Repair your body during the off-season

Getting ready for next year needs to hardly be crazy and intense, even doing more walks or a couple of extra gym sessions per week will help you feel mentally and physically fitter and ready for next year.

The point of a gym programme is generally about decreasing body fat % and perhaps increasing your body muscle %. Here are some top tips for getting your body ready. 

1. Don’t stress

Stress and anxiety produce the chemical cortisol to be released in your body. Not only does this little chemical make you feel fatigued, but it can also increase fat cells to be stored in your body. Therefore if you want to lose those extra pounds quickly, don’t worry about it!

2. Sprints, jogging and walking

Sprinters have the best bodies, toned tummies, good legs and bums. To get just a little bit of what they have, try mixing up your jogging and walking with sprints once a week. Keep your knees high and run on the balls of your feet to get the tummy working. Try sprinting for 30 seconds and jogging / walking for 60 seconds this is a work rest ration of 1:2. Make it harder by doing a sprint for 30 seconds and jogging / walking for 15 seconds (2:1).

By increasing your cardio you can also go for a little walk or a recovery jog if your muscles are feeling sore from the gym or archery the day before.

3. Eat ‘Clean’ 

Eating clean means eating things that you would find either growing or grazing. Fresh meat and vegetables are the key things here. Foods high in protein will keep you fuller for longer and also help repair your muscles. Some tasty examples are chicken, steak, lentils, and nuts to name a few.  Fats are good for you as long as they are natural fats such as olive oils (uncooked), and avocados. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy but choose healthy alternatives like sweet potato and brown rice rather than sugary ones such as cakes. During shoots make sure that you have plenty of healthy snacks to keep you through the day, chose nuts over chocolate and crisps, and eat fresh meat and salad or veggies over a burger.

4. Lift weights 

If you want that toned bum and tum ready for next year, the best way to achieve this is to lift some weights. The best rep and sets for beginners are 5-8 reps for 3-4 sets for compound exercises such as the deadlift, squat and pull up. And for secondary exercises try 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets for exercises such as hip extensions (glute bridges), push-ups, leg press etc. 

Don’t worry you will not get “stacked” only full-time lifters that eat 1000s and 1000s of calories do. Use this in conjunction with your archery exercises to ensure you’re prepped for next year. 

5. Sleep lots 

We have all had a long summer so take advantage of the long nights closing in. People that sleep less actually have more cortisol in their bodies, which means they store more fat. To decrease this make sure that you get enough sleep at night. 

Lack of sleep can also cause you to crave carbohydrates and binge on the bad sugary foods while your body has that decrease in energy and will crave that energy hit. Remember this will affect your archery performance if you sleep more your concentration will be better during your competition days. A little word of warning when it comes to sleep, like everything practice makes perfect, you can’t just binge sleep 10 hours before a competition, if you’re only used to sleeping 5 hours a night, so increase your sleep cycle by 30 minutes every night if you can ideally you should aim for 7-9 hours a night. 

And if you are still stuck with diet or exercise, I am on facebook search @LOSPTjersey and  @LucyOSullivanArchery.

Or instagram @lucy_osullivan1 and @lospersonaltrainer