Archivo de April 2011

Hunter-gatherer fitness

By Iñigo Mujika , el 14 de April de 2011

Two days ago I tested on the cycle ergometer a 61-year-old recreational cyclist. He performed a progressive test to exhaustion, starting at 100 W, with 25 W increments every 3 minutes, and was able to hold 325 W for 68 seconds, to achieve a peak aerobic power of 309 W (4.41 W/kg). He said he cycled year long, for a total of about 10,000 km per year, or about 192 km per week (about 6-8 hours of cycling per week).

Cariban gatherer and hunter (from the book “Na'na Kali'na: Une histoire des Kali'na en Guyane”).

I was impressed by his fitness level, and so was our sports cardiologist. He was not overweight, had no hypertension, no insulin resistance, took no medication. Imagine the reduction in the public health budget if everyone around remained as active…

Today I came accross an excellent scientific article by James H. O’Keefe and colleagues entitled “Achieving hunter-gatherer fitness in the 21st century: back to the future”. And I thought I should share some of its contents with the readers of this blog:

Read & comment ›››

Interviews with the elite – Gloria Balague: “Sports psychology will not make good an athlete who is not or does not put in the effort”

By Iñigo Mujika , el 6 de April de 2011

Gloria Balague (Photo: Spanish Association of Sport Psychology)

What strategies do you to facilitate communication and overcome posible resistances from athletes towards the sport psychologist?

I believe resistance is often due to negative expectations regarding the role of a sport psychologist (sometimes based on previous negative experiences!). My approach is to not pressure anyone but be present, watch practices, ask questions, and wait for opportunities. When I travel with a team I try to sit at a different table every meal and I will not talk about sport psychology unless asked. Same thing with travel arrangements and seats in trains, planes, etc. I also believe that not everyone needs to consult with me, and I respect these athletes and treat them the same way. In general, I find it helpful to have a general talk explaining what I can do and I tend to ask things such as: Do you perform consistently at the level you are physically and technically capable? If not, and there is no injury, what is the reason? For me, psychological skills will not make “good” an athlete who is not or who does not put in the effort, but if used well, they will give you something important: consistency. My job requires trust, and that has to be earned, it does not come with the title, so I have learned to be patient!

Read & comment ›››