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What Can We Learn from the Nutrition Requirements of Basketball Players

Basketball Nutrition

Playing basketball is an effective way to burn calories, and consequently, burn fat. As explained before in ‘How Effective Is Basketball at Burning Fat?’, playing the sport is “one of the most vigorously active sports in which you can participate; therefore, it is “a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.” Playing basketball is physically draining and that is why players have to keep certain nutrition requirements so they can compete at a high level.

Basketball players nutritional requirements

In this regard, common knowledge suggests that basketball players must have large stores of carbohydrates from healthy food, like whole grains, fruit and vegetables. The paper ‘Carbohydrate Requirements of Elite Athletes’ underscores the importance of carbohydrate intake, stating that a “key factor in coping with the heavy demands of exercise faced by elite athletes seems to be carbohydrate intake.” In other words, carbohydrate intake affects performance. Players who have consumed enough carbohydrates will have enough energy to play at a high level, while players with insufficient carbohydrate intake will generally tire easily, as they will have very little energy once their carbohydrate stores are depleted.

Fat is needed too, but in much smaller amounts. It is utilised during the game’s less intense moments, when players stop play after a whistle or when they jog during the quiet moments of a game. What happens is that the fat is used in the production of aerobic energy, which is mostly to facilitate recovery. This process reduces fatigue, thereby allowing players to go full-tilt once more when the intensity picks up. 

Protein is another important nutrient that basketball players need. The Association of UK Dietitians explains that protein “is required for building and repairing muscles and plays an important role in how the body responds to exercise.” In other words, protein is a perquisite for both muscle building and recovery. As any basketball player knows, building muscle is key due to the physicality of the game. Recovery, on the other hand, helps players train and play frequently across a short space of time. 

Two famous examples

Given these nutritional requirements, it’s no surprise that elite basketball players take their nutrition — and by extension, their diet — seriously. Take, for instance, the Gasol Brothers, arguably Spain’s best and most popular exports to the National Basketball Association. Pau and Marc are very particular with what they eat, cognizant of the fact that they have specific nutritional needs. Marc is very hands-on with what he eats, especially with his history of being overweight. The younger Gasol tried various diets, and his decision paid off; he has slimmed down considerably, and is now widely regarded as one of the best big men in the league. 

Another player known for being notoriously particular when it comes to his diet is LeBron James, a nemesis of the Gasols in international competition. LeBron James earns £61.5 million (€7.17m) a year and the four-time MVP is the second biggest earning sports star in the world. His talent is obviously undeniable, but his devotion to fitness and nutrition certainly helps his cause. Curiously, James went with a drastic no-carb diet prior to the 2014–2015 season. That diet, admittedly, is contrary to the carbs-as-fuel point raised earlier, however, James, like the Gasols, is an elite-level athlete. That means his nutritional requirements are a bit different from the requirements of other basketball players. Not to mention, athletes like James and the Gasols know how to utilise and optimise their energy systems so that they are fuelled both aerobically and anaerobically. 

Conclusion

Needless to say, nutrition is key to great on-court performance. Conventional thinking, would suggest plenty of carbohydrates, a good deal of protein, and some fat. Then again, you should always assess your individual nutritional needs and find out what best works for you.

Article written by Vanya Banks for chape.fitness

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Starting Your Weightlifting Efforts Off Correctly

Starting Your Weightlifting Efforts Off Correctly, workout, training, fitness

People all around the world, no matter their race, gender, or reasonable age, are finding the distinct benefits present from a weightlifting lifestyle. Weightlifting, particularly lifting in a compound fashion with the use of free-weight barbells, is perhaps one of the most restorative training plans one can embark on. In fact, there’s a solid difference between training and exercise. While exercise is something committed to in order to stay in shape, training through a functional sport such as this aims at a result, either growth, functional strength, or a combination between the two.

Much has been written about weightlifting, and many people have their own foundational knowledge of it. But unfortunately, sometimes the myths surrounding weightlifting can lead people in the wrong direction, and prevent them from starting their weightlifting efforts off correctly. Thankfully, if you are reading this, you have made the correct search in order to ensure you do things right. That means you have an innate drive to perform well, and that will see you through in the best manner possible.

In order to respect that ambition, we would like to volunteer the following advice, and hope it truly helps you in your weightlifting journey:

Your Tools

While many will often try to sell you on the longform purchases you need to make in order to get started weightlifting, you actually need very little from an equipment perspective. First, you need access to information. The Starting Strength manual is quite cheap for a digestible piece of exercise literature, and the Stronglifts 5×5 program and exploration can be found for free online. Reading this from cover to cover and once more for good measure should help you understand the vital necessity of weightlifting, and the fundamental methods of building strength in the best manner.

From there, all you need is a clean, comfortable set of t-shirts, shorts or stretching tracksuit bottoms. The main purchase you will be best off making is that of weightlifting shoes, which have solid and sturdy soles to help you create a stable formed base when completing a compound movement such as a deadlift. This helps your ergonomic lifting efforts, thus contributing to your overall safety and the form you can achieve. A simple bag of chalk can and should also be used to help you grip a barbell appropriately. Ask your gym if you can use this on the barbells, provided you clean up afterwards. If they say yes, fantastic. If not, it’s best to change gyms.

Excellent Diet & Supplements

You will need to pay attention to your diet heavily when on any weightlifting program. They often say that strength is 20% built in the gym, and 80% built in the kitchen. The two measures of weightlifting, ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting,’ denote two forms of dietary intake. When in the ‘bulking stage,’ high protein is considered essential, as is eating at least 500 calories over your daily caloric maintenance. This will help you grow well, and for your muscles to form correctly. There is no such thing as ‘toning’ or ‘converting fat into muscle,’ so you will put on fat during this process. This is where the ‘cutting stage’ comes in, where you try to cut the fat from your body through high protein and another 500 caloric deficit. If achieved while lifting, your muscle mass should stay maintained. This can help you gain and lose weight in the most healthy, sustainable, and measured manner.

But it’s also essential to consider what supplements you’ll be using. For example, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is often a good metric, and sometimes you may wish to increase that to 1.5grams per pound. It can be hard to get that through your diet, and so purchasing super supplements such as whey protein, or Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s, the building blocks of muscle development,) can help you gain the most positive results, and to build both strength and muscle sustainably and in the healthiest, most cost-effective manner possible. If you wish to indulge in the helpers, you might also utilize a pre-workout to keep you active and interested each day, particularly if you work out hard early in the morning.

Sleep

Sleep is essential. It’s often important to get eight hours as a minimum if conducting a heavy training pattern such as this, but this is hardly the end of the story. Sometimes, weightlifters need more, in order to ensure their muscles are well-taken care of and the overall scope of their ability is heightened. Sometimes opting for nine hours can help, but be sure to listen to what your body needs, experiment, and see which has the best impact on performance as you continue.

With these tips, you’ll start your weightlifting program off correctly.

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5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

Exercising is one of the most important habits that a person can develop. Regular workouts help the body to build strength and muscle, fight off diseases and remain healthier overall. While working out is an integral part of losing weight and staying healthy, there are other things that can be done to help facilitate this process. Here are five things you should be doing before and after an intense workout. 

1. Sleep 

When trying to lose weight or gain muscle, people tend to forget the importance of sleep. Even the most dedicated people will focus all of their attention on diet and exercise. While these are two critical components of a great routine, sleep cannot be forgotten. During this time, the body is able to repair worn-down muscles and other cells within the body. Sleep is also a time when the brain can reset to ensure all bodily functions are running smoothly and properly. This recovery opportunity becomes even more important when undergoing intense workouts. The body needs more sleep and rest when more energy is being used. Experts recommend around 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults. 

2. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! 

Preparing a healthy diet is a critical component of maintaining a good physique and making the most of an intense workout routine. However, many people make the mistake of stopping there and paying no attention to proper hydration. While calories are critical, it can be argued that hydration is even more important. After all, the body can survive for twice as long without food as it can without water. As the primary energy source for the human body, the importance of proper hydration should be clear. It is recommendable to be consuming water before, during and after an intense workout routine. 

3. Stretching 

Exercising doesn’t have to start and end in the gym. There are still exercises and movements that can be performed before and after the primary routine. Those who workout and forgo stretching are on a collision course for trouble. When people exercise, their muscles are being stressed, pulled and flexed. While this stress can promote growth and an increase in strength, there are some other components involved. Before and after a routine, it is important to stretch the body parts and muscles that are involved in that day’s exercises. Refusing to stretch can lead to pulls, tears or other potential issues. Stretching only requires a few minutes of time and can lead to a world of benefits. 

4. Tracking 

It is helpful to imagine a workout routine like a plan of attack. The exercises used during the routine can be likened to specific chess moves. Each movement is a small step towards an overall goal for the workout. Whether the goal is to lose weight or build muscle, each exercise in the workout routine should be working towards that goal. A great way to achieve this plan of action is by tracking your progress. These logs have been proven to increase the chances of people achieving their goals. Planning can be done before a workout by outlining the routine for the day. After the workout, it is important to write down whether the performance lived up to expectations or fell short. This tracking helps individuals to track their progress and make adjustments when needed. Without this overview, people are essentially working in the dark without a clear direction. 

5. Supplementation 

With proper hydration, an intense workout routine and a clean diet, most people would assume their fitness goals are maximized. In reality, there is still more that can be done to help those goals become a reality. Supplements help the human body to receive vitamins, minerals and other components that are hard to get through a normal diet. There is a massive supplement industry that provides these types of products specifically for those undergoing intense workouts. Creatine is one such supplement that can be taken before a workout. Creatine helps to produce more ATP, which is an energy source within the cells. Protein powder is another excellent supplement that can be taken before and after a workout routine. 

Creating a great physique and staying in shape doesn’t have to be complicated. It is important to remember that an intense workout routine isn’t enough. These five habits can be performed before and after a workout help maximize the effects of an intense routine.

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for RightFit Personal Training. She often produces content for a variety of fitness blogs.

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Pull Up Mate Review

Pull Up Mate Review

I was very happy when the PullUpMate guys asked me for a review of their product. I looked at their website and I found their products very interesting for those who love calisthenics and bodyweight exercises in general.

I was looking forward to trying out my Pull Up Mate freestanding pull up bar and dip station. Now, the truth is that I am so delighted that I’m not only going to do this review, but to teach you how to do a lot of exercises using this wonderful tool in future posts. I think this will give you an idea of how much I like it and how much I would recommend it for your home gyms.

But first things first. I think a good review begins with the unpacking. Everyone loves to see a new product come out of its box, right?

My package includes the Pull Up Mate, the Close-Grip Dip Kit and a storage bag. The box contains:

  • 1 Top frame
  • 4 Vertical tubes
  • 2 Base feet
  • 2 Brace
Pull Up Mate Content
  • 10 Locking pins
Pull Up Mate Locking Pins
  • 2 Close Grip Dip Bars
  • 1 Storage bag
Pull Up Mate Storage Bag
  • 1 User manual
Pull Up Mate User Manual

The Pull Up Mate has been designed to be assembled and dismantled easily. You can simply store it in its bag when not in use and brought out only when required. I have put myself to the test, and it only takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds to assemble the whole thing. With some more practice, I´m sure I will do it faster.

You can also take it outside. Unfortunately, it´s rainy season here in Galicia and I will have to wait until summer to take my Pull Up Mate to the backyard.  

The Pull Up Mate can be used in different ways and positions:

Fully extended

Pull Up Mate Review

Mid-height

Pull Up Mate Mid Height

Low-height

Pull Up Mate Low Height

flipped over…

Pull Up Mate Flipped

This multiplies the number of exercises you can perform with this versatile piece of equipment.

The maximum weight of the user (as it is advised in the user manual) should be no more than 110 kg (242lbs). I weight 68 kgs, I am a lightweight, I know. For my weight, I find the Pull Up Mate very stable, I don´t know for a person of 100 kgs. But how many of you weigh 100 kgs?

More specifications:

  • Full Extended Height     2.0m
  • Base Dimensions             117cm x 113cm
  • Standard Inner bar dimensions (gap between bars)        60cm
  • Gap between bars with Close Grip Dip Adapter 53cm

Who would I recommend this product for?

Calisthenics practitioners, of course.

People who like to workout at home. The Pull Up Mate allows you to do a huge range of exercises.

Fitness beginners, as this product allows you to perform a large number of exercise variations with your bodyweight safely, as you improve your strength, endurance, flexibility, and technique.

Expert fitness practitioners because, from time to time, it’s good to forget how much weight you lift in the bench press and let your imagination fly, trying new exercises you´re not used to and avoid boredom.

Who is not this product for?

People near 110 kgs. Better safe than sorry!

People who do not mind doing the exercises with a bad technique, meaning: people who only care about how much weight they lift, no matter what. You´re not going to enjoy just doing bodyweight exercises and the risk of injury due to a bad technique will still be there.

How much does the Pull Up Mate, Dip Kit & storage bag cost?

$219.95 /149,95€ (Free shipping)

I think it´s a fair price for a great product that will bring you hours of fun and sweat.

Get yours now:

Pull Up Mate USA

Pull Up Mate UK

Pull Up Mate Germany

Pull Up Mate Spain

Pull Up Mate Portugal

Pull Up Mate Italy

Pull Up Mate Poland

Pull Up Mate UAE

And now, a few exercises:

Pull Ups

  1. Grab the Pull Up Mate Top Frame with the palms facing forward. Your hands at a distance wider than your shoulder width.
  2. Extend both arms as you inhale. This is your starting position.
  3. Exhale, contract your lats, and pull your torso up by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. The forearms should do not work.
  4. Inhale and slowly back to the starting position when your arms are extended and your lats stretched.
  5. Repeat.

Rear Delt Row

  1. Set the Pull Up Mate at a medium height.
  2. Grab the top frame with the palms facing forward. Your hands at a distance wider than your shoulder width and your body in an angle to the ground. You should be almost parallel to the top frame with your arms fully extended. This is your starting position. Inhale.
  3. Exhale, pull your torso towards the bar, squeezing the rear delts and flaring the elbows out and away from your body. Tip: Your torso and your arms should resemble the letter T. Do not your biceps to do the work. Focus on targeting the rear delts; the arms should only act as hooks.
  4. Slowly go back to the initial position as you inhale.
  5. Repeat

Triceps dips

  1. Adjust the Pull Up Mate at the lower height.
  2. Grab the top frame with the palms facing backward. Your hands at your shoulder width and your arms fully extended.
  3. Inhale and slowly lower yourself downward until there is a 90 degree angle formed between the upper arm and forearm. Tip: Your elbows should stay close to your body. This helps to better focus on triceps involvement.
  4. Exhale and push up using your triceps to bring your body back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat.

As I said, I will explain how to do more exercises in future posts.

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The common causes of muscle pain and how to avoid them in your exercise regimee

A couple of weeks ago, the guys at Bodytonic clinic contacted me because they wanted to expand their health and fitness related blog content. 

Specialist Osteopathy, Pilates, Massage, Health, Beauty and Fitness clinics based in the heart of London, Canada Water SE16, Wapping E1W & Stratford E15 (E20, Zone 2).

They are very nice guys and great professionals, if you have the opportunity because you live near or you travel to London, I recommend that you pay them a visit and enjoy their facilities and services.

For this occasion, they’ve put together an infographic about the common causes of muscle aches and pains in your fitness regime, specifically those which come about as a result of a poorly planned fitness regime.

Obviously, this wouldn´t happen if you´d hire a personal trainer to plan your fitness journey and help you all the way.

The common causes of muscle pain and how to avoid them in your exercise regimee