  • Get Minimum 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Minimise screen time before bed 3,8
  • Have a bed time “Routine” 3,8,9
  • Nap between sessions or in the afternoon7


  • Eat enough Protein (………)
  • Healthy servings of Fruit & Veg 3
  • Cut down on processed foods & Refined Sugars 3
  • Drink plenty of Water!
  • Seek further advice- Nutrition is highly personal and dependant on the person

Body Management

  • Passively rest
    – Listen to music
    – Meet with friends
    – “Chill Out”
  • Actively rest
    – Massage
    – Walk the dogs
    – Flexibility & Mobility Training

Periodisation & Monitoring

  • Plan rest days & Recovery sessions
  • Change training based on performance and Fatigue levels
  • Monitor physical and mental readiness
  • Avoid over-training!

This is a very simple approach, with some basic tips which will hopefully go a long way. It is not always about trying to latest and greatest thing, but often about mastering and manipulating the key fundamentals which not only gives us the greatest benefit, but allows us to reap marginal gains from alternative therapies like hyrdro/cryotherapy.

Injury Rehabilitation: Aim, Procedure & Benefits

If you are involved in active sports or if you are a fitness fanatic, it is quite possible for you to get injured. Treatment of an injury must go hand in hand with rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is actually, the process of regaining full function after an injury. It involves restoration of flexibility, strength, power and endurance. Injury rehabilitation could be achieved through a variety of drills and exercises. You must remember that rehabilitation is essential and really important and cannot be overlooked.

Aim of Rehabilitation

The primary objective of any injury rehabilitation program is to help you regain pre-injury capabilities in every aspect of physical fitness. A complete rehabilitation and strengthening regimen is necessary for ensuring complete recovery and prevent re-injuries. Sports rehabilitation is referred to a treatment modality mostly advised for weak and injured athletes suffering from some sort of sports injury.

Rehabilitation program aids in fast recovery, reducing pain, and promoting mobility of all the stifled muscles affected by the injury, restoring normal function and preventing any recurring damage or distress to the affected tissue. Rehabilitation procedures are done by an experienced multidisciplinary team comprising orthopaedic surgeons/physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and also, massage therapists.

What Sort of Injuries Need Rehabilitation?

Individuals and athletes who are involved in active sports are more prone to certain sports related injuries such as tennis elbow, fractures, sprain, strain, herniated disc, Achilles tendon, knee injuries, tarsal tunnel syndrome and even dislocation. These injuries are pretty common if you are involved in sports such as football, golf, tennis, athletics, and basketball.

Who Are the Best Candidates?

Injury rehabilitation is best for individuals who are not able to resume their normal sports activities post a surgery or a sports injury. The specialist rehabilitation team would be working on a variety of flexibility exercises and physical activities that assist in regaining the motion and strength of the affected muscles.

Common Course of Treatment

The immediate and most common treatment modality which provides effective pain relief is RICE treatments that imply the treatment comprising Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rice is most appropriate for acute injuries like strains, sprains, contusions and bruises. Slits, crutches or even wheelchairs could be utilized as immobilizers for providing support and preventing movement of the affected joints. Medicines like Ibuprofen are administered for pain relief purposes.

Rehabilitation Techniques

Rehabilitation techniques include massage techniques, stretching and bending workouts, stability exercises, heat therapy, physiotherapy and much more. Different techniques of rehabilitation have their own significance in the improvement in physical performance and restoration of normal activity.

Stretching & Bending Exercises are best for improving the flexibility of the affected muscles.

Massage Techniques are effective in relieving muscle tension and improving blood circulation or flow to the injured part.

Stability Exercises are effective in restoring the normal movements and functions of the fractured or injured joints.

Appropriate gears are used for correcting biochemical dysfunction. Often in the case of a foot injury, sports persons are advised to wear specially designed and crafted running shoes. These shoes are known to be having a relatively harder material inside the sole that would be preventing the injured foot from getting hurt by rolling in.

Injury rehabilitation program is effective in treating and alleviating the condition. However, it is always recommended that you practice some effective preventive measures for preventing any injury.

How You Can Become a Better Football Player

As a football player, you should always be looking to get better, to be noticed by the big wigs and make your way up the ladder. It is a tremendously long-drawn process, but it is also important to remember that you can always get better, be it tactically or physically. There are a number of ways you can get up to speed and build on your game.

Know Which Position Is Best for You, and Make It Yours

Most professional players actually start playing in a completely different capacity. A lot of players start off in the wrong position early on in their careers, due to a lack of knowledge or a tactical decision made by a coach. They never quite follow up on that, and never explore their full potential. The best thing you can do is to try your hand at a number of positions, get a coach or enrol in a football training program somewhere which will help you understand how good you are and which position is best for you. Remember, just like the wand picks the wizard, your position will pick you too! You can watch other players play and pick up some of their skills and tactics too.

Focus on Your Strengths

A lot of players lose because they think they are inadequate or have always been told that there is one area of their game which will be their downfall. This is a very unhealthy mindset and must be abandoned if you wish to go anywhere with your career. Yes, it is important to build a good skill-set all around, but you must never underestimate or let go of your strengths. You must tap into your strong points when you’re under pressure, and it is those silky moves or that sturdiness which will and should be your confidence boost, above all. Every player’s legacy is his distinctive strength or trait. You don’t necessarily have to turn your weaknesses into strengths, but it is important to capitalize on your good points.

Stay Motivated

Every player has a rough patch once in a while, but the important part is how you power through it and return stronger than ever. Your attitude on and off the pitch needs to be strong. Keep a motivated mindset and put in as much effort as you can. Play every game like it’s your last and try to prove yourself throughout.

Set Realistic Goals

To reach your full potential, you must always have a plan. Maintain detailed statistics, and set milestones and deadlines for yourself. However, it is important to remember that you cannot control everything. You will have to adapt your goals from time to time. Running into obstacles is common too, but you have to get past them. Do not, however, set lofty and unrealistic targets which you know you can’t fulfil. You will just end up demoralizing yourself and may also seriously cause physical damage to yourself.

Build Tactics alongside Flexibility and Strength

A good physique is obviously vital to the game. You can’t survive out there if you’re not extremely fit, but it is very important to understand that you must also play the part and not just look it. Tactics and strategy is the very core of football, so you must watch and analyse as much as you can to build an understanding of the game.

Role of Motivation in the Success of an Athlete

Motivation is certainly the foundation of all athletic achievements and efforts. Motivation is the key to success. Without motivation, dedication and determination to improve your performance, rest of the mental factors including focus, intensity, confidence and emotions would then become pointless and meaningless.  If you wish to become successful, you must stay motivated and it is only through motivation, you could maximize your efforts and ability to achieve your goals.

Motivation could be defined as the ability or the capacity to initiate and go on persisting at any task. If you wish to put up the best sports performance, you must initiate the process of becoming an athlete by consistently maintaining your efforts until your goals are achieved. Motivation in sports seems to be extremely important and plays a pivotal role particularly because you need to go on working hard fighting against boredom, fatigue, pain and also, the desire and wish to devote time to other things.

Motivation is known to be impacting everything that is supposed to influence your performance as an athlete such as mental preparation, physical conditioning, tactical and technical training and lifestyle in general including diet, sleep, relationships and work.



There are numerous signs of lack of or low motivation.

  • There seems to be a definite lack of desire for practising as much as one should.
  • Putting in less than 100 percent efforts, as far as, training goes.
  • Shortening or even skipping training.
  • Putting in an effort which seems to be inconsistent with your objectives.


You seem to be really motivated if you devote 100 percent of your energy, time, effort and focus into your sports. It would involve indulging in everything possible for becoming the best athlete. The three Ds is the key to prime motivation. The first D means direction. Before you could achieve prime motivation, you need to choose from the diverse directions that you could take in your sporting career. You need to choose from three options including stop participating completely, carry on at your present level or strive towards becoming the best athlete ever.

The second D would represent the decision. You need to decide which direction to take. There is nothing right or wrong or even better or worse among these directions. You simply need to make the right decision for yourself. Your choice would be dictating the kind of time and energy you would be devoting to your sport and what kind of athlete you would be becoming in future.

The third D is nothing but dedication. Once you have decided what to do, you must stay dedicated towards that goal. You could achieve success only by being completely dedicated and devoted to your direction and decision. Your top priority should be your decision to become the very best and your dedication towards your sport.



  • Focussing on your long-term objectives and goals is a good idea. Keep reminding yourself why you are putting in so much hard work.
  • Have a training partner to constantly motivate you and inspire you to go on despite odds. Even if you are pushing yourself constantly, you would be working much harder if there is someone behind you all the time pushing you and motivating you in achieving your goals.
  • Focussing on your toughest and greatest competitor would help you go on.
  • Generating positive emotions help. Stay motivated through inspirational photographs and phrases.

You must remember that nothing could be more motivating and rewarding than setting your precise goal, putting in your efforts toward achieving the goal and finally, attaining the goal.

Some Amazing Benefits of Strength Training

Your fitness regimen should include strength training as it could be beneficial to you in a number of ways. Strength training is effective in improving your balance, strengthening your bones and helping you to lose weight and look better. Remember strength training is not only meant for bodybuilders. It is beneficial to individuals across all age groups and is especially, effective for those who suffer from a heart condition or arthritis.

Strength Training Is a Must

Strength Training no doubt helps in adding definition to the muscles and giving men, as well as, women fitter and more toned bodies. But strength training offers much more than this and would be revealed once you learn about its amazing benefits. A typical strength conditioning Melbourne would be offering the following benefits:

Effective in Keeping Weight Off

Strength training is not only effective in helping you shed weight; it is great for maintaining weight loss too. According to a recent study, it was revealed that women who were used to following a weight training regimen thrice a week were actually, successful in increasing the amount of burned calories in usual daily activity along with calories burned during exercise. This immensely helped in maintaining their current weight.

Best for Safeguarding Muscle Mass and Bone Health

After attaining puberty, irrespective of your sex, you tend to lose one percent of muscle strength and bone every year. Including strength training in your fitness regime is the best way of preventing, stopping and even reversing muscle and bone loss according to expert exercise physiologists.

Great Way of Becoming Fitter and Stronger

Strength training is referred to as resistance training, as it involves both strengthening as well as toning of your muscles, simply by contracting the muscles against a resistant force. Both types of strength training namely Isometric resistance and isotonic strength training make you far stronger and give you a better shape. Keep in mind that with resistance training, your muscles would be requiring rest and time to recover, so you must do strength training on alternate days and not daily. Take enough time for warming up before and cooling down after a session of strength training.

Useful in Developing Better Body Mechanics

Strength training does not only have superficial benefits. Its benefits are not restricted to only nicely toned muscles. With regular strength training your balance and coordination are bound to improve and you would develop an enhanced posture. In case you have issues of balance and poor flexibility, strength training could help you in reducing risks of falling by 40 percent. This is essentially a major benefit for you as you are ageing.

Best for Preventing Diseases

Studies have been documenting the multifarious wellness benefits associated with strength training. Strength training is truly effective in alleviating arthritis related pain. It is useful in helping post-menopausal ladies in the reduction of the risk of getting bone fractures. It boosts bone density in post-menopausal women. Strength training, as well as lifestyle changes, has been effective in enhancing glucose control in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Good for Mood Upliftment and Energy Boost

Strength training is good for boosting or intensifying your energy levels and uplifting your mood. It is effective in elevating your endorphins level that would make you feel elated. It is a fabulous antidepressant and is helpful in making you sleep better and enhancing the overall quality of your life.

Sports: The Food for Mind and Body

Playing sports could be immensely beneficial for everyone both old and young alike. Sports can really help in enhancing your health and fitness and in boosting team spirit and a sense of achievement. If you are playing a sport that you enjoy and love playing, you are sure to reap positive rewards and learn invaluable life lessons.

Sports Enhances Physical Fitness

Sports, particularly those that necessitate a lot of action such as basketball, football, racquetball, and tennis could be beneficial in managing your weight and at the same time would be helpful in giving your cardiovascular system and muscles a great workout. Playing sports on a regular basis could prove to be immensely helpful in burning calories. Sport is the best way of staying fit and active.

Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Sports provide ample opportunities for players to witness the outcome of their endeavours. If you have been practising real hard at a particular sport and if you are achieving success, it helps to build a tremendous amount of self-esteem. If you are able to defeat your opponent, you get a superb feeling of accomplishment. You feel very happy and it seems to be fantastic boost to your self-confidence. Mastering a skill enhances your self-esteem and confidence manifold.

Team Spirit

Sports inculcate in you a spirit of teamwork and brotherhood. It evokes camaraderie amongst team mates. You are taught how to be responsible enough to discharge your duties and fulfil your share of the responsibilities. Every team member relies on the other for results. You learn to become interdependent to achieve better results. You learn to value the contribution of each and every team member and perform like a team as a whole.

How to Tackle Pressure to Perform Well at Sports

Sports performance is very important and it is necessary to perform well especially, at the pro levels. For consistent performance you need to be hardworking and dedicated to attaining your goals. You can enhance your performance by getting well trained. You can join professional institutes and academies to better your performance. However, you could do lots to enhance your performance. You must appreciate that it is the ability to cope and handle pressure that holds the key to peak performance and success.

Here are some ways to cope with performance pressure.

Expecting Too Much Is Detrimental

You would often feel like a huge failure if your expectations are too high. It is not at all realistic for anybody to keep expecting perfection every time. You keep judging your performances if your expectations are too high. When you fail to reach your expectations, you start thinking that you are a real failure. Aiming high is always good, but when you overdo it you lose connection with reality. Set attainable goals so that your self-confidence is boosted when you achieve them and you are able to perform even better every time.

Do Not Keep Worrying Over Shortcomings

If you seem to be a perfectionist, you would spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about the mistakes you made and focus always on your weaknesses. This is just not right for your self-confidence. You simply cannot enjoy your sport with this kind of negativity around you.

Simply enjoy playing your game and remember the good times, the good scores or performances. You must understand and accept that mistakes and failures are a part of the game and you need to learn from your mistakes so that you are able to perform better next time.

Keep Practising and Keep Competing for Top Performance

Keep competing as much as you are practising. No need to get too comfortable with practice. Do not end up with lack of confidence, while playing the game. Remember to participate in a competition every 4 hours of practising. It is important to feel confident, while performing in competitive sports and not just, while practising.

It is important to develop mental skills in order to perform well and keep performance stress away. You must compete with full reassurance and confidence. You must develop confidence and have faith in your abilities and skills for achieving a truly winning performance.

Importance of Strength Training

An effective strength training & conditioning program is essential for the fitness of football teams and also, for the well-being of all athletes. It is effective in helping players in preventing injuries and giving them an edge with strength and fitness. Strength training and conditioning programs usually are introduced at youth level in football. An effective strength training is the key to success in competitive football. Needless to mention, AFL training program includes effective strength training. Strength training programs should be implemented under the guidance of a qualified and experienced strength and conditioning trainer.

All endurance athletes should incorporate strength training in their fitness regimen. Some athletes especially, female athletes are scared of strength training as they think that they would become bulky. You must understand that strength training is not always about heavy lifting. However, if you are doing heavy lifting also, if you eat right, you are sure to notice great transformation in your body, but not bulk as such. You are sure to enjoy the following benefits if your strength training & conditioning program is implemented effectively.

Helps Prevent Injury

Whether you are an athlete, a cyclist, triathlete, swimmer or a runner you are required to repeat the same motion again and again, which may result in issues in case the muscles stabilizing your joints are quite weak. Maintaining good form and keeping pace till the end of any race is only possible if your core is really strong. You are less likely to get injured if you happen to be really strong in each and every plane of motion.

Helps to Boost Muscle Mass for Enhanced Body Composition

More muscle mass means increased metabolism for a particular body weight. As per your starting point, muscles could end up getting slightly bigger before they become stronger. But you do not end up getting bulky muscle mass because you are biking, running or swimming at least twice or four times the actual amount of time used for doing strength training. Follow effective nutrition plans for best results. Strength training is also, effective in improving bone density that prevents osteoporosis.

Enhances Power Generation

Strength training assists you in racing faster. It can be of great help in case you are encountering some problems on the climbs and if you are finding it difficult to keep steady on the flat. If you incorporate an effective strength training program you would certainly notice a certain improvement in your fast-twitch muscle performance on your bike with pretty less cycling. The enhanced power generation would be effective in overcoming the punchy little climbs. You could notice good gains, for that you need to do exercises that are geared toward effective power generation such as plyometric exercises including box jumps and Olympic lifts involving weights.

Start Now for Assured Success

It could be pretty overwhelming to find out exactly where to start in case you are just into strength training. However, you must keep in mind that there are plenty of resources including personal trainers, online and books. You could hire an expert personal trainer preferably, an experienced CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach). A good coach would at first make a true assessment of your individual requirements and then come up with a program that works best for you. You could also, join a good group class offered by a reputed gym.

Strength And Power Training For Triathlon Is Imperative

I have competed in triathlon for over 15 years, at various levels. I am by no means a professional athlete, but I do consider myself an athlete. I am also a busy human who tends to spend so much time coaching other people that I neglect my own sessions. Training for 3 sports in a week takes up a lot of time, so the idea of trying to fit in one, or even two strength sessions on top of normal training is near impossible. I’m going to tell you why it is so worthwhile.

Triathlon athletes have to split their focus across a swim, bike and run – three separate sports with entirely different demands on the body. Sure, the ride and run both mainly require use of the legs- but that is where the similarity ends. With such a high variation of demand on the body, it is important that a triathlete is strong through every movement. This is because weakness in any area of the body will result in another weakness somewhere else, and so the cycle is never ending. Have you ever had an injury, which fixes itself, only to expose another? What is happening here is that your body showed you it was weak in some place, and compensated for it (momentary) by sacrificing strength in another area.

If you compete in triathlon, you tend to like the outdoors and training for a purpose instead of simply ‘exercising’; so being in a gym just might be your worst nightmare. But injuries and poor performance are slightly higher on that list.

So why weights training then?

  • Injury prevention

If the primary muscles responsible for each discipline are not strong enough for the repetitive nature of endurance swimming, cycling or running, they get tired quickly and easily.  Then, other muscles try to help them out, performing tasks that they simply were not made to perform. It’s like your arms trying to do the most work whilst running- they assist, but they should not be doing most of the work. Strength training reduces this issue significantly, reducing not only risk of injury but the impact of current injuries and ‘niggles’.

  • Performance plateau

So you have been training for a while, and made some good improvements, and now you’re not getting faster. In order to get each and every stroke, revolution, and step faster across the distance you compete in, you need to be strong and powerful. When you start to plateau, trying to run further or do speed sessions at a higher intensity will not help you- strength training will.

  • The evidence

I myself have always been happy with a sub-50min 10km run. Until I started doing my weights training regularly with a good coach; I got stronger and faster, then I just started running fast without even training to do so. I won the QLD triathlon series with some times that I was stoked with, and I can honestly say the only thing I have changed is incorporating gym into my routine.

  • Great cross-training for the off-season
    This is the easiest time to add strength, as you have time to recover with less load coming from your swimming, cycling and running training. It is important that your strength training involves an aspect of power- fast, explosive movements, as this is what will help you most during your races. Finally, whole body workouts are the recipe for success, keep the reps around 6-8, and move through exercises using a superset regime.

  • Fat Loss and metabolismWhilst fat loss is entirely individual, strength training and increasing your muscle mass have strongly associations to fat burning. Usually more muscle means a better metabolism whilst training and resting, so there is an added perk to strength training.

    I encourage you to read more about strength training for triathlon and other endurance sports, and if you have ANY questions, send me an email:kelly@accelerationmelbourne.com.au, or comment below.




Happy training!