Monday, January 25, 2016

Bigger is not necessarily better in football players

As football gets rougher, the conventional wisdom is that players need to bulk up--say to fridge size, remember him?

Two Grand Valley State researchers in Allendale, MI, set out to determine how body size has changed in college and pro ball.

The went on the assumption that the most at-risk athletes were the offensive and defensive linemen.

These player have gained and average of between a quarter to one and a quarter pounds a year since 1942.

Average: A 60-lb increase.

This increased body mass, especially in the abdominal area, can increase risk of heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Add to this, the researchers say, growth promoting substances--and bulking up can be a health hazard.

How can this be mitigated?

--Strive for an increase in lean body mass of a pound a week. Not more.

--Eat one and a half grams of protein for every two pounds of body mass.

--Eat adequate carbs, avoiding excessive intake.

--Resistance-train 3-5 days a week.

--Leave plenty of time for test and recovery.

The full study can be found in the Strength and Conditioning Journal.

The idea is to be strong and a formidable obstacle, but also fast and above all, not just plain obese.

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