What the Ancient Greeks knew about cricket
Ancient Greece is more famous in sport for the Olympics rather than the smack of leather on willow. These two great endeavours do have an element in common and that's how the Greeks can show cricket the way.
Principle of Cricket Fitness: Progressive Overload
Milo was noted as a great Greek athlete. He became so for his fabled feats of strength, the most famous being his way of keeping fit and strong in between Olympic Games:
"He would train in the off years by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until the Olympics took place. By the time the events were to take place he was carrying a four year old cow on his back."
You couldn't find a better example of progressive overload if you tried and in later years this was proved by sport science to be more than just a fable.
So the principle of progressive overload is this:
In order to get fitter and stronger you must regularly increase the demand on you body over time.
In Milo's case, he lifted more weight as the cow got heavier. You don't have to find a cow though.
What you do have to do is find activity that is challenging to your body to allow yourself to get fitter. Going to the gym, sprint training, interval running or training at home are all great examples of this.
But you can't just do the same exercise for the same time/distance/weight and expect to get fitter.
That's where the progressive part comes in.
To keep yourself improving in the middle you need to keep gradually increasing the load. You may set yourself a target of running further, or the same distance faster, lifting a bit more weight or doing a few more press ups than last week.
That's why you need to plan ahead and plan to improve:
- Amount of weight
- Number of repetitions
- Number of sets
- Amount of training sessions
The key here is to be gradual though, progress too fast and you end up overtraining. It's also vital to get plenty of rest to allow the overload part to go ahead while you are recovering.
The Ancient Greeks new this principle worked for their athletes, if you know it too you are on your way to becoming a better cricketer.