I'm a pretty lucky bloke.
Because I have always had access to a gym as a sports student, fitness instructor or employee, I have always been able to improve my fitness for cricket.
I have sort of taken it as a given that every cricketer and coach agrees with me.
They don't though.
In a recent email conversation with a fellow coach I was told that it's "potentially injurious" And in many ways they are quite right not to (although that reason isn't a good one). After all, there are reasons for someone not to go to the gym and still play better cricket. Reasons I'll come back to in a moment.
To gym or not to gym?
My position is simple:
- Some things, like strength training, are best done in the gym. You can exercise in ways, with weights and with muscles you would have great trouble or expense replicating elsewhere.
- Good gyms have good gym instructors who will quite happily reel off as much advice as you need.
- Fitness training is good for your general health (the main reason why most people go to the gym anyway).
So every player should join a gym unless they have a very strong reason not to. What are the reasons not to? There are a few:
- If your doctor has told you not to (mind you, I cant think of many conditions that make it OK to play cricket and not go to the gym).
- If you don't have the money (although for many that's an excuse more than a reason).
- If your gym training is detrimental to developing cricket specific speed, endurance, agility or skill. Ideally the gym will compliment these, but if its better to stay away and just train cricket specifics than lose out because the gym is taking too much time.
As usual then, its all about finding a balance to get the best results: more runs, wickets and catches. For the vast majority that balance involves the gym. More on cricket fitness sooon, so subscribe for updates.