How to get the most out of your Cricket fitness training
In our cricket fitness programmes, our strength and conditioning coaches give you the tools you need to improve your performance and play pain free cricket. These tools include the exercise selection, periodisation principles and coaching cues in the exercise tutorial videos. However, it is then your responsibility of how you apply those tools. The better you apply the tools you are given, the more progress you will make. We want you to get the maximum possible benefit from your programme. Here are some top tips to do so!
Technique comes first
The right technique in each exercise won’t only help you make more progress, it will allow you to be safe whilst doing so. People tend to only get injured whilst exercising when they aren’t using the right technique or they are trying to do something that is too hard for them. Our coaching videos on the app are detailed for a reason, we want you to smash the technique. Take your time to view the videos and come back to them if something doesn’t make sense or feel right.
Our rule of thumb is that if something feels wrong, it probably is!
If you are feeling pain, stop, pause and consider if you are following the cues correctly. A great way to do this is to film yourself and compare it to the demonstration video of the exercise.
Consistency is King
The best results will come from consistently completing your workouts over a long period of time. We track this with something called an exercise compliance score on the Cricfit app. Each month, we will give our members the opportunity to find out their exercise compliance score for the month. 75-100% is “Good”. 50-75% is deemed “Average”, 25-50% is “Okay” and 0-25% is “Poor”. 75% and above consistently over time has to be the goal if you want to make progress. If you aren’t on the Cricfit app, then you need to find a way of keeping yourself accountable and consistent with your cricket fitness training.
Once you are bossing the technique, you need to push yourself. It’s very easy to go through the motions whilst exercising but only you know how hard you are working. If something such as a plank feels too easy for the allocated time we have set…do longer! The reps and timings on the Cricfit app are targets, not limits. If it feels too easy, then it probably is. Trust us, we can make it a LOT harder for you so just ask! Here are some methods of tracking how hard you are pushing yourself and also making the same exercise harder.
Reps in reserve
Reps in reserve (RIR) are a great measure of set difficulty. At the end of your set, ask yourself, how many more reps could I have completed? For strength exercises, if your RIR is more than 2, then you probably aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Pushing to failure would be a 0 RIR, so for most strength exercises such as bench press, you want to be between 0-2 RIR. For power exercises, such as a countermovement jump, the focus is on max intensity for each rep so we don’t want to be fatiguing ourselves and therefore, RIR won’t come into the picture.
Velocity based training
Velocity-based training is a great way of increasing the intent of a rep without altering the volume. For this, you need some technology,such as a PUSH band, to give you instant feedback on your velocity. Let’s take a back squat at 80% of your 1RM. If you had a set of 5, you could very easily go through these 5 reps at a slow velocity and tick them off. However, to maximise your strength gains and improve your rate of force development, we want each rep to have maximum intent on the upwards phase. By using velocity-based training, you are no longer focused on just completing 5 reps, but completing each rep with maximum intent.
Alter the tempo
One quick fix you can do to change the difficulty of a rep is change the tempo. Let’s take a squat for example. Instead of going down for 2 seconds, pausing for 0 seconds and back up for 2 seconds, you can try 4 seconds down, pause for 2 seconds and come up for 2 seconds. The same exercise but with over double the time under tension!
We don’t delve too deeply into nutrition currently at Cricfit, although we plan to provide meal plans and advanced nutrition support in the future. Until then, we just provide some advice on non-negotiables for your recovery and general training health.
Your body recovers when you sleep. Without adequate sleep you won’t recover and therefore won’t progress. Not only will you not progress but your training quality will be less than optimal, further halting your progress. So please aim to get 8+ hours of high-quality sleep each night!
Muscles grow via a process called muscle protein synthesis. Protein from your diet is essential for this to occur so without adequate protein, you won’t grow muscle and once again, this puts the brakes on progression. As a rule of thumb, you want to be consuming 1.5+ g/kg/day of your body weight. So for an 80 kg person, this would be 120 grams of protein per day. This is more than possible in just 3 normal meals. If you don’t eat breakfast for example, then this may be where you want to supplement with protein shakes but it is all dependent on personal routines and preferences. Carbohydrates-wise, there is a huge range depending on your training loads but as a rough guide you should be getting 3-10 g/kg/day.
Hydration is vital for not only performance but health. Consistently getting 2-3 litres of water into your body per day won’t make you a better cricketer on it’s own, but it’s certainly giving you a better opportunity to be a high-performance athlete than if you didn’t!
Finally, you're not training to play Captain America in the next Avengers movie, so it doesn’t just have to be chicken, brown rice and broccoli! Enjoy your food! Aim to still "Eat the rainbow" - consuming a variety of colours and different sources of food to ensure you're hitting vitamin and mineral targets too. There is plenty of very good advice out there for nutrition and it isn’t an area we have stepped into…yet. If you need extra help nutritionally, we have plenty of contacts to direct you towards.