Optimizing Power-to-Weight Ratio: How Important Is It for Sportspeople?

Health

In most contact sports, it is not always desirable to be the biggest guy in the ring! You want to be strong and powerful, and be able to use that muscle power on your opponent, and not on lugging your own great bulk about. But, it is really down to you to find your happy medium where you carry enough bulk to be strong, but are not too stripped of fat that you’re weak and prone to injury.

However, there is a common myth in strength sports that you need to bulk up in order to grow muscle and be strong. While this is true to a point, you certainly don’t need to gain too much fat. What you would need in order to grow muscle is to be in a calorie surplus state, i.e. consume more calories than you need to maintain your weight (protein intake aside), and by doing this a little fat deposition is inevitable and nothing to worry about.

Losing Fat / Gaining Muscle Regimens

From a scientific viewpoint, it is not possible to gain muscle while being in an energy deficit state, because the fact is that muscle growth is an energy-requiring process. You should not be thinking: “Oh the price of this fat burner is cheap and maybe it will work on me!” Most of them don’t. You can only lose body fat in the energy deficit condition; the trick to weight loss while gaining muscle is to fluctuate your body between being energy surplus and deficit at different times of the day, or weeks, through diet and exercise. However, if the goal is to lose body fat extremely strictly, then it is not possible to gain muscle at the same time, as there are far too insufficient energy reserves for muscle growth.

Meals should be small but regular. In order to keep growing, keep the protein intake high. Key to losing fat lies in careful manipulation of the carbohydrate intake, i.e. carbs should be low, but not totally omitted. Consume the complex starchy carbohydrate foods regularly, but only in small portions. You will also have to be that little bit stricter in avoiding candy and junk food, of course!

Exercise and Fat Loss

Both weight and cardiovascular training should remain intense. You need to continue to train hard, as your calorie intake will not be very low and you will be including regular carbohydrates. To achieve optimum results, as well as your weight and fighting training, also try to include 30-40 minutes’ cardiovascular exercise or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) twice a week, in order to preferentially burn fat while maintaining muscle mass. This should be done on a different day or a different time of day as weight training so as not to interfere with nutrients required for muscle growth.