Control the Controllable
First, what workload are you trying to build? You figure this out by asking yourself what it is you want to accomplish. Football 50-70 snaps, with average play lasting 5 seconds, Basketball 500-100 change of directions, 32-48 minute games, and If you are a starting pitcher in MLB, it’s going out and throwing 6-7 innings, 15 pitches per inning for 90-105 pitches per game.
Monitoring workload (ACWR – Popularized by Tim Gabbett) has become a pretty big topic and it’s great that we are having these types of conversations but monitoring workload has not had an impact on reducing the risk of injuries (ACWR – Franco Impellizzeri). This has blinded many people in our industry to understanding that there are other forms of monitoring that are more impactful in reducing the risk of injury. These other forms include monitoring real-time tissue response, there are now a handful of diagnostic tools like ultrasound that are now available via a small device and a phone that will change the game soon. The other instrument used for decades is force plates, simply put, monitoring force will give you the highest quality of useful information.
Regardless of what you are doing monitoring-wise, it is all for nothing and often useless when we don’t consider the impact of our lifestyle habits.
What would you say is the best way to regenerate muscle? I would like you to say, increase blood to the muscle. Blood is essential, blood brings nutrients in and takes the garbage out. Keeping the questions basic, what percent of our blood is water? Yep, 90% H2O!
The amount of blood circulating in your body is approximately 7% of your body weight, so a 200lb athlete has about 14 lbs of blood circulating in their body!
Now let’s take our muscles, approximately 70% is water. We are constantly bombarded with making sure you are hydrated but very few people are intentional in this process. Do you believe hydration impacts your ability to handle the workload? Here’s the thing, you don’t believe something until you employ it.
Don’t bother monitoring your workload if you can’t discipline yourself to hydrate.
How much water should you drink, it’s always individual, so I will refer to the best way to go about it. Invest in purchasing a hand-held Urine Gravity Specific refractometer device, the cost is $300-$500.
I will conclude by telling you that Mike Trout believes hydration is a top priority, in fact, he is so serious about his hydration that he competes at being the most hydrated on the team and he has no problem going to use the restroom as many times as necessary during a game. I don’t know about you, but I want to be like Mike☺