Body Composition for Speed



I know that you going to scream Duh! when I say this, but trust me when I say that it does bear repeating… if you are overweight you WILL be slower…PERIOD! There are always exception to the rule and when push comes to shove everyone can remember that one athlete who, even though they were 50+ pounds overweight, that athlete could still fly! He could move like a ballerina in weightless outer space. They could turn on a dime! And so on… The REAL truth of the matter is that pure unadulterated PHYSICS tells us in no uncertain terms that with enough force, one could move a specific amount of mass at a certain speed. Now lessen that mass and keep the force a constant and… whalah… we get more speed! It’s is really that simple. I understand that one can input a million variable in the equation and try to prove me wrong, but the laws of thermodynamics still stand until proven wrong other wise. Now, I am an exercise physiologist and I was employed at the cardiac / pulmonary rehab center here at one of out local hospitals. One of my duties was to give the speech of “Life After Open Heart Surgery” to all our post-op out patients. At the beginning of that speed I would hand out 10 -20 lbs dumbbells to everyone and they were to hold on to these weights during the entirety of that speech. After the speech was over I would ask for questions and invariably someone would raise their hand and ask “Can I put this dumbbell down now?” And I would answer “Are your arms tired? Is it getting heavy?” And they of course would respond “Yes”. To that I would say “How do you think your heart feels carrying around 20, 30, 40 lbs of extra weight ALL day every day? Tired right? Worn out right?” And I could see the light bulb go off over every head in the room. If your an athlete, you may have performed a speed drill known as a tire drag or a sled drag. Rule of thumb is usually 10-20% of your bodyweight on the sled to improve acceleration and cardio-respiratory fitness. If you weight 200 lbs, that’s 40 lbs on the sled. If you are 260, then that’s 52 lbs on the sled. I’ve done body fat measurements where they are in the 20% range. That is NO different than you dragging around that sled ALL day, everyday! Now, YOU CAN’T TELL ME THAT CARRYING AROUND THAT MUCH “BULK – NONFUNCTIONAL – NON-CONTRACTILE – UNUSABLE” WEIGHT IS NOT HAMPERING YOUR PERFORMANCE GREATLY! It WILL slow you down, it WILL make you fatigue faster, it WILL make you weaker, and it WILL be a health hazard when you get older. Typical average body fat for athletes male female Distance runners 5-10% 10-16% Elite marathon runners 3-5% 9-12% Sprinters 5-12% 12-18% Jumpers & hurdlers 6-13% 12-20% Olympic gymnasts 5-8% 11-14% Bodybuilders, contest condition 3-5% 8-12% Bodybuilders, off season 6-12% 13-18% Soccer players 7-12% 10-18% Baseball/softball players 10-14% 12-18% Pro basketball players 7-12% 10-16% If you need your body fat assessed anytime of the year (FREE TO ALL HOOVER SOCCER CLUB MEMBERS!), feel free to call Jeff Green at ICON Performance at 205-970-2348 to talk about a nutritional and exercise game plan to get those numbers working for you in your favor.

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