First, let me congratulate you all for taking a huge step on your journey towards losing weight. Whether you’re coming back from previous seasons, or you’re just joined the program, by being involved you’re making a conscious decision to improve your health and well-being, and that’s admirable – you’re winners already!
The competition’s on! The league competition has officially started.
Don’t go crazy… Collectively, we’ve set a goal to lose 100 kilos as a league starting with 33 people. That’s 3kg each – that’s less than a quarter of a kilo a week. If you kept that up for a whole year, you’d lose 11kg. If you did it for two years … you get the idea. The trick is that you want to make small, sustainable changes so you can shift your weight and be confident you’ll be able to keep it off in the future.
If you’ve set higher targets such as 5%, 10%, even 15% that’s great! We’ve seen a player lose a whopping 27 kilos in his first season, an inspiration for everyone else in the league. The only problem was that he stacked half of it back on over the holiday break, in no small part because a hyper-restrictive diet is no fun, and when the pressure is off (to lose weight for your team, for example), there’s not much stopping you from reverting back to old habits.
Experiment and write it down! Over the next week, play around with your diet and exercise a little bit. There are loads of small changes you can make such as dropping milk (or swapping in skim milk for full fat) and sugar from your tea and coffee, cutting out soft drinks, and switching for low-carb beer options. The handbook may feel like a chore, but if you stick to it and fill it out properly, you’ll learn a lot about what foods you’re already eating, where you’re making mistakes, and where you can make small improvements that make all the difference.
Warming up and cooling down. One thing I want to stress, however, is your responsibility for your own health. As I mentioned last night, it would be great if one bloke on each team took on the role of coordinating warm-ups ahead of each game. Even if it’s just for a few minutes before you practice booting in screamers, limbering up, getting your head in the right place for a physically demanding sport such as football will work wonders in helping you prevent injury. Take it easy, especially for the first few weeks – there’s no shame in holding back a little to work out exactly just how hard you can push yourself, and as your fitness gradually improves, you’ll be able to test those waters more and more as the season progresses. If you’re looking for a few examples, check out the links below, but if nothing else – jumping jacks, jogging on the spot, running the length of the court and gradually increasing the intensity over four to five minutes is all you really need to do.
If you’re interested, it wouldn’t hurt to get a good general indicator of your current physical fitness. You don’t need to do a beep test for that either (although you can if you want to!)
One pretty basic test I’d recommend is the YMCA 3-Minute Step Test:
The Step Test involves recording your heart rate after completing a 3-minute stepping exercise.
All you need is a block or step that is stable , and 30.5 cm (12 inches) high. If you can’t find something exactly that height – no worries. You’ll be able to compare your scores before and after the season, and at least be able to gauge improvements in general fitness. If you can find something that size, then you’ll be able to compare your score to some fitness standards in the image below.
You also need to download a metronome app that is set at 96 beats per minute.
Once you’ve got these two objects, do the following three steps (or, check out this Oscar-performance level acting for a visual demonstration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnruy7e5WoU):
- Set a time for 3 minutes.
- The second you press go , step onto the block with your left foot on beat 1 , bring your right foot up to the block on beat 2 , step back to the floor with your left foot on beat 3 , and then bring your right foot back to the floor on beat 4 . Repeat until the timer runs out. You should complete 24 full rounds of the above.
- Immediately after completing the test, take a seat, and pay attention to your watch. Exactly 1 minute after completing the test, record your heart rate (by placing two fingers on your wrist, or the carotid artery – a quick google will point you in the right direction) for 15 seconds. Then, multiply that number by four, and you have your score for the Step Test!
Below are some ‘standards’ against which you can compare your score. Don’t stress if your heart rate was high! What we’re most interested in is seeing if we can bring that number down over the course of the season.
Apologies for a long one, gents. I’m hoping these resources prove useful for you guys, and I’m going to be paying attention to the concerns, queries, and obstacles you face throughout the season, and incorporate them into the weekly post. If there’s something you’d like to see more of, let me know!
You can find your fixtures at https://www.manvfatsoccer.com.au/cockburn. Any questions, shoot ‘em through on WhatsApp,