In part 2 of our look at illegal performance enhancers we are going to look at the issue of drugs in sport from a slightly different perspective.
But before we get to far into it let me make one thing clear. In no way, shape or form do I condone or support the use of illegal performance enhancers, this post is designed to merely highlight the issues that athletes face in the race to remain at the top of their game.
One of the major arguments against the legalisation of drugs in sport is the unfair playing field it will create. Those that choose not to use certain aids or cannot afford them will be left to struggle behind. However, we already have these situations existing in elite sport today, in a legal manner. There are many countries that put a lot more funding into their athletes through talent identification schemes, sports institutes & sponsorships ensuring that athletes that come through these systems are far better prepared to compete at the highest level of competition.
Just look at the British cycling team at the last Olympics, heavily funded through the support from the British lottery system they absolutely dominated the track cycling events. The funding they received surely far surpassed that from any other cycling team giving them the unfair advantage they needed to get themselves to the top. Hardly a level playing field.
The pressure placed on our great athletes to perform from the public and the media can also be overwhelming. They are treasured as national heroes when they win or perform well but if they are unlucky enough to have an off day and not perform well then they are ridiculed relentlessly. There is also great pressure to perform from sponsors who want to be associated with the best. Pressures to perform such as these may lead many athletes down the wrong path to avoid this ridicule and stay on top of their game and in favour with the media, fans and sponsors.
Another sad fact we must face is that some athletes crave the feeling they get from winning and being successful so badly that they do not care what they have to do to keep on winning even if it means breaking the rules. The buzz they get from being ‘the champion’ is far more important than the morals of winning legitimately.
We would love to know your thoughs on this topic or any suggestions you have to improve current drugs in sport policies.
Image Credit: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/346258/the-beijing-medal-haul-eight-gold-four-silver-two-bronze.html
Are you in need of a butt whipping after a big weekend? It’s time to “Man Up” and get stuck into our Man Up Monday workout. But be warned these workouts are designed to be intense and are not for the faint hearted. Make sure you post your results.
Chin Ups/ Horizontal Pull ups
(Superset for 4 sets @ 15, 12, 9, 6 reps)
Standing Shoulder Press
(Superset for 3 sets @ 15, 12, 9 reps)
Medicine Ball Seated Twist
(Superset for 2 sets @ 15, 12 reps)
D/B Chest Press
(Superset for 1 set @ 15 reps)
You should aim to have the weight for each exercise set so that on the first set you reach fatigue and keeps the same weight but the reps will drop as the exercise progress through the sets.Make sure you get all of the reps out even if you have to pause at some stage challenge yourself to not stop prematurely. Your rest time between sets should also be minimal so try and have each exercise set up before you start.
This week for a great Lazy Sunday of fun activity, why not grab a friend and head to your nearest indoor rock climbing center. There are some Rock Climbing centers scattered around and there is sure to one not too far from you and a session will generally cost less than $30. Check them out below:
There are also some great physical benefits from rock climbing. It is a fantastic full body workout with great strength benefits. This is largely due to the fact that it requires such dynamic strength. You will be required to use muscles and strength in ways you will not use them for anything else. It is also great for your flexibility especially when you have to stretch out that little bit extra to reach the rock that is just out of your grasp.
I hope you enjoy your Lazy Sunday and we would love to hear about your Rock climbing experience.
Image Credit: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/holidaytype/adventure/655048/out-there-10-aussie-extreme-sports
With the Tour de France currently in full swing and a host of Australian’s working hard and doing us proud. The raft of controversy that generally surrounds the tour and the legitimacy of its riders is surely not to far away.
Whenever a conversation about drugs or illegal performance enhancers in sport starts, unfortunately cycling is not to far off the top of the list of sports discussed.This possibly has something to do with the tour in 2009 being the first time since since 2005 that a rider has not tested positive to a banned substance throughout the race, a very disturbing record.
But, is that a good sign? Its a fine balance, you may say yes, the testing procedures are finally starting to stamp out the cheats, or on the other hand one of the big issues that drug testers face in sport is that the science and funding behind developing new and improved ways to illegally improve performance is far greater than the resources available to testing agencies. This lack of adequate resources leaves a large hole in the process and may allow many athletes to slip through the cracks undetected especially as the testers play catch up looking for new ways to detect the ever evolving performance enhancing methods.
Another major issue is that many performance enhancing substances such as Erythropoietin (EPO) and testosterone are hormones that naturally occur in the human body. So testing is more about detecting abnormally high levels of these hormones, and those that initiate their production within the body. This may allow drug cheats room to used a banned substance and as long as they are smart enough to stay below threshold levels it is unlikely that they will get caught.
It is unfortunate that those who choose to follow the rules are disadvantaged and must work so much harder to keep in touch with those who break the rules. But if they keep at it victory would be all the sweeter knowing it was done with out illegal help.
I would like to believe that all of these extraordinary athletes stay at the top of their game through hard work, blood, sweat and tears but unfortunately in many cases we will never be 100% certain of the truth and will always have some element of doubt as to the legitimacy of the greatness some athletes have achieved.
Stay tuned for part 2 soon.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic.
Kicking off our Lazy Sunday series of ideas for a lovely Sunday afternoon packed full of activity and exercise is the brand new ice skating facility in The Docklands ‘Icehouse’
Icehouse has 2 olympic sized ice skating rinks so there is plenty of room for you to get your skates on carve up the ice. Skate sessions generally last for about 2 hours with numerous sessions through out the day. Be sure to check out the website below for all the timetable info.
Cost per session in around $20 including skate hire, but dont be afraid if you have never skated before you can get a 15 minute introductory lesson prior to the session for $5.
For more details click here to go to the Icehouse website
Image Credit: http://inkywrists.ie/category/news/
Recovery, it’s a word that I’m sure all of us have heard and know how important it can be in regards to exercise, but how many of use actually put into place a strategy that will help us to recover from exercise faster, so that we are ready to tackle another training session sooner? This article will look at three strategies that have been shown to be effective at helping you to recover and can be done at home for a relatively low ongoing cost. A study by Gill, Beaven & Cook, showed that these three strategies were able to help you recover from exercise up to twice as fast as if you were to do nothing.
The first strategy is active recovery; this involves performing light low impact exercise for around 10 minutes after an intense training session. The best way to do this would be cycling at between 60-100 RPM, or a 10 minute light walk immediately after you finish your workout. This method has been shown to improve blood circulation and increase the rate at which lactate is removed from your muscles.
Another method that was tested with great result was wearing a compression garment after exercise. In the study mentioned above, participants were asked to wear a compression garment (ie: skins, Under Armour, 2XU, etc) for 12 hours after exercise. This was found to greatly improve the ability of various physiological variables within your body to return to near normal levels after exercise.
Finally we have contrast water therapy. This recovery method involves alternating between hot water & cold water which can easily be done in a shower, by spending 1 minute under cold water then about 2 minutes under hot water and repeating this at least 2-3 times. It has been proposed that this helps your muscle to “pump” out any lactate by constricting and dilating blood vessels.
So after your next hard training session give one of these methods a try and see if it helps you to recover and feel a little better that little bit sooner.