How can an American economist help you play better cricket?
John Hussman that very American economist. Although we can't be sure, my guess is he hasn't done much in the world of cricket.
What he has done is set up a website for people who want to get fit and lose weight. That site is based in the solid grounding of physiology, which means you can adapt what he says to make you a better player.
So what does he say? On the fitness side he has boiled his work down to a simple list called '10 Keys to fast fitness' you can read them here.
In order to make them work for cricket we need to make some changes, so here are the 10 Keys to fast fitness for cricket:
A well-trained aerobic system is vital for cricket but you are being sport specific, which means long slow exercise is better replaced by interval training. Intervals are harder on the body so you would probably not need more than 2-3 sessions a week unless your fitness is very high (and that, of course, includes actually playing cricket).
There is no need to cross train for cricket at all. Swimming can be good during your recovery phase, but if you are training for cricket you need to be running and running at the pace/interval you run during a game.
See above for the main point. I also want to stress that there is a difference between cricket specific interval training and high intensity interval training. While both are good, the former trains your body to be ready and fit for cricket, the latter trains your body to burn fat more efficiently (no bad thing by the way). Given the choice, always go for cricket specific training.
John's reason for resistance training is to burn more fat. Your reason is to have more power and reduce the risk of injury. Other than that, the principles are exactly the same: You need to overload, use good technique and train for no more than an hour. 2-3 sessions a week is also a good rule of thumb.
Water, water, water
Good hydration is essential, especially when training or playing. While I give thumbs up to John's suggestion of 8-12 glasses a day, I don't treat it as gospel either.
Four to six meals a day
This is an excellent recommendation although not essential for everyone. However, this method of eating does promote strength gain and fat loss that are great things for cricketers. If you can do this I recommend it (I do this myself and have done for a couple of years).
I'll be doing a full post on supplements for cricket players soon. I see no harm in trying what John suggests if it contributes to your strength and power as a player. Remember that less is more when it comes to supplements in cricket. After all you are not trying to become an Olympic powerlifter.
Intentional caloric deficits
I don't recommend this under normal circumstances. If you are playing cricket hard you need fuel to perform so don't deliberately give yourself a calorie deficit. That doesn't mean you should order the chips though. Giving yourself a calorie surplus will increase your body fat and effect your performance in the end. So the trick is to keep yourself balanced.
There are exceptions to this, which I may go into in the future. If you are interested in finding out the role of calories in your cricket performance then drop me a line.
Basic records and specific goals
I couldn't agree more. Recording and goal setting are essential to cricket performance.
While some research has show there is no drop in function on even 5 hours sleep a night, people training hard need time to recover. 8 hours sleep is the perfect way to do this.
As you can see, most of the advice is great and only needs a few tweaks. So take some time to read John's site and understand the science behind his methods.
It's great stuff and shows how even people good at maths can be friends to cricket!© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008