5 Training Tactics to get you in shape for the New Season

It’s common to get nervous around the start of the new season, whether you have a team to join or you’re looking for one. Here’s our tips to get in shape.

The camaraderie and mutual support in a group can give you a positive boost to achieve your goals. And if you don’t like the group, you can always leave and try something else. Nothing to lose!


Group activities, especially team sports often have these 4 things in common…

  • Rely on short bursts of activity, repeated over and over again
  • Last between 1 and 2 hours, and need a certain amount of endurance
  • Have a small power element – shooting, attacking or reacting
  • Need awareness, agility, balance and good reactions

Good news (yay)! You can train for all of these aspects. Focusing on training that is more specific to your activity can help you become more competitive and to get the most out of every session.

Here are our 5 handy tips to prepare you for team activities…


Run Them Ragged with Interval Training

Whether you’re running for a ball, or dashing across deck, recovery rates and cardio fitness are going to help you compete.

Mimic a real game with short burst of intense activity by building repeat sprints into your workout. Let’s say you are doing 15 mins of jogging on the treadmill. Try switching to 2 mins of jogging followed by 30 seconds of sprinting, then go back to jogging again. Repeat this throughout your session. It’ll help to train the energy systems that you use for sport.

Here’s an article you may find useful: Interval training the Benefits.


Last The Distance via Endurance Training

Endurance training is all about staying power. At least once a week, take your normal cardio regime (running, rowing, swimming etc.) and try to add at least 25% to the duration, but drop your speed.

We’ve got loads of great advice in our articles, The Beginners Guide to Being Fit and 8 Simple Steps for First-time Runners will help you understand what to do next.


Bring out the Beast through Resistance Training

Resistance training is any form of exercise that resists the movement of your muscles (e.g. weightlifting) forcing them to grow stronger.

Resistance training will help you to improve strength and power for shooting, attacking or reacting in almost any sport. This could be body-weight exercises like press-ups or a using some of the weights machines at the gym. If you’re looking for some handy hints, try our article on Weightlifting here.


Keep your Body in Balance with Flexibility Training

You can improve both your agility and balance by working on your flexibility. Flexibility is defined by the range of motions that your body can go through, without damaging itself. Different team sports will require different levels and areas of flexibility. This will also help you to increase your performance in other areas such as Resistance Training, allowing you to keep better form and target your strength in a safer, more controlled manner.

Yoga offers a great all round angle on flexibility and also core strength, you can check out our recommendations for 10 types of yoga here and if you’re looking to improve your form, why not take a look at Mountain Pose and Downward Facing Dog, or the Sun Salutation.


Recover for next time by perfecting your Nutrition

Eat around 2 hours before and 1 hour after training or playing. This will help you keep your energy levels up. Lots of people forget to drink water during sports training sessions too. Keep a bottle by the side of the court/pitch and drink from it little and often, it will make sure you can maintain concentration.

Here’s our three top tips for budding athletes:

Toning Up – The Science

Here is the complete guide to everything you need to know about toning up.

  • What is toning up?
  • How can you tone up?
  • Can you tone up in different areas?

What is toning up?


Toning up is a common thing many of us want to achieve through various tummy, arm or bum exercises. But what exactly is it?

It often get’s misused as a standalone concept, away from fat loss and muscle bulking. However, without a combination of the two toning up wouldn’t be an option.

Toning happens when you remove layers of fat between the muscles and the skin. It is here that your muscles can then be become more noticeable, firm and refined, giving you a toned look. Overall, when you tone up you are essentially losing fat and gaining muscle.

How can you tone up?

We can get more noticeably leaner, more trimmed and firm by undertaking a combination of 3 activities.






Weight lifting

Weight training is the perfect way to lose weight and develop leaner looking muscles, without bulking them out. As you push your muscles gradually with weights, they get stronger.

If practised regularly, your muscle cells then start to develop leaner protein that is noticeable. This is good because your growing muscles will continue to require more energy than fat cells, pushing up your metabolism rate to use more energy from the fat stores. Ultimately, your fat cells then shrink leaving you looking more toned.

To find out how to lift check out our blog and challenge sections.


70% of your weight loss comes from the right diet. To shed pounds and get a little more toned, you have to choose foods which are full of nutrients, making it harder for body to break these nutrients away from one another. This prevents sugar highs and sugar lows during digestion. As a result, your body is not desperately seeking any more food, reducing sugar fluctuations in the blood and making you feel less hungry for longer. You have not consumed any excess calories, so less of them get stored as fat.

Getting a good balance between the combination below is important for achieving tone:

  • Leaner proteins
  • Browner carbohydrates
  • Healthier Fats

To find out more about these visit our relevant blogs and challenges here to get more nutrition into your diet.

Interval training

To counteract the weight gain through any excess calories consumed, it necessary to use them up through physical activity. We can do this efficiently by having the perfect cardiovascular combination of high to low intensity workouts.

Interval training is well known for its “afterburn effect”. After only 20 minutes of a cardiovascular workout, you can still be burning fat when you’re sat on your sofa.
This is known as “excess-post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPEOC). The more exercise you do, the more oxygen you consume. This causes your metabolic rate to be higher because the more you are using up energy and hence calories. This energy is taken from the quick breakdown of fats as they are more calories dense, leading to fat loss.

To find out more about interval training, check out our challenges and blog.



Can you tone up in different areas?

Let’s firstly dispel the myth that you can tone up in certain areas, otherwise commonly known as “spot reduction”. There are loads of tummy, bottom and thigh “tone up” exercises out there to chose from.

Here’s why they don’t work:

1. The muscle areas that you work upon does not reflect the fat areas your are trying to lose to tone up and look leaner

Fat cells are made up triglycerides which cannot be directly converted energy for the muscle cells to keep functioning. Fat loss occurs through the breakdown of triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerides. these fat components are then let loose into the bloodstream and are then used as energy.

Forget about the specifics, research shows that fat loss can come from any part of the body leading to a reduction in your total body fat.

2. Many of the spot reduction tone up techniques do not allow you to burn many calories compared to other workouts.

To lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume within your food. If you cannot exceed the calorie levels of your food, then you will either stay at the same weight or even gain weight. Calories are the energy components of your food that if left unspent during inactive times are stored as fat within your cells.

8 Simple Steps For First Time Runners

You’re only 8 steps away from setting yourself up for running success. Let us help you to equip yourself with the know-how and attitude to keep you going out for a run in all types of weather!


1. Start today.
Don’t think about doing it tomorrow or next month. What are you waiting for? You can run anywhere, anytime. You can do as little or as much as you want. Even running to your nearest supermarket counts!

2. Pace yourself.
Run at a speed you’re comfortable with. Starting off lightly can prevent your body from overworking itself – only build yourself up to faster speeds when you’re ready.

3. Get the right running shoes.
Go to a running shop and get yourself fitted for running shoes that compliment your shoe type. You will be doing your feet a favour by giving them room to breathe with fewer blisters and injuries!

4. Be optimistic.
See running as a learning experience. It’s a chance to test out what speeds, tracks, times and locations work for you. The trick is to keep trying out new things and learning from exercises that aren’t right for your needs.

5. Always run against the traffic.
This is really important if you’re going to be running in an urban area – you can see any cars coming towards you, and you can avoid any injuries and accidents.

6. Focus on yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to other runners and how well they are doing – everyone has their own goals and their own running paces. Running is individualised so keep at your own pace, and don’t get disheartened!

7. Listen to your body.
When your body is slowing down, allow it. It is only through building up running exercises slowly that you can run faster and run longer.

8. Motivate yourself.
From losing weight to training for a 5k marathon, motivation is personal thing. Find a goal that will keep you going for your next run!

Good luck! For more advice and info you can follow us on Twitter; if you have any problems, you can talk to one of our experts – email coach@nudjed.com.