Building the Bulls: A Review to Date
After a very successful pre-season under the guidance of Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Clough and Head Coach Francis Cummins, we are now 6 games into our 2013 Super League campaign. So where have we come from and where are we now from a nutritional perspective?
The squad came together in early November, following some initial testing, when our pre-season period began. Pre-season was very tough on the boys as they were performing multiple sessions a day, generally consisting of gym based strength/power/hypertrophy work, pitch and gym based fitness blocks, as well as skill and tactical sessions with Frannie.
This high volume of work meant that getting our nutrition spot on would be vital to maximize player gains and the success of the squad.
Our nutritional program began right at the start of the pre-season period where we carried out multiple education sessions as a squad and on a one-to-one basis. We discussed and devised plans for all players covering areas such as eating for health, performance and individual goals. The programs generally fell under the following four headings:
1. THE GAINERS
Players looking to increase their lean muscle mass whilst simultaneously decreasing body fat and improving speed, strength, power etc.
2. THE ABSOLUTES
Players were programed for an ‘absolute’ change in mass. This absolute change was not seen on the scales, it was seen in their body composition results. For example, a 95kg player may remain 95kgs but lose 2kgs of fat and gain 2kgs of muscle, giving him an absolute change of 4kgs. This 4kg absolute change is something we have seen almost across the board with our players, with a few players dropping up to 6% body fat when it was aggressively targeted.
3. THE BURNERS
Players looking for drop in body weight and improve body composition whilst improving strength, speed, power etc.
4. THE REHABBERS
This category comprised players that were injured or getting surgery.
With each individual program being tailored to specific needs, much like strength and conditioning programs, we began to see results. The players have dramatically changed their diets since day one which is great to see and a lot more emphasis has been placed on absorption and ‘available’ macronutrients, as opposed to just calories in, calories out. For example, some players now eat wheat-free and get their carbohydrates from more wholefood sources, such as sweet potatoes and fruits.
Supplementation was a key contributing factor in our success to date. Players used a combination of 3-4 of the Kinetica supplements, in particular the Whey Protein, Lean Gain, Oat Gain, 100% Recovery, Omegas, and Essential 4. Our Gainers would often use both Lean Gain and Oat Gain at various times throughout the day to help support their hypertrophy goals. The combination of the two products worked very well; with some players gaining 3kgs on the scales in only a few weeks, whilst also seeing a further improvement in absolute change (reduction in body fat %). Our Burners benefited greatly from the Whey Protein products as they shredded body fat as a result of their nutritional programme whilst making great gains in their strength and fitness thanks to Tom’s effective S&C programming. The Absolutes and Rehabbers groups used a combination of the products and all progressed towards their goals. The Rehabbers efforts and discipline on the nutrition and supplementation front added to the awesome work of the physio team of Dan Ramsden and masseur Ginovanni Fenu.
What remained consistent across the groups was the 100% Recovery. This product proved a massive key to the players’ success and was used following all heavy conditioning sessions whether it was on the pitch, the rower, the bike, etc. The quality and efficacy of this product really did give all our players the edge they needed to consistently train hard and still recover effectively for the next day. Now in season, the 100% Recovery is playing an even more vital role in helping the players recover for 80 minutes of Super League every weekend. We have been truly tested on the recovery front, but with the best fans in the league and Kinetica’s support we feel confident in the challenges presented!