Ankle Sprains – Recovery, rehab and risk reduction

ANKLE SPRAINS – RECOVERY, REHAB AND RISK REDUCTION

Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries especially in sports such as basketball, netball and football with an incidence rate of 7 per 1,000 exposures. 

Unfortunately some people (athletes, coaches, parents, other health professionals) may think an ankle injury is a minor injury and so in many cases appropriate rehab is not performed.

Making sure your ankle injury is managed properly will go a long way to reducing your risk of re-injury and ongoing complications such as chronic ankle instability. 

What Happens When You Sprain Your Ankle?

There are multiple different structures that can be injured when you sprain your ankle.

The most common ankle sprain is called a lateral ankle sprain and occurs when you roll over the outside of your foot/ankle. This can occur while changing direction, landing from a jump, or treading on an opponents foot. 

When you sprain your ankle, ligaments are stretched and can even completely tear. 

*ligaments connect bone to bone and are important for the stability of joints.

There are 3 ligaments that are commonly involved in a lateral ankle sprain. The anterior-talofibular ligament (ATFL), calcaneo-fibular ligament (CFL) and the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL). See the image below.

You can also sustain injury to the anterior tibiofibular ligament that attaches the two lower leg bones together (the tibia and fibula). This is referred to as a high ankle sprain or syndesmosis injury. It is important that this type of injury is ruled out as it requires a different approach to rehab compared to the common lateral ankle sprain and in some cases surgery is needed. 

A less common injury is a medial ankle sprain which causes injury to the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. These injuries typically take longer to recover.

How Long Does It Take To Heal?

Ligaments take about 4-6 weeks to heal. Depending on the grade of ligament injury sustained it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer to return to pre-injury activity and sport.

It is important to perform appropriate rehab for your ankle sprain as 20-50% of ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability (pain, swelling & instability). 

Chronic ankle instability increases the risk of re-injury or sustaining multiple ankle sprains which can lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis later in life.

It is not uncommon for me to see someone with an ankle sprain 6-12 weeks after their initial injury, despite the importance of seeking physiotherapy immediately following an ankle sprain. 

This makes it more difficult to determine exactly what you have done and the extent of the injury.

The sooner you can be assessed the sooner you can begin your rehab and be back doing what you enjoy.

If you do not perform rehab for your injured ankle, your risk of future injury and complications is significantly increased.

What Does Rehab Involve?

Rehab involves a combination of exercises that will get you back to sport or daily activities pain free. Some examples of the different things you may do are…

  • Range of motion exercises to restore normal ranges of motion in the ankle joint
  • Strength exercises to regain strength e.g. calf raises, band resisted ankle movements
  • Balance exercises to regain proprioception
  • Plyometrics to get that spring back and be able to run, jump and change direction with confidence

When you see me for ankle rehab we work our way through a series of exercises that tick all these boxes and make sure you and your ankle are ready for whatever you throw at it.

Here are some examples of rehab exercises you might perform.

What Can Increase Your Risk Of An Ankle Sprain?

Research has shown a number of factors that increase the risk of an ankle sprain, they include:

  1. A history of a previous ankle injury
  2. Wearing shoes with air cells in the heel
  3. Not performing an adequate warm up involving static stretching and dynamic movement
  4. Not having normal ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (bending your ankle up)
  5. Not completing a balance or proprioceptive prevention program if there is a history of previous ankle injury

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Injury or Re-injury?

Firstly, make sure you have completed adequate rehab overseen by a Physiotherapist for any previous ankle injury. There are a number of tests that a Physio can have you perform to determine your readiness to return to sport and check for any underlying deficits. These tests are a combination of strength and movement tests like jumps and hop tests that compare your affected leg to your unaffected leg.

If you can pass these tests before returning to sport your risk of re-injury will be reduced.

One simple test is single leg calf raise strength. A good measure of adequate calf strength for the average active person is being able to perform 25-30 single leg calf raises.

Another way to reduce the risk of re-injury and the severity of future injury is by wearing an ankle brace or strapping your ankle with sports tape. Recent evidence supports the use of an ankle brace or taping for at least 6 months following injury. The role of taping or bracing to prevent first time ankle injury is less evident so there is no need to tape or brace an ankle that hasn’t been injured.

SUMMARY

  • Ankle sprains are not a simple injury
  • Ankle sprains require rehab to help prevent ongoing complications and reduce the risk of re-injury
  • If your doctor or medical professional does not suggest physiotherapy or rehab you can refer yourself to a physiotherapist for rehab, no referral is needed.
  • It is very important to have a physiotherapy assessment after sustaining an ankle injury
  • Taping or bracing can help to reduce the risk of recurrent ankle sprains
  • If you suffer an ankle sprain book in for an assessment so I can get you back on track and back to doing what you enjoy ASAP.

You can book a physiotherapy appointment with me at Reeves Empowered Performance & Nutrition, located in Burnie by clicking HERE.

Daniel Reeves

Physiotherapist Burnie @ The Strength Den

The Festive Season, Short-Term Overfeeding & Your Weight

THE FESTIVE SEASON, SHORT-TERM OVERFEEDING & YOUR WEIGHT

The festive season is upon us, which for most, means a never-ending supply of delicious tasty Calorie-dense food.

Bitmoji Image

For some people, like those who are trying to lose fat or those that are trying to maintain weight or even those people who are just mindful of their food intake, the festive season and the effect it could have on their waistline may cause some anxiety.

But, fear not that pav and choc-ripple cake this festive season.

A study published in 1985, looked at 5 healthy men (22-27yo). All were non-diabetic, non-smokers. These 5 men ate 60% more Calories than the amount they would require to maintain their weight. They did this for 9 days.

They increased their food intake for 9 days by an average of 1,914 Calories each day to see how much weight they would gain.

They went from eating about 3,279 Calories to eating ~5,193 Calories. These Calorie intakes were a little different between subjects as they were specific for the individual subjects.

This diet was fairly low in protein with protein making up just 15% of total calorie intake. This is important as the effects of overfeeding on a high protein vs low protein diet are different.

A low protein diet is less favourable for weight maintenance/weight loss and probably more closely resembles the typical diet over the festive season (less protein, foods high in fat and carbohydrate such as dessert type food).

WHAT DID THIS STUDY FIND?

The study showed that on average the subjects gained 3.2kg of weight in 9 days. BUT, only 56% (1.8kg) of this was actual body fat.

The study also showed thatoverfeeding caused an initial rapid weight gain that became slower over the 9 days (see fig below).

WHAT WAS THE REST OF THE WEIGHT GAIN DUE TO?

The remaining 44% (1.5kg) of weight gain was most likely due to increased body water content. Organ mass or non-muscle lean tissue may also have contributed.

WHAT DO OTHER STUDIES SHOW?

Other studies show similar results with fat mass gain making up 60-70% of total weight gained. Some of these studies are longer in duration though so may not be as applicable to the festive season.

If you are interested in reading a complete summary of the literature including overfeeding on carbohydrates vs fats or overfeeding on high vs low protein, follow this link. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786199/

FOOD SELECTION

If you are looking to make calorie conscious decisions with your food selection over this period consider filling your plate first with lean protein sources (meat, fish etc) and plants (vegetables, fruit & salads). Consider low calorie alcohol options or sugar free sodas as mixers. Swap full fat cream for low fat cream. Swap high calorie dressings for low calorie dressings. Use low sugar jelly. There are plenty of easy swaps like these to help reduce calorie intake.

SUMMARY

With the research above in mind, you can overeat between Christmas and New Years Day and potentially not gain much fat. This of course depends on the exact amount of overeating and total Calories you consume in this period. Obviously, if you decide Christmas Day is a great chance for that 10,000 Calorie challenge your fat gain may be larger.

While you may gain weight over the next few days, remember that not all of it is fat.

So, relax, enjoy the time spent with family & friends. Give yourself permission to eat anything. Enjoy good food without feeling guilty, just don’t eat like a complete moron.

Once the festive season is over go back to the way of eating that had you on track for your goals. No biggy.

In 10 years time that Christmas that you ate all the food you enjoy won’t be a factor.

Christmas is no time for Tupperware, chicken and broccoli.

If you need help achieving a weight goal, contact me.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4061637

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786199/

Daniel Reeves

Physiotherapist, MNU Certified Nutritionist

The Strength Den, Burnie Tasmania

Non-Tracking Methods & Habit-Based Guidelines For Nutrition

NON-TRACKING METHODS & HABIT-BASED GUIDELINES FOR NUTRITION

While tracking methods like tracking calorie intake or macros have a lot of benefits they are not for everyone. Even though tracking can be a great tool for educating yourself and helping to change body composition some people will find it monotonous, difficult, time consuming and it can cause some people to become neurotic and obsessive.

Tracking is also not a long term goal or sustainable for most people. For the majority of people the goal is to become educated enough and develop good nutrition habits so that you don’t have to track calories forever. The goal is to get to a point where you can maintain your ideal physique without needing to track i.e. effortlessly maintain your weight.

The good news is that there are ‘non-tracking’ methods and habit-based approaches that you can implement to help achieve and maintain your ideal weight / physique if you don’t like tracking.

 WHAT ARE NON-TRACKING METHODS?

Non-tracking methods are strategies and methods you can implement to control your intake of calories to help you achieve your ideal physique, that DO NOT involve counting/tracking macros or calories in any shape or form. There is no tracking involved.

Non-tracking methods can include global guidelines e.g. protein at every meal, increasing fruit & vegetable intake or just simple strategies you follow e.g. portion control or skipping a meal.

PROS OF NON-TRACKING METHODS

  • Less time consuming
  • Potentially less obsessive
  • Practical (able to be done most of the time)
  • Help to build better nutrition habits

CONS OF NON-TRACKING METHODS

  • Can be more restrictive. Restriction can stimulate the want to eat restricted food.
  • Harder to manipulate
  • Hunger can be a major issue
  • Need good awareness of fullness factors and things that influence fullness e.g. food choices, sleep and food palatability

WHEN IS A NON-TRACKING METHOD APPROPRIATE?

  • When your goals are not too time dependent (e.g. you want to lose 10kg but don’t mind how long it takes)
  • When you want to build better nutritional habits
  • When you don’t want to use a tracking method

WHO ARE NON-TRACKING METHODS GOOD FOR?

People who can’t stand the thought of tracking calories.

People who are at risk of developing disordered eating or eating disorders.

People who have obsessive tendencies (tracking can become a bit obsessive in nature for some people).

People who don’t like numbers and data.

When deciding if a non-tracking approach may be better for you than a tracking approach, it is a good idea to consider the following…

  • The extremity of your goal (how extreme your goal is). Do you want to lose 10kg over 10 months or are you trying to lose 10kg over 8 weeks. The more extreme your goal is the more likely that a tracking approach may be better.
  • How specific your goal is
  • Your personality and preferences e.g. if you hate numbers you might not enjoy tracking but for some that love numbers they love tracking
  • Your nutritional knowledge and current habits
  • Your lifestyle (the method you choose must be realistic for your lifestyle).

Just because you aren’t tracking calories doesn’t mean that calories aren’t important. 

Most of the methods that I’m about to share with you are designed to reduce your calorie intake to help create a calorie deficit which will lead to fat loss. Energy balance is still king and the energy balance principle will always apply (energy balance principle link here).

NON-TRACKING METHODS (FOR FAT LOSS) & HABIT-BASED GUIDELINES

These methods like any fat loss method are designed to reduce total calorie intake to help you remain in a calorie deficit when fat loss is the goal. For those that aren’t trying to lose fat these methods can help build better nutritional habits and improve your nutrition.

  • Focus majority of intake on protein and plants (fruits and veg)
  • Focus majority of intake on low calorie per bite foods. An extension of this is swapping higher calorie per bite food for lower calorie per bite food some examples include 
    • fatty steak → lean steak
    • full fat yoghurt → low fat yoghurt
    • Rice → Kidney beans
    • Pasta → potato
    • Soda → Diet Soda
    • High calorie sauces → low calorie sauces
  • Choose foods with low palatability (foods that aren’t as tasty are less likely to be overeaten)
  • Reduce food variety
  • Reduce sugar intake (sugar makes things tasty which makes foods easier to over consume impacting calorie intake.
  • Have a protein shake before your evening meal
  • Drink 1 glass of water before each meal
  • Make one meal a large salad (light on the dressing)
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat mindfully e.g. eat at a table (not in front of the TV)
  • Increase protein intake
  • Skip a meal
  • Reduce portion sizes
  • Eat a low-fat diet
  • Eat a low-carb diet
  • Meal replacement shake 
  • Remove carbohydrates from a part of the day e.g. not having carbs at dinner
  • Have either a fat or carbohydrate source in a meal but not both at the same time (fat and carb separation).
  • Intermittent Fasting (going a period of time without eating)
    • Windowed Eating: Eating only within a specific time period e.g. 8hr food window from 11am to 7pm
    • Alternate Day Fasting: Eat one day, don’t eat the next day but eat normally the following day.
    • Eat, Stop, Eat: 1 day of not eating each week

As you can see there are many options for those that do not want to track calories. There is nothing wrong with tracking and in most cases a short period of tracking calorie intake can help to educate yourself on how much (how many calories) you are eating. Sometimes we need to check the speedo to make sure we aren’t speeding and sometimes we need to check our calorie intake to see roughly how much we are eating.

I think non-tracking, habit-based approaches should be the goal for the majority of people. Improve your nutrition knowledge, improve your nutrition habits and enjoy food while effortlessly maintaining your ideal physique.

Habits & Your Identity

HABITS & YOUR IDENTITY

There’s a section in the book Atomic Habits where the author (James Clear) talks about our habits shaping our identity. This really resonated with me so I thought I would share it with you.

James talks about beginning the process of changing your habits by focusing on who you want to become (your identity) rather than what you want to achieve (outcome based). There is an example given of 2 people who are offered a cigarette. 

One person says “No thanks I’m trying to quit” which sounds fine but this person still identifies themselves as a smoker who is trying to be something else. 

The other person says “No thanks I’m not a smoker”. A small difference that signifies a shift in identity. They no longer identify themselves as someone who smokes.

A habit becoming part of your identity is a strong form of intrinsic motivation. 

Rather than being someone who says they ‘want’ this become a person who ‘is’ this.

The more pride attached to a certain aspect of your identity the more motivated you will be to continue habits that reflect this identity e.g. if you take pride in being physically strong you won’t want to miss a training session as that would not support your self-identity.

You could be training for a marathon but the goal is not just to run 42km, the real goal is to become a runner. 

The goal is not to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight, the real goal is to become someone that eats nutritious foods and controls their calorie intake.

People who use this identity approach can find it easier to continue with their newly formed habit/s.

“A person who incorporates exercise into their identity doesn’t have to convince themselves to train.” They are simply acting like the person they already believe themselves to be.

Along these same lines is the story of a woman who was trying to lose weight. She succeeded at losing weight just by thinking to herself “what would a healthy person do?”. For example, when deciding what to eat or when faced with taking the stairs or the elevator she would ask herself this question and act as a ‘healthy’ person would. She started identifying herself as a healthy person, her actions followed suit and she lost weight.

On to how this resonated with me… 

Over the years I’ve had a few people tell me that I “must be really motivated” or ask me how I am “so motivated”, in regards to being a self-coached athlete in an individual sport that trains by himself.

My reply would be along the lines of “I am intrinsically motivated to do my best and training is just something I do now, a non-negotiable, it’s part of being a runner.” Without knowing it I was using this self-identity principle.

I don’t have any more motivation than the next person. I am focused on running as best I can and making sure I don’t retire thinking I never reached my potential. 

I Identify myself as someone who is committed, disciplined and dedicated. Not someone who is overly motivated. If I wake up early to go to the gym or go for a run I struggle to get out of bed just like anyone else. It’s not motivation that gets me out of bed, it’s the fact that I identify myself as an athlete who is dedicated, disciplined etc and to live up to that identity I need to go and train. 

I finish work for the day drained and tired and the last thing I feel like doing is trying to sprint around an athletics track but if I don’t do it then I can’t call myself a dedicated athlete.

Another example of how self-identity can help habits is if you’re really needing to give up a specific food or bad habit. Rather than saying “I’m not allowed to eat that” you could change your inner dialogue to something like “I don’t eat that food anymore”. Similar to the cigarette example above.

So next time you’re attempting to implement a new habit or kick a bad one, try focusing your habits and actions on the type of person you want to become not the end result that you want to achieve.

I’m about halfway through Atomic Habits and it’s one of the best books I’ve read, highly recommended.

How To Eat More, FEEL FULL and Lose Fat – Food Volume & Calorie Density

How To Eat More, FEEL FULL And Lose Fat – Food Volume & Calorie Density

When it comes to dieting there are a few key concepts that are helpful to understand. Two of these are food volume and calorie density which tie in together. Understanding these will help with better food selection and hunger levels, making fat loss or weight gain phases easier.

Food volume = the physical size (volume) of the food/meal. A larger food volume will help to keep you feeling full as it will take up more physical space in your stomach and take longer to digest (see image).

Calorie density = The number of calories in a given amount of food. For example the number of calories per bite, per spoonful or the number of calories per 100g (as seen on nutrition panel labels) all describe calorie density.

See the image below which shows 200 calories from different foods. Notice the differences in food volume for the same amount of calories.

In the image above, broccoli and celery have low calorie density and trying to get 200 calories from these foods will fill you up. Peanut butter and bacon however, are calorie dense so you don’t need much food volume before you have consumed 200 calories.

The image below depicts how much space in the stomach is taken up by 500 calories from different foods. As you can see 500 calories from fruits and veggies is a large food volume and will take up much more space in your stomach, leading to a better feeling of fullness as opposed to 500 calories from oil or cheese.

FAT LOSS

Some foods are super helpful for fat loss and dieting because they have low calorie density. This means that you can eat a large volume of food for a low number of calories. This will help make you feel full so you don’t feel as hungry compared to foods that have high calorie density.

Examples include salad, vegetables, fruits such as strawberries, chobani fit yoghurt etc.

When someone is talking about eating more and losing fat this is usually what they are referring to; eating a larger volume of food by selecting foods that have low calorie density.

When someone reports “I hardly eat anything and still can’t lose weight” they are referring to food volume not the amount of calories they are consuming.

WEIGHT GAIN

Food volume and calorie density are also important for those trying to gain weight and maximise muscle growth. If someone doesn’t feel hungry and struggles to consume enough calories then choosing foods that have high caloric density will be helpful.

The same goes for endurance athletes who require large amounts of calories to fuel their training. Sometimes choosing a more calorie dense food will be more beneficial so they are more easily able to get the fuel they need for training.

Examples include a smoothie with oats and peanut butter, granola, an oat slice bar (nearly 500kcal per serve), dark chocolate, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, nuts, cookies, doughnuts etc.

Use food volume and calorie density to your advantage to make dieting easier.

Things You Should Understand

THINGS YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND

I’ve learned a lot about training, nutrition and performance over the years through education, trial and error and training. I wish I could have been aware of them from a much earlier age.

Here are 23 things that I think you should understand and I wish I understood earlier…

1. Energy balance and creating a calorie deficit is the principle that elicits fat loss so all diets must cause a calorie deficit for fat loss to occur.

2. If fat loss is not occurring, you’re not in a calorie deficit.

3. There are many methods to elicit a calorie deficit, the best one is the one that you can stick to.

4. All diets that cause fat loss are just a calorie deficit in disguise.

5. Weight loss and fat loss are two different things.

6. Weight gain and fat gain are two different things.

7. Carbs do not make you fat, eating too many calories makes you fat.

8. There are 7700 calories in 1kg fat, so you would need to overeat a lot to gain 1kg in a day.

9. Eating and training for your body type is complete BS.

10. You’re not a ‘hard gainer’, you just don’t eat enough calories to gain weight and you’re not training effectively.

11. You’re not skinny because you run, you’re skinny because you don’t eat enough and don’t lift heavy stuff enough.

12. You don’t need a meal plan.

13. You don’t need a fat burner

14. There are no magical supplements that will help you achieve your goals (except caffeine and creatine that shit is magical).

15. Muscle gain is extremely slow, persist, trust the process and have some patience.

16. Your calorie surplus does not have to be large to optimise muscle gain, if you ‘eat big to get big’ you’ll just get fat.

17. Exercise contributes a lot less to total energy expenditure (the calories that you burn) than you think (~10%).

18. Resistance / weight training does not stunt growth or make you slow.

19. To increase vertical jump you should lift weights, get stronger and perform different plyometrics & jumps.

20. You are not born a sprinter or distance runner.

21. Sprinting is a skill, can be trained and should be trained.

22. Long slow running makes long slow runners.

23. Pushing and continuing to exercise with injuries leads to more time on the sidelines.

Athlete Specific Training

ATHLETE SPECIFIC TRAINING

If you are a non-strength sport athlete (field/court-based sport, track & field etc) your approach to resistance training should be different to that of a bodybuilder or strength sport athlete (e.g. weightlifter, powerlifter).

Training for bigger muscles like a bodybuilder or focusing solely on moving heavy weight slowly is an inefficient way to train. Bigger muscles, being shredded and being strong as an ox DO NOT equal performance.
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There’s nothing wrong with wanting to gain muscle mass and improve strength. In fact, there are many athletes who would benefit from adding a bit of muscle mass and even more that would benefit from improving their strength. BUT, there is are effective and less effective ways to go about it.

Athletes use their whole body and as such the focus should be on training movements AND muscles not just muscles. With this in mind, the typical bodybuilding split with a focus on training specific muscles to improve muscle mass / training for aesthetics is a poor use of an athlete’s time in the gym.

Athletes also require more than just strength to perform their best. Therefore, training purely to lift heavy stuff slowly is also inefficient and has its limitations.

WHAT IS THE PRIMARY GOAL OF RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR AN ATHLETE?

For most, the primary goal when it comes to resistance training is to develop & improve STRENGTH, POWER, SPEED and RATE OF FORCE DEVELOPMENT to optimise performance, reduce the risk of injury and stay on the sporting field.

The full spectrum of the force-velocity curve (FVC) should be trained with a focus on the individual’s areas that will yield the greatest improvement in those performance parameters.

Athletes need to be strong, fast and powerful so training each part of the force-velocity curve is vital. You’ll only limit yourself & your athletes by only training one part of the FVC e.g. never doing explosive movements like plyometrics and only doing heavy ass lifts that produce a lot of force but very slowly.

Power = Force x Velocity

You could be the strongest person in the world, but if you don’t bring velocity you’ll be as powerful as a wet paper towel.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ATHLETE PERFORMANCE TRAINING PROGRAMS

We can take parts of bodybuilding, powerlifting & olympic lifting training and apply them in a well-rounded program that ticks the boxes necessary to improve important athletic qualities.

The major movements that should be trained are variations of a Squat (knee dominant), Hinge (hip dominant), Single Leg Variations, Horizontal Push, Horizontal Pull, Vertical Push, Vertical Pull and Carries.
These movements should make up ~80-90% of your program with isolation exercises making up around 10-20%.

Manipulating tempo, lifting with intent, dynamic effort, max effort, accumulation, intensification, performing explosive and powerful movements (jumps, throws, sprints) are all common components in athlete specific programs.

YOU WILL STILL BUILD A GOOD LOOKING PHYSIQUE

Increases in muscle mass & strength will still occur through correctly implemented and programmed resistance training, supported with adequate nutritional habits (adequate protein + calories)
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Athletes should be training for performance not to look good in front of the mirror. Looking good in front of the mirror will be a by-product of adequate nutrition and being a fast, strong, powerful & athletic athlete.

TRAINING SPLITS

There are many ways to organise your resistance training split and your program should change depending on your goals and what time of season it is (e.g. off-season vs pre-season vs in-season).

Two of my favourite training splits for an athlete are below

If you are an athlete make sure your training is specific to what you need to improve. Don’t just try to build muscle and don’t just lift heavy weight slowly. There will come a point where becoming stronger will not translate into any further benefits for performance or athleticism.

The Force Velocity Curve

THE FORCE-VELOCITY CURVE

The force-velocity curve (FVC) is important for both coaches and athletes to understand for correct exercise prescription in terms of exercise selection & loading parameters. Having an understanding of the FVC and how to use it to program & train effectively will also ensure that training is maximising performance improvements.

Force can be thought of as muscle contractile force, or the amount of ground reaction force (GRF) produced. Ground reaction force is the force exerted by the ground on the body. Force is usually expressed in the unit Newtons (N).

Velocity can be thought of as muscle contraction velocity (speed) or velocity (speed) of movement (meters per second).

Power = Force x Velocity

You could be the strongest person in the world, but if you don’t bring velocity you’ll be as powerful as a wet paper towel.

WHAT DOES THE FVC SHOW?

The FVC shows the relationship between force (F) and velocity (V). The relationship between force and velocity is inverse. What this means is that if force increases, the velocity of movement will decrease and if velocity increases the amount of force produced will decrease.

There is a trade-off between force and velocity. When an exercise produces a high level of force it will also produce a slow movement velocity.

An example would be a 1RM deadlift vs a box jump. The 1RM deadlift would produce a large amount of force but the weight would be lifted at a slow velocity. Whereas, a box jump would produce a high movement velocity (moving fast) but a low amount of force.

This means that different exercises and intensities can be categorised into various parts on the force-velocity curve. These parts and example exercises can be seen below.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE FVC AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT TRAINING/PERFORMANCE?

For athletes, the goal of resistance training is to become stronger, faster and more powerful. Through correct training, the FVC will shift to the right indicating that the person can apply a larger force at a faster velocity or move at a faster velocity while producing larger levels of force.

By shifting the force-velocity curve/profile to the right there will be an increase in power and rate of force development (RFD) which is critical for athletic success in many sports.

RFD can be thought of simply as how fast an athlete can develop/produce force.

An athlete with a larger RFD will be more explosive as they will be able to develop larger forces in a shorter amount of time.

If you want to run faster, change direction quicker, jump higher and throw further you need to be training to increase RFD and power/explosiveness.

The most effective way to improve RFD is through training methods that will develop both the force and velocity ends of the spectrum. So it is vital to train all parts of the force-velocity curve.

By training only one part of the FVC an athlete will only improve their performance at that section of the curve. For example, if an athlete only trains maximum strength, that athlete will only improve their performance at the maximum strength section of the curve. So, while they may improve maximum force production, it may also cause a decrease in muscle contraction velocity…not great if your goal is to become fast, powerful and explosive.

Therefore, it is important that strength training is combined with training to improve power i.e. train all parts of the Force-Velocity Curve for best results.

The time dedicated to training each part of the FVC will depend on a number of factors such as the individual’s strengths and weaknesses (their own unique force-velocity profile), sport, position, training age and time of the year e.g. pre-season, competition or off-season.

Key points

  • The FVC shows an inverse relationship. When an exercise produces a high level of force it will also produce a slow movement velocity.When an exercise produces a high velocity it will also produce a low amount of force.
  • For athletes wanting to maximise their performance it is vital to train all parts of the force-velocity curve

Credit to the guys at Science For Sport for some of this blog content and graphs

Food is not inherently good or bad

FOOD IS NOT INHERENTLY GOOD OR BAD

Seeing food as good or bad, clean or dirty and healthy or unhealthy is a form of dichotomous thinking, also known as ‘black and white thinking’.

This type of thinking is not helpful for a number of reasons.
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⚠️“Dichotomous thinking has been associated with overeating and increased body weight. Individuals who attempt to maintain or lose body weight via dietary restraint (restricting foods) are more susceptible to excessive eating episodes”
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⚠️“Dichotomous thinking toward food may have a negative impact on the ability to achieve and maintain a desirable body weight.  It may also mediate the relationship between dietary restraint and binge eating due to forming rigid dietary rules and increasing the probability of disordered eating”
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⚠️“Thinking of food in black & white could lead to higher rates of binge eating, resulting in excess calorie consumption leading to weight gain”
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✅“There should be a strong focus to promote a more flexible attitude toward food in an effort to improve weight loss maintenance”



Thinking of food as good or bad is unhelpful, we can instead think of food as follows to promote a more positive relationship with food.
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Foods are more nutrient dense or less nutrient dense.

Foods are either more helpful or less helpful.
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Foods can be more optimal and less optimal.
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Whether a food is more or less optimal / more helpful or less helpful is individual and will depend on the dose, your goals, context, and situation.
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What is optimal for one person and their goals may not be optimal for another person in a different situation with different goals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For instance, it may be more optimal for someone to allow themselves to eat a small portion (dose) of chocolate for better adherence during a fat loss phase rather than eliminating it and feeling deprived.



To summarise, foods are not good or bad, clean or dirty. Consider the dose, goal, context and situation.
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Dichotomous thinking is not helpful and can have a negative impact on eating behaviour 👎🏻
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Be mindful of your choices and how they will affect your goals, happiness and health.

There’s no need to demonise or fear certain foods 🙌🏻 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You should give yourself unconditional permission to eat anything at anytime 🤤

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25903250/

Dichotomous Thinking Toward Food as a Mediator Between Eating Behaviour and BMI – Sohee Lee

Why is athlete development / strength and conditioning important?

WHY IS ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT / STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING IMPORTANT?

A combination of technical & tactical skill, psychological & emotional strength and PHYSICAL capacities are required to become a successful athlete. We enhance these physical capacities through strength and conditioning training.

Aims of athlete development / strength and conditioning


1. Develop an athlete’s physical capacities e.g. rate of force development, strength, speed, power & vertical jump etc. to be able to perform sport related tasks like sprinting, jumping, skills etc.to a higher level, while withstanding affects of fatigue or performance-drop longer than their opponents.

2. Build robustness to withstand the technical and physical demands of sport and training without getting injured.

3. Develop athleticism to support technical skills: enable athletes to tolerate training loads to maximise exposure to technical or tactical practice. Without a physical base the ability to tolerate training loads required for technical proficiency is reduced.

Strength is the foundation from which all other physical qualities of performance like POWER, SPEED & AGILITY are developed. Without proper strength development, these qualities cannot be optimized.

If you are wanting to get the most out of yourself and reach your potential, strength and conditioning is vital. If you don’t you are leaving gains & improved performance on the table.

Reference

Current Concepts In Periodisation Of Strength And Conditioning For The Sports Physical Therapist. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637911/

High Performance Training For Sports, D.Joyce