Considerations For Getting Lean During Your GAA Season
It’s mid January, so many of you have already taken to the field for GAA training.
But with January, you may be looking to shift a bit of bodyfat that accumulated during the off season.
And with any sport, you want to ensure that you’re not impacting performance.
Now first of all, let’s appreciate that GAA is an amateur sport.
So you can’t be expected to live like a pro and not take in the social aspects around it.
But if on a personal level you’d like to cut bodyfat a bit, lean up so you are more confident in yourself and also perform good on the pitch, then that’s cool too.
So today I’ll keep it very simple when talking about leaning out during the season.
The Fundamentals To Fat Loss
The key factor to dropping bodyfat is to be in a calorie deficit.
Simple terms – you expend more energy than you consume.
My view would be to avoid a very big deficit to ensure you still have sufficient energy to recover from training/matches.
So I’d probably start off at a 10% deficit to begin.
Track progress based off how you look, feel and perform.
Noticing getting leaner? Good.
You could also take circumference measurements on your chest, waist and hips to track progress.
Based on rate of progress, you can then alter your calories up or down.
I wouldn’t see the need to go too obsessive over macro’s.
Aim for minimum of 2g of Protein per KG of bodyweight daily.
Then your Fat and Carbs can make up the rest of your kcals.
Hitting your calories and protein would be the 2 key areas I would advise tracking.
Considerations For GAA Matches
If you have a match at the weekend, you will need to fuel up a bit.
When it comes to matches, say it’s 2pm on a Sunday, I’d then work back 24 hours to start fuelling.
So from 2pm Saturday you can cut your fat levels down and start to load up on Carbs to fully replenish glycogen stores as you will need them come match time.
Once again, hit your protein intake.
One thing that may be worth considering is to bring your calories up to a maintenance level at weekends.
This will give you extra energy for matches etc. and also help you recover if you’re hitting the gym and pitch a lot during the week.
When it comes to fat loss, it’s your weekly calorie deficit you aim for.
So if you run a deficit for 5 days and 2 days at maintenance, you will still be in a caloric deficit.
And that means you will be losing fat.
It may be a slow rate of progress, but you will still be ensure you can perform whilst also leaning out week by week.
Once again, it will come down to you as an individual.
Everyone will react differently.
Some may perform okay running a deficit 7 days, others may need diet breaks.
It’s about starting, being consistent, tracking progress, performance and how you feel and then make necessary adjustments.
Nothing is set in stone so educate yourself and tweak things where you see fit.
Pay attention to your body, recover well and all the best in the season ahead.
P.s. If anyone needs help/coaching or just need to clarify a few things, feel free to get in touch @ firstname.lastname@example.org