Five sets of:
Shoulder Press x 2-4 reps
Rest 90 seconds
Weighted Pull-Ups x 2-4 reps
Rest 90 seconds
In teams of two, complete a 800m walk.
Teammates will alternate roles between farmer’s carry and waiter’s carry (demo video). Neither team member may move forward until both team members have assumed their positions – one with DBs/KBs at sides, the other with DBs/KBs overhead. Choose the heaviest DBs/KBs you can handle – one set for the farmer’s carry, and one set (presumably lighter) for the waiter’s carry.
Cramping: Dehydrated or Overhydrated?
The temperatures are starting to pick up and that means we need to be more concerned with staying hydrated. One potential issue that is believed to be in part due to dehydration is muscle cramping. This issue recently became big news in the NBA Playoffs when Lebron James had to leave the first game of the Championship Series due to cramping.
Lots of folks attacked his character claiming he showed a serious sign of weakness by not staying in the game. Some other folks are saying that it’s not his character that’s at fault but more likely his hydration strategy.
“King James” cramped? He must have been dehydrated, right? Not so fast. It’s possible and potentially more likely that he was actually overhydrated and was experiencing a condition known as hyponatremia. This is a condition where the electrolyte (salt) concentration in the blood becomes too low. In athletics this is often caused by taking in too much water or other non-electrolyte containing fluid that causes the blood to become too dilute. When the electrolyte concentration is out of balance the body will start to shut down and cramping can be one of the symptoms.
So, drink Gatorade then right? Once again, not so fast. Commercially ready sports drinks, especially those found in convenience stores aren’t a great source of electrolytes. They’re actually a better source of sugar, which can actually exacerbate the issue of diluting the blood stream.
So, what should you do? Well, in general, forget the old adage of drinking as much water as you can which has run around the endurance community for decades. Tim Noakes, author of Waterlogged suggests that you drink when you are thirsty and quit drinking when you are no longer thirsty … pretty simple. Consider getting a bit more salt in your diet on especially warm days. If you know you are in for a long workout consider some sort of electrolyte supplementation.
The real truth is that we don’t exactly know why muscle cramping happens during exercise. Hydration and electrolyte concentration is likely just one piece of the puzzle. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that your sugary electric blue sports drink is doing you any real good in preventing your muscle cramping. One of the NBA’s biggest sponsors is Gatorade and “King James” is personally sponsored by Powerade, a lot of good that did him.