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Trained for game

Former physiotherapist to Team India, John Gloster, decodes cricket stars’ workouts.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 24, 2011 15:13 IST
Rochelle Pinto

Think the life of a cricketer is all fun and games? Think again. Given that they have the hopes of a billion people riding on their cricketing skills, Team India has been pumping up their fitness regime. According to fitness expert and former physiotherapist to the Indian cricket team, John Gloster, given that the format of this World Cup includes unusually long breaks between matches, being fit is key.

“While this format allows you to have rest periods, some players don’t like it since it creates a peak-drop cycle in their performance. The key is to make sure they peak at the right time for the matches,” says Gloster. He says that in the IPL format, the focus is on recovery because the matches are high intensity and the players are forced to travel a lot. But for this World Cup, the focus is on training and build-up.

“The biggest challenge for the players is to avoid putting on weight between matches,” says Gloster. “So they must stick to their dietary disciplines. On the day of their matches, the diet is slightly different. Pre-match meals would include foods rich in carbohydrates like rice, pasta and grilled foods. If it’s an early match, they would eat lots of cereal.”

Gloster adds that since most players find it difficult to eat before a match, they combine fluids with carbohydrates. “A dehydrated player loses concentration and is more prone to injury,” he warns.

Gloster explains that it’s important to maintain the workload so that the players aren’t “under-cooked or over-cooked.” While he reveals that each cricketer has an individual programme designed according to their strengths and weaknesses, he does create a broad chart.

Bowlers need to concentrate on cross-training like treadmill and cycling with swimming so that they don’t strain their legs. Batsmen focus more on shuttle-training, which includes short explosive sprints mimicking running between wickets. “They also need strength training since they need to build their upper-body strength,” he adds.