photo credit: jragon
Are you a skinny cricketer who wants to improve? Then this article is for you.
Make a list of all the things you would like to be able to do better on the cricket pitch. Be as precise as you can. Write it down if you like or just do it in your head.
Don't read on until you have done the list.
Did it include?
- Bowl faster
- Have better endurance/stamina
- Hit more boundaries
- Steal more quick singles
- Stop more boundaries in the field
I'm willing to bet it did. Who wouldn't want to improve at least one of those things?
Why being too skinny is hurting your cricket
If you are lacking strength you can't do any of those things on your list as well as your potential allows.
More strength means more speed and more power: Two things essential to maximising your potential. These are the building blocks of performance that you are lacking.
One thing that strength does not have to mean is size. Look at boxers in lightweight classes. I certainly would not like to be punched by one of those guys even if they do weigh less than 10 stone. They have speed and power without the bulk.
You can do the same for your cricket.
How to get stronger without bulking up
First you are going to have to bite the bullet and strength train. Unless you are still growing you can't get stronger by just playing cricket. The only way to systematically improve your strength without bulking up is to use resistance in a progressive way.
That means joining a gym (or having a serious home setup)
A lot of skinny people fear this will turn them into the hulk overnight. While you will get some muscle over time, train right and you have nothing to fear.
- Train with low reps. You need to have access to some heavy weights because you will be lifting in the 3-5 rep range. This stimulates your muscles to get stronger without getting bigger. If you go up to 6-12 reps the opposite happens: Less strength, more growth. 2-3 sessions a week should do it.
- Do interval training. Intervals not only improve your endurance, they allow you to burn calories that would otherwise become bulky muscle. Complex training is also an option. Stick with 2-3 interval/complex sessions a week (you can do it after lifting weights if you like).
- Play cricket. Just playing cricket will not only improve your cricket skills but will also stop you from getting bulky by burning calories.
If you know Dr. John Berardi's 10 rules you already know what is coming. The important points for cricketers who want strength without bulk are:
- Eat every 2-3 hours. This keeps your metabolism burning and turning over calories so you don't get bulky.
- Eat plenty of vegetables. Vegetables fill you up without having many calories. They are also loaded with vitamins and other good stuff to keep you healthy.
- Save the carbs for after training. If it's not fruit or a vegetable then don't eat it unless you have been training in the gym or playing cricket. That includes pasta, rice, potatoes and quinoa. This way you will be eating enough carbs to keep your energy and strength up without putting on bulk.
- Eat a balance of fats. Fat has all kinds of health benefits so get plenty from a range of sources that include: red meat, fresh fish, nuts, olives, linseeds, avocados, mixed nuts (not salted) and butter.
While you don't need any supplements, if you have your diet and training fully dialled in you could add:
- Creatine. This boosts your power output, is cheap and safe. Some people also find they gain muscle size when using it but this is just water and will only lead to excess muscle mass when combined with bodybuilding training.
- Fish Oil. This supplement may or may not boost your metabolism, but it's so good for you for so many other reasons it should be the first supplement on your list whatever you size, strength or weight.
More on cricket supplements here.
Don't put being skinny and weak down to genetics and think you are stuck. You can get stronger without getting too big with the right amount of training and eating.
It takes time, commitment and planning, but the pay off is making the best of your potential on the pitch.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008