Body builders – they gain excess weight first followed by shedding extra via intense training keeping the number of calories to same or even more. Its a cycle for them which I find slightly unhealthy given their calorie intake through out. As a result their basal metabolic rate is set very high which in turn cause problems for most when they retire. This is why we find them overweight and diabetic (large numbers) post retirement. Our system can only handle high calories when we can burn. This is why any body builder will work intense twice a day.

Intensity and working twice everyday makes them burn more calories and therefore, they can afford to eat more. But until when?

Ques: Regardless of the age…why our favourite cricketers gain weight upon retirement?

Ans: Some would say – they stop training. Yes but they aren’t eating a body builders diet either. They work and therefore they are burning calories. Most players can’t keep up with their appetite post retirement because it is natural to eat less when we are not training.

Do you know a chess player almost burns as much as any sportsman on the field? Then why?

Its because they don’t change their food suiting new lifestyle. The need is not to necessarily have less food or cutting down on chapati’s, it is to re-organise your platter suiting your current lifestyle.

Challenge – Hypertrophy (size)? Increasing lean muscle mass in a lean structure becomes difficult because – a) increasing lean muscle would demand more calories, b) building a shape with minimal fat would require calorie deficit. This ain’t easy given I train once a day.

My study – For the first time, I have decided to take it all the way meaning bringing fat to minimal and shaping up like a pro(not body builder). You can see the lean muscle mass climbing on my biceps, triceps, shoulders etc. and am confident that I will bring something pleasing to the eyes in the end šŸ™‚

Somebody asked me the other day – where is the fat in you that you are talking about losing? I smiled and said…am at least at 15 % and I need to bring it down to 7/8%. It didn’t make sense to him šŸ™‚

Nutritional intervention – a subject that needs hell lot of clarity and often misunderstood, plays a key role. Its not easy to reach where I have reached with normal/regular Indian home food (Not boiled) with a beer & desert at times. I don’t believe in boiled food. Whats the point? You will gain again the moment we shift to normal food and we can’t have boiled all our life.

Note: am 100% organic. No supplements…no pills…no creatine…nothing. Just whey protein.

SO yes…I get surprised and shocked when I see bulkier players at the highest level. Not their fault..they train well but fat is been a mystery to most. There are a few who seems to have accepted fat for their life. NO NO NO…..for any sportsman, it is my 2/3 weeks of work max with appropriate training (improving fat oxidation) & nutritional intervention.

Note: I am not liked by S&C’s generally when I speak against weight training. But today I would like to explain the reasons why I looked beyond S&C for answers because players not getting any fitter.

Current training:

a) Keeps players at their constant weight (not lose weight)

b) Do not build muscles – players doesn’t start to look well built

c) Make them injury prone & most players getting injured

d) Most fast bowlers can’t go beyond 140 km/hr

e) Definitely not making them any faster on the field as can be seen

So please keep your ego’s, labels, and your name on the side and understand why it is not good. It is millions who play this game and are given the impression that they wont be a good cricket player if they don’t do weights. No point in persisting on something that is not helping our cricketers (or Olympians for that matter in India). If I can do this at 47 years eating a normal diet like you then, be rest assured, I know Strength & Conditioning better than most you see around. And If I am against it then there is a scientific reasoning behind it. Who doesn’t love shaping up….I do as you can see! But who can stay in shape for 10 years without any extra effort? I could…because I listen to my body – what it requires, and doesn’t go by the book.

“Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity.”

I ain’t stopping in my pursuit to make people/sportsmen healthier. And I will continue until …….

My Scientific belief – Yes, we can bowl 150 kms/hr consistently without getting an injury.

My dream: to produce fastest – 160 plus bowler.

Umesh Chhikara

Sports Scientist