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Gregory Gaultier - one of the best movers on the PSA World Tour

SquashXtra's Guide to Weight-Loss and Fitness Training

Squash is a sport based so much around speed, endurance, and movement.

World-class players are elite athletes, putting themselves through brutal training sessions to be as streamlined and economical as possible.

Simon Rösner (right) v Ramy Ashour (left)

Increase Protein?

Low-carb proponents do also advocate the consumption of more protein however, which is a good thing for the squash player.

Quality protein sources such as lean meats, fish, nuts/seeds, and many dairy products are vitally important to growth and repair of muscles, and also very useful to those trying to cut calorie intake due to their hunger satiating effects.

Training

The second part of the weight-loss puzzle, is physical training. Studies have shown that solid nutritional habits comBInedwith a good exercise programme are the key to unlocking a sustainable reduction in body fat.

The repeated bursts of high intensity effort such as those which the body is subjected to in squash, are actually a great route to calories burning in themselves but one reason squash players may struggle to lose weight from just their usual on-court efforts, is the limitations that their excess weight places on them.

Carrying additional weight puts a lot more strain on joints, connective tissue, and muscles. Squash is a very high impact game, so being significantly overweight can really limit the speed and intensity of movement a player is capable of, and thus restrict them from being able to work sufficiently hard to elevate heart rate and really kick start the calorie burning process.

Interval training’ (often known as ‘HIIT’, or ‘high intensity interval training’) is a popular and well-established modality of exercise, where a workout is scheduled around lower paced activity interspersed with high intensity efforts. This kind of training has been shown to provide a maximal fat burning effect, and an increased metabolic rate that can last for over 24 hours after training.

The simple act of introducing a new physical stimulus in the form of some dedicated fat-burning training and breaking away from just your usual on-court match/training efforts, can really help act as a catalyst to expending more calories – this, in conjunction with some positive dietary changes, will help lead to a cut in that stubbornly stored body fat.

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