Fitball founder Kameron Jaff combines footballing skills with endurance exercises
Fitball Factory is a workout concept providing group-training classes that combine football drills with strength and cardio interval training. These workouts are designed to improve technical aspects of your game and get you in to shape, whether your goals are football or fitness related. In the second of a series of articles founder Kameron Jaff explains how fitball benefits endurance.
The whole idea about fitball is to bring a football into the workouts to make them as engaging and as fun as possible. So rather than telling someone to run five kilometres we’re getting people exercising with a ball at their feet. In terms of the endurance work with the ball, we have a number of exercises we’ll do in a session.
We do these both with and without the ball. It’s where you have a line of cones and you run back and forth to different ones. When you get to each cone you do a trick with the ball to challenge yourself and also to improve your footballing skills. We want to try and replicate what a game situation is actually like in the workouts, which you don’t get with just doing a long distance run, for instance. Football is a mixture of sprinting, jogging, turning and so on, not just running in a straight line.
Full body exercise
After suicides we’ll do a move that works most muscles, such as burpees. The idea with endurance exercises is to get creative with periods of high intensity, low intensity and rest, all with the ball involved as much as possible. A burpee is a whole body movement targeting big muscle groups, like the glutes, hamstrings and pectoral muscles. It works the core and acts as a cardio workout with high repetitions. We use the ball to do kick-ups between reps or something similar.
What you eat and drink has a big impact on your endurance. You don’t want to be going too heavy on the carbs, but you need the right amount before a workout. You also don’t want to be going in to exercise full of junk food, sugars and chocolate. Sweet potato and whole-grain pasta are good energy sources to have a few hours before you do exercise. Also include some protein – chicken, turkey, beans and lentils to give you what your body needs to keep high energy levels. Drinking Red Bull a few hours before a work out is also beneficial for keeping you going throughout the session. If you want to become lean, or stronger, your diet will be different to that of a footballer. Carbs, although a great source of energy, if they’re not ultilised go into your fat store, so you want to make sure if you’re eating carbs you’re working out afterwards.