September 30, 2005
Understanding which exercises to perform and how to perform them for gains in a particular sport revolves around the concept of specificity. Specificity entails that there are particular actions inherent in a sport, and therefore there are particular exercises that can help boost performance for the specific action. Supplementary exercises are important to increase the bio mechanical efficiency of a goalkeepers training regime. Studies have shown that for a goalkeeper (soccer player) to increase their performance, that it is best to emphasise fundamental moving patterns via strength exercises (squating, lunging, bench press etc…) in order to improve inter and intramuscular coordination, recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers and maximal strength. When the goalkeeper begins their specific training regime he/she will be able to transfer the strength levels gained via the supplementary exercise to their target skill. (Source: Staley, C. A New Look At Specificity, 2001)
The above study certainly rings true in my own goalkeeper training. Over the years, I was able to really increase the strength in my kicking, throwing, and sprinting within the 18 yard box, through specific strength training exercises. Goalkeeper’s can increase the strength and power of their bio mechanical movement through specific exercises that target a particular goalkeeping skill. This is the whole premise behind our blog, as a goalkeeper has a very specific and unique array of skills that need to be developed. Goalkeeper’s can therefore benefit from strength and power work that are specific to our position. Use the power of specificity to increase your own goalkeeper training.
September 29, 2005
In the off season, I’m a meat and potatoes man. Nothing whets my appetite more than a lean juicy steak every week or some lean grilled chicken breast. But there are goalkeepers and competitive athletes that do eat vegetarian diets and still perform at a high level. But at what cost? Iron intake, especially for female competitive goalkeepers can be quiet low from vegetarian type diets. Menstruating female goalkeepers require much more iron fuel competitive performance. So do vegetarian diets provide the necessary iron levels required for female or male goalkeepers to perform to their best. A lack of Iron is usually brought about the following factors:
- Physiological factors such as heavy sweating, gastrointestinal bleeding, breakdown of red blood cells and injury that results in blood loss.
- Dietary factors that include a sub-optimal intake of iron, low energy diets, vegetarian diets, fad diets or variable iron absorption from foods. (Source: Richmond, W. 2001)
Generally heavy endurance athletes will require between 7-17 mg/day (males and non menstruating females) and 16-23 mg/day (menstruating females). Heme iron sources are derived from animal sources and are the most bio available and readily absorbed source of iron. On the other hand non heme iron sources come from plants and because of its molecular structure is not as readily absorbed. Rice and Spinach only provide 1-2% iron absorption, while good old meat provides 10-20% of dietary iron absorption (Source: Burke & Deakin, 1994). To increase the level of iron from vegetarian diets there should be an increase of intake of Vitamin C with meals, and avoiding tannin rich foods like strong teas.
Over at Dietblog.com there is some suggestion that increasing the intake of foods from plant sources can help reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. It has some merit. but what about competitive goalkeepers (especially female goalkeepers) who do heavy, intense training. The need for increased iron intake becomes more important. The problem may be that eating a steak can increase the chance of saturated fat clogging up the arteries. It is better for goalkeepers to eat a mixture of both heme and non heme sources of iron for better goalkeeping performance.
September 29, 2005
Somewhere around about the age of 18, there was an automatic switch that told me to beef up or suffer the slings and arrows of pointing fingers and giggles from girls at Bondi beach. Not until the last few years, and a whole lot of study did I understand the necessity of intense training to fuel goalkeeper performance and growth. During my adolescence playing in the old National Soccer League here in Australia, I had trained intensely, though most of my training revolved around running activities. In fact, I could not remember one time that we as a team had hit the gym to increase our muscular endurance or strength. Fast forward to the present, and I see that to be truly a top notch goalkeeper you must train for strength, power and anaerobic endurance, more so than aerobic endurance exclusively (even though it does have its place in a goalkeepers training schedule).
Training intensity is important for a goalkeeper who wishes to succeed competitively. Richardson, A. et. al. 2001, states that intensity is a mixture of quality over time. Intensity appears to maximise strength responses. What this means is that a competitive goalkeeper will utilise a greater number of motor units, muscle fibers with a greater amount of muscle size and strength ensuing. Any set that is performed should be taken to failure or as close to volitional fatigue as possible. High resistance, low repetition exercise activities are more effective than low resistance, high repetition exercise prescriptions in increasing strength and Type IIa and IIb muscle fibers. The type of fibers that make a good goalkeeper great. Another study (Tesch, P.A. et al. 1998) titled “Skeletal muscle glycogen loss evoked by resistance exercise” stated that loads of above 60% 1 RM increase the involvement of type IIa and IIb muscle fibers. Therefore to increase strength and power for competitive goalkeeping would be a great idea for those teams that do not utilise these type of training protocols for their own goalkeepers.
Utilise intense goalkeeper specific drills and close to 1 RM weight training to power up your goalkeeping performance for the pre season and watch your game grow to new heights.
September 28, 2005
Last night I trained intensely, when I woke up, BANG, I was a lean mean goalkeeping machine. Basal (Resting) Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the measure of energy expenditure under complete rest with digestion, stress and other factors unaffected (Richmond W. FIA, 2001). Physical activity is the main proponent of facilitating weight control as it increases total energy expenditure, helps to maintain or increase BMR, protects muscle mass and facilitates changes in enzymes that control fat metabolism. Burning calories from goalkeeping activity will be high and prolonged, as calorie expenditure is usually cumulative depending on how long and how intense the exercise is. Rhythmic exercises such as sprinting utilize high levels of energy, as does strength training on a restricted diet. Many scientists are tossing and turning about the utilization of strength training and it’s effect on BMR.
Over at Dietblog.com the post “Fat-burning of Muscle: Exaggerated?” states some good examples of both scientific views that cardio and strength don’t help BMR. From my own goalkeeping training I know that when I trained 3-4 days per week at a competitive level doing heavy goalkeeper drills which rely on strength and power as well as anaerobic ability, i would stave off many calories and also keep lean throughout the competitive season. Goalkeeping activity should include strength training as it does help to burn calories at rest. Aerobic activities are also important for a goalkeeper to increase their metabolic rate. Therefore, both intense strength and cardiovascular type activities will help stave off fat for a prolonged period for competitive goalkeepers. That’s my two cents, but scientific findings has shown that restricted calorie diets are detrimental for competitive athletes in regards to training and performance. Here are some guidelines that can be utilised by competitive goalkeepers:
- Weight loss should be gradual
- Enough calories need to be utilised for energy and enhanced performance
- L-cartinine is important for mitachondrial transports of fat from adipose cells
- Chromium balance important for muscle growth and body fat control
- High fiber and complex carb diets are preferable to maintain performance
- Omega 3 fatty acids are important for insulin metabolism
- Weight training is necessary for the maintenance of lean muscle mass
- Regular training boosts basal metabolic rate (Source:Richmond, W. 2001)
Therefore we can see that strength training is needed to maintain lean muscle mass and to help burn fat for the competitive goalkeeper to power performance all year round. Strength training will help burn fat at rest.
September 27, 2005
Trainers are religiously taught that anything other than pin loaded and free weights is hype. Late night informercials are proponents of revolutionary new ways to blow your strength and power to towering heights. Recently I was researching a few new articles at Bodybuilding.com and stumbled across a new phenomenon for increasing strength, that I felt some of us goalkeepers here could utilise…at least the concept behind it is valid to some extent. Clubbells are a new form of training designed around the concept of center of mass (COM). Now, if we can visualise a lumberjack chopping wood for example, we will then be able to grasp the concept behind this type of training and what it might provide for enhanced goalkeeper performance. A lumber jack wields an axe with a long handle. Each time the lumberjack chops away at the wood he follows a particular arc. Each forceful blow from the lumberjacks axe head (COM) will make his grip give way toward his body, making the distance between the axe head (COM) and his hands greater, therefore increasing the resistance utilised to swing the axe with each blow. Did you get that? I’m new to this whole concept too, so don’t worry?
Therefore, it seems that the Clubbell and Ketlleballs are a way to increase strength over a particular range of motion (ROM) exercise. The concept behind Clubbell is circular strength. Supposedly, the ancient Persians used to have strong men competitions using heavy clubs. Circular strength is also described as full range of motion strength training using multiple joint movements. Now the theory behind this has some significance for goalkeeping. Clubbells and Kettleballs seem to increase some of the following aspects of your goalkeeper training:
- Increased grip and wrist strength
- Increased upper body strength
- Increasing muscular endurance
- Increasing strength in a particular ROM
- Increasing core body strength
So Clubbells and kettleballs can help us goalkeepers in a whole array of ROM type activities, such as kicking power (especially through the hips), stronger arms, shoulders, abs , pecs and back for greater throwing distance. Stronger wrist strength can help with catching the ball etc. You can find out more about Clubbells at Scott Sonnon’s Circular Strength Training site. I have also attached a whole array of articles via my reference link below. So maybe swinging a big burly bat could give you the goalkeeping edge you need?
September 26, 2005
It’s off season, and you have just felt the urge to stuff your face with a tonne of sugary sweets and all the fat you can fit in you gob. But we are athlete’s right? We can burn it off easily. Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa can affect the competitive goalkeeper, male or female. Anorexia nervosa is closely aligned with the need to be “perfect”. Anorexia athletica is usually associated with athletes. For a female goalkeeper (or any female athlete for that matter) playing competitively anorexia athletica will usually form something called the “female athlete triad”. This “triad” is formed because of the link between amenorrhea and osteoporosis combined with anorexia. To be classified as suffering anorexia athletica an athlete will meet the following criteria:
- Excessive fear of becoming obese
- Restriction of calorie intake
- Weight loss
- No medical disorder to explain leanness
- Gastrointestinal complaints (Source: Richmond, W. FIA 2001)
Now on the other hand a male competitive goalkeeper could suffer from bulimia nervosa which could entail compulsive overeating, morbid obesity, mood swings, withdrawal from social or sexual relationships. Calorie Lab has also listed some fantastic points that have been mentioned above. They also have stipulated some reports that state that eating disorders can possibly be genetically predisposed. This could also be a good case in point, has anyone in your family suffered from an eating disorder? Therefore, goalkeepers (or any athlete for that matter) can face bulimia or anorexia.
September 25, 2005
I’m a very firm believer in the Mediterranean/Asian type diet. Mostly because my better half and I love a good stroll down to Golden Harbour (China Town) on Sussex St. in Sydney for Asian cuisine, but also because we are both of European descent and have grown up around food with a European influence. Just recently, I stumbled across an article in an Asian newspaper about Vitamin P (bioflavonoids), which enhance the effectiveness of vitamin C. Vitamin P can be found in green citrus rinds, such as green oranges grown in Taiwan. The article states that 500 mg of vitamin P, consumed with vitamin C and calcium can increase blood circulation, stimulate bile production, promote weight loss and have an antibacterial effect. Most importantly it can help treat sporting injuries, especially bruising. Now, I believe this to be fantastic news for goalkeepers, due to the rough and tumble nature of our position. Vitamin P can help prevent bruising naturally, instead of using manufactured chemical treatments. Therefore, supplementing with vitamin P can help us goalkeepers when we have had a heavy game on a hard pitch which results in deep tissue bruising. Just a suggestion, but maybe a good bet for us goalkeepers is to check out an Asian grocer for some green oranges or other Asian fruits for variety?
September 25, 2005
Hydroxy Methylbutryrate (HMB for short), has shown promise as a natural growth hormone. Our whole aim here at Keeper Skool is to make you larger, more powerful goalkeepers, therefore we will intend to break down some hard facts about this ergogenic aid. HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. Embelton, P. (Anabolic Primer, 1998) points to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where individuals taking 3 grams of HMB “gained up to 300 percent more strength and muscle mass than a control group using a placebo. They also demonstrated a significant reduction in body fat”. Runner’s Web has also pointed to a study undertaken in Poland showing that combining creatine and HMB would give great gains in strength and power for short explosive exercises such as the goalkeeping variety. Embelton, P. stated that unlike creatine supplementation which shows quick weight gains which taper off, HMB gains are more sustained.
Embelton, P. further states that the few studies done in regards to HMB (I’m sure there have been many more since 1998) suggest taking 3 grams per day, spread over three, 1-gram dosages. HMB helps seems to prevent muscle tissue damage and promote growth, which will help during short explosive activities. Obviously more research will be conducted into it’s long term effects. But HMB seems to be a winner for greater goalkeeping gains.
September 24, 2005
Bellybytes.com has listed “The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet” a very good list of alternative food choices that I believe can really be helpful to power up our goalkeeping performance. I love the idea of some Mediterranean and Asian style foods listed such as figs, ginger, bok choy etc. Now I don’t know where the list was derived from but I think that some of the foods listed are fantastic for variety and diversifying your nutritional intake. Kris at Fitnessnews.org suggests that Bellybytes.com has not stipulated any sources to verify the benefits of the proposed foods but I believe them to be a good source of nutrition. Some items listed have some of the following properties:
- Mango, Carrots & Apricot: Provide powerful Beta carotene antioxidants.
- Broccoli, Papaya & Grapefruit: Provide Vitamin C antioxidants. (Source: Richmond, W. Fitness Institute Australia, 2001)
Other foods that are listed have powerful thermogenic properties, and help reduce fat, these include:
- Garlic: Powerful antioxidant against lipid peroxidation.
- Onions: Boost HDL (High Density Lipoprotein, or good cholesterol). HDL acts as a scavenger to remove cholesterol deposits from the arterial walls.
- Ginger: Reduces blood and liver cholesterol.
- Chilli: Lowers blood cholesterols and triglycerides. (Source: Richmond, W. Fitness Institute Australia, 2001)
Therefore there is some merit to the list, and I believe that a goalkeeper can definitely benefit from some of the foods proposed. Spice it up and give some of the foods in the list a try.
September 23, 2005
Gatorade is a cultural phenomenon. Especially in the world of sport. Mark over at Sportzbiz blog has reviewed the remarkable rise of Gatorade in the sporting world, in the book titled “Gatorade, First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon” by Darren Rovell. Utilized by elite sports people…(and us little guys) all around the world, Gatorade has revolutionized the sports drink segment and triumphed holding over 80% of the sports drink category globally. That’s a huge achievement. And there is merit to the science of Gatorade. Richmond, W (2001) states:
“Sports drinks were first developed in the 1960′s. They were initially coloured water that contained high levels of salt and sugar. Modern sports drinks are much more sophisticated formulations. A well designed sports drink should include:
- A readily available source of carbohydrates that are palatable and easy to digest.
- A mineral balance to alleviate problems associated with cramping and decrease recovery time.
- Some Sodium to help the body retain the fluid that is being ingested.
- The correct concentration of solutes to maximise gastric emptying.
- Causes little or no gastrointestinal upset.
Fritzsche, R.G. (et. al. 2000) in the study “Water and Carbohydrate Ingestion During Prolonged Exercise Increase Maximal Neuromuscular Power” suggests that electrolytic drinks (for sports such as soccer), if ingested immediately before (600ml) and throughout the game may enhance overall performance, including sprinting ability. This would especially be the case during warm conditions. Utilizing sports drinks such as Gatorade that have a mixture of sodium, potassium and carbs can help increase power during competitive bouts of goalkeeping. Check out our “Kool” prices for Gatorade instant powder at Keeper Skool Store.