Nutrition for Basketball Players

This is a little paper I typed up to help basketball players achieve the proper nutrition for their sport. A lot of athletes eat improper which could lead to decreased performance. I you want to reach your full potential it is very important to give your body proper nutrition Nutrition Tips for basketball players

Life is a Bell curve

As I am about to come up on my first full year without school I began to notice a lot in the world. The biggest thing I have notice is that the bell curve still applies to just about everything. The one topic in particular is the abilities of trainers. I have had the chance to visit and talk to many trainers from different walks of life. Each bring something unique to the table. But i still notice that even in the same facility trainers will still stay true to the bell curve. I find that trainers that share the same certifications will have completely different skill levels when dealing with clients. I see one trainer who walks his clients from machine to machine and basically becomes a human rep counter. The other will take a similar client and teach them how to use free weights. I can’t say which is wrong or right because sometimes you won’t be able to do a lot of exercises due to limitations(personally lean towards teaching clients how to move properly). How can a professional who have the same certifications perform exercises that are detrimental to their client. I guess I haven’t been in the business long enough to understand why those trainer decide that it’s important to take their clients money like that. I guess it shocks me because I expect better from professionals in this field but I guess people will always fall under the bell curve.

Is Calorie Counting the right way to diet?

I have been on several diets in my life time and I have gotten results with just about every diet.  The problem that occurs is when I stop following the diet.  I gain the weight back. The most common diet that happens in the world is the Calorie restriction diet. Most people who will tell you if you want to lose weight just cut back on your portions. Calories In has to less than Calories out.  Well is this the right way to diet? When you follow a diet like that you’re going to be hungry( I don’t mean hungry I mean hungry hungry).  There has to be a way in which you can diet without having to cut back on all your meals.  Maybe it’s the type of foods that we eat.  I did have a chance to read Gary Taubes book Why we get Fat and what to do about it. He says that when people go on caloric restricted diets people will lose some weight but eventually they will reach a plateau. The reason for that is the body will lower a person metabolism to accommodate the restricted food intake.  So what do you do now? Keep restricting food until the person is surviving on nothing more than a peanut a day? There is no way that will occur. A dieter will throw their diet in the trash and begin eating how they were before.  So why don’t we ask the dieter to exercise instead of eating less. That will create a negative caloric intake as well right?  Exercise will make you more hungry so what happens a person eats more to make up the calories that they burned off through physical activity.  Exercise will make you more hungry. So once again you are hungry will lose some weight maybe builds some muscle but eventually you will eat more again.
Now what if you decide to change what you eat instead of how much you ate? Can you lose weight that way?  A lot of caloric counting addicts will say that wont work and a Calorie is a Calorie. In my mind I will say that is illogical. Let’s think about that statement  “A Calorie is a Calorie.” So you’re telling me that a calorie from a piece of Steak is the same as a Calorie from a hot fudge brownie sundae?  If you say yes then you honestly don’t know how body interacts with the food you eat.  The Macro nutrients are Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins.  Each macronutrients are made of different chemical  combinations and each macronutrients interacts with your body in a different way.  A people who say a Calorie is a Calorie is an oversimplification.  In Gary Taubes book he states starchy foods are the reason why we get fat. His reasoning behind this is that starchy/flour based products causes your insulin levels to elevate. Insulin is know in the body as the Fat storage hormone. When your body is circulating high levels of insulin your fat cells are more adept to storing fat.  Insulin also causes mobilization of fat to stop. So eating starchy foods will cause you to store more fat and keep you from burning fat.  Essential that you keep starchy foods out of your diet and keep Insulin levels low. Protein does cause and insulin response but it is nowhere near as high as starchy Carbohydrates. Fats don’t even elicit an insulin response in the body. So as person diet would consist of fruits and Vegetables, Meats with potatoes and rice at a minimum. There is no restriction on how much you eat( as long as it is in reason).
This is just my thoughts on dieting I have been through a lot different of diets and I am tired of my weight going up and down. If you are tired of the same thing then I ask that you pick up one of Gary Taubes book or at least listen to his lectures on YouTube and make a decision from that.

Random Thoughts and good reads

In the last couple of weeks I have been reading and working  pretty hard so I haven’t had time to write but I have had time to read bring in new material In the last couple of weeks I have had plenty of thoughts I will lay down some of my thoughts down.

Adipure Trainers
I bought a pair of Adipure Trainer Shoes in the middle of March. Now that I have some wear and tear on those bad boys I think it is appropriate to give my review of the shoe I will go more in depth about them in a later post. When I first got the Adipure. I had some familiarity with minimalist shoes( Nike free).  Unfortunately it is very rare that they make shoes my size( size 16) I was able to fit in to a size 15 without a problem. The shoes have a flexible fabric and they stretch some to accommodate everyone foot.  That being said the sizes are not done the same way as Vibrams where it is European sizes and they measured by the longest toe.  Adidas went with traditional shoes size so if you have weird shaped feet be warned they may not feet well. I personally had a problem with my last pinkie toe getting rubbed on the inside between the toes. So the first week of wearing those shoes was painful until the skin calloused over. After I allowed my feet to heal Everything seemed to fall in place. The  fabric has stretched out my arch started to get  stronger and I was able to push myself harder in my workouts. It is a great show but as a big person I would weary about working out in these day after day. Make sure you carry another pair of shoes so you can switch when you can.

Fat Head Documentary
Now the if you have NetFlix I high recommend this documentary it is very informational on nutrition and how the guidelines need to be change in the United States. Tom Naughton the creator of this movie was a stand up comedian and now computer programmer and he does a lot of individual research on health and nutrition. Also he decides that the Super Size Me experiment was false and Morgan Spurlock falsified his food diary. I have seen the movie about three times and if you don’t have Netflix here is a link of the movie on youtube.

Quote from Gary Taubes book Why we Get Fat
In this book he  had one statement that stuck with my mind  Overeating does make you Fat but Being Fat( or making fat) makes you overeat. It was a very simple statement that makes a lot of sense if you sit and think about it.  Lets break it down I have seen people overeat a lot and not gain weight and on the other end of that spectrum I have seen people eat little( for their size)  and are still pretty big.  Let’s look at it like this the average american male eats roughly 2000 calories a day.  If his body decides to make fat. The fat cells will take a portion of his food every time he eats. So now the body is only getting 1500 calories a day. So now the body is in a deficit so now what?  The body sends a signal to the brain telling you that it is still hungry and to go get something to eat.   So now you go eat a little more. The fat cells take there portion of the food and you still want to get one more bit just to be sure you got your daily caloric intake.

Nutrition Rant

I want to thank the United States Education for this.  A  Calorie is a Calorie that is plain and simple.  Unfortunately the laws Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed which I will not argue because I believe that law stands true.  Unfortunately anyone who understands that law also believes that they are a nutritionist. If you believe that a calorie from a slice of cheese cake is the same as a calorie from a filet of grilled salmon. You may want to turn in your highschool diploma and start over again. If you believe that nutrition is as simple as balancing your calories. Then you honestly don’t know what is going on inside your body.  For example a double cheese burger from McDonald has 490 Kcal. In order for me 6’5” 250lbs person to burn that burger off I would have to run at a 7 mph pace for 25 minutes.  Not to mention if I ate a medium fries and a soda to drink( equals a whopping 960 calories)  I would have to run for 44 mins at the same pace.  That’s not including breakfast, or dinner.  A lot of people use calorie counters to restrict the amount of food they eat. If you keep restricting your food intake eventually your metabolism will slow down and your will stop losing weight and when you quit counting calories you will gain the weight back plus more.  Remember a Calorie is not a Calorie Think before you eat.

My Favorite Lower Body Exercises

I have been exercising for a majority of my life and throughout my time in gym I have been partial  to a few exercises. When I see those exercises on my program I get excited like a young teenage girl about to see Hunger games.  So in the Post I want to show My 5 favorite Lower body exercise I recommend given them a try if you haven’t already.

5. Back Squat/Front Squats
 I truly believe that this exercise will withstand the test of time. This is the basic exercise to build strength in your lower limbs.  I usually only go to 90 degrees( upper thigh parallel to floor) but I have at one period of time squat ATG(Ass to Grass).  There is a big myth that squats are bad for your knees but I haven’t had any problem with knees. Having a strong lower body will greatly improve the quality of your life.  I was first introduced to back squats in the 8th grade. I had a very good strength coach who taught me great technique and it was easy for me to do.  If you don’t squat you should think about incorporating them into your program.

4. Trap Bar Deadlift
The Trap Bar Deadlift is a variation of the traditional dead lift which is a great exercise to develop the Posterior chain of the body( Hamstring, Glutes Back extensors). The hex bar is move of a manly hula hoop  that you can add weight to. The trap bar dead lift is supposed to be more back  friend rather than traditional dead lifts. Because the back level is shorter than traditional deadlift. Professionals are now starting to consider the Trap Bar Dead lift and hybrid exercise due to the amount of knee flexion compared to traditional deadlifts.  Great exercise I completely recommend it.

3. Walking Lunges
I have always hated walking Lunges because I would almost without fail be very sore the next day.  It is a very dynamic exercise That requires power, stability, strength. If you want a great lower body exercise walking lunges. Sometimes I still have flash back from the first time I perform walking lunges properly. I couldn’t sit right for a week.

2. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats
RFESS  also known as the Bulgarian(Romanian whatever country) split squats.  I used to perform this exercise as a supplement exercise for my legs. Up until early 2011  I was learned that you can also perform this exercise pretty heavy not to mention there is a huge stability component of this exercise. I found that you can work you legs just as hard if not harder than the back squats without putting too much weight on your back. The limiting factor in the back squat is not your legs. It is your back you’re only able to squat as much weight as your back will allow.   But by going to single leg you can load up more weight on your body one leg at a time.  When I first started performing RFESS I was working with  135 lbs on my back and honestly it was kicking my butt. Now I can do 205 lbs comfortably and I noticed that my legs feel stronger than they have in years.

1. Pistol Squats 

I take pride in my leg strength it was something that I was naturally good at and I worked hard at trying to improve. In college I was able to squat 565lbs. I was a beast but when we got a new strength coach he felt my squat was strong enough in the bilateral since but he wanted see how strong we were unilaterally. So he started incorporating pistol squats and Single leg Dead lifts The first day I tried to do a pistol squat I could not go anywhere near parallel. It was unbelievable. How can a person with a 500 lbs squat barely perform an average pistol squat. It made me angry but at the same time open up my eyes as to how strength is relative to your goals. I see power lifters throwing up huge numbers. I see body weight people able to perform muscles ups and Full ATG Pistol squats it is truly amazing to how the body can adapt to stimulus.

Honorable mentions
Single leg Straight leg Deadlifts
Stability ball Leg Curls
Hip Thrusters
Traditional Dead lifts.

Welcome to SmithFitness

This is my first post my name is Desmond Smith I am Health Fitness Specialist  I love everything about health and Fitness and I want to share my passion for Health and Fitness with everyone else I was a former basketball player I played for the Panama National team and I played for the Reno Big Horns in the NBA Development League.  This Blog is here to help those get new information about new trends in the Health and Fitness industry.