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2016 First Quater Sports Science Report
Photo of Brian Halligan

The year has just begun, and there are already some great sport's science trends that are making headway in the training world. Some of them are useful, and some of them I am not so sure of. Anyway, hold on to your hats while I go over this with you.

 

SUPER TECHY TRAINING WATCHES

New smart watches and other kinds of wearable technology are one of the biggest deals going on in sports training. In fact, according to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, they are the number one fitness trend right now. Athletes wear them to track everything from the distance they have run to their heart rate. I've got to admit, when it is all about perfecting performance, they do help people get moving and train harder. They have been proven to help athletes monitor their target heart rates and get in more steps per day, which means they sure aren't a fad. The price tag attached to their easy use is about that of a cell phone, so they are surprisingly affordable. What is especially neat about them is that some have GPS capabilities, which means if you are on a run in harsh terrain, you can find your way back pretty easily. Wearable GPS devices, heart rate monitors, and distance trackers can all be purchased separately, but the smart watches often have all of them built in already. This means you have to wear less equipment, and you can move more freely.

 

BODY WEIGHT TRAINING

Instead of buying expensive weight sets that you will probably never use, this training method uses your own body weight as the force of resistance in the workout. Anybody who believes this method is a fad should try doing about 10-15 pull-ups without stopping. It takes an enormous amount of strength to do this because a pull-up is forcing you to lift your entire body weight up in the air. Squats, step-touches, and the all famous "plank", are all super fat burning, muscle building exercises that work with no outside equipment needed.

 

YOGA

Never in my wildest imagination did I think that yoga would hit the list of top fitness trends for the year, but it has. Both men and women are breaking out their yoga pants to do exercises that help increase flexibility and tone muscles. The thing is, yoga has been around for so long that people think it is practically a religion. While it is a very relaxing, easy form of exercise, don't fall prey to the claims that it has "magical healing powers". It definitely doesn't. However, studies have been done that show that it can considerably help with stress and depression. In fact, the United States military has yoga classes teaching the "Yoga Warrior method" to soldiers who have PTSD from being traumatized from the war, so surely it will work for an athlete.

 

TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT WITH HEAVY EXERCISE AND NO CALORIE RESTRICTION

I'm not sure who came up with this ridiculous training idea, but it is one that I have been shaking my head at ever since I heard of it. The basic idea behind it is that a person eats whatever they want then tries to burn all the calories off with heavy exercise. Let me tell you something important here. Food is meant to be fuel. Eat crap and you will feel and train like crap. You are going to be running yourself in circles trying to get rid of the two pounds of French fries you treated yourself to for lunch. It will also leave you with a big energy crash, which isn't going to help your game any. My advice is to always eat right and exercise. Keep up that combo, and you will be able to drop a few pounds a whole lot easier.

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