Faster, Higher, Stronger…yes! But how do elite athletes get there? With a little help from sports science, of course. This is the golden age of athleticism. It’s no coincidence that it’s also the golden age of sports science. Rudraneil Sengupta goes behind the scenes to talk to scientists, coaches and trainers to understand how athletes run faster, jump higher, get stronger, and play longer. If you are interested in sports, muscles, speed, power, strength and agility, press play.
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Standing still, or the shooter episode with Dr Digpal Ranawat
It's not just his Olympic gold. Abhinav Bindra has been a pioneer when it comes to sports science in India as well. He is the first of our athletes who immersed himself in the best practices followed globally and who advocated for it tirelessly. It eventually resulted in the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance or ABTP centres that are spread across India, equipped with the finest technology and knowhow when it comes to sports science. On this episode, the director of ABTP, who was also Bindra's personal physio during his shooting days, speaks about the importance of training and recovery in shooting and the kind of stress that the body goes through trying to hold an unnatural posture with complete stiffness for hours. You thought standing still was easy?
Back injuries, Mirabai Chanu & elite sports physio with Chandani Parsania
In 2018, after Mirabai Chanu won her first Commonwealth Games gold, a back injury threatened to end her career. In this episode, Mirabai's physiotherapist talks about how that problem was fixed, taking us on a fascinating journey through the world of high-performance physiotherapy, the highly scientific and data-driven approach to injury prevention and management, and the pressures and pleasures of trying to make the best athletes in the world even better. Parsania leads the physiotherapy department at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, Karnataka, and also works with Lovlina Borgohain, Mary Kom, and Vinesh Phogat among others.
All about muscle, strength & power with coach Abhinav Manathanath
What is the process of building muscle? What's the difference between training for hypertrophy (increasing muscle size), strength, and power? How is it possible that you can have big muscles but not great strength? What role does the central nervous system (CNS) play in muscle building and how can you harness and train the CNS? How are strength, power or hypertrophy training programs made for elite athletes?
Coach Abhinav is the strength & conditioning expert at Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, and works with India's finest boxers and wrestlers, from Bajrang Punia to Amit Panghal, and worked with Neeraj Chopra ahead of the Tokyo Olympics to return him to full fitness after a surgery to the throwing arm. He shares his deep insight into all things MUSCLE in this episode!
Dehydration: the runner's enemy, with Dr Rajat Chauhan
Are you feeling more fatigued than usual? Do you have unexplained aches and pains? Struggling to do mileage that usually comes easy to you? Chances are, you are dehydrated and you don't know it.
Distance running in India means running in the heat and humidity for most of the year. With extreme heat conditions becoming more frequent, heatwaves getting longer, it has become critical to understand the principles of hydration. What does dehydration do to you? What can you do to prevent it? Does only water help, or do you need electrolytes? Ultramarathon runner Dr Chauhan, who organises one of India's toughest marathons, La Ultra in Ladakh, tackles the tricky subject.
How to train like an elite runner with Hugo Van Den Broek
Understanding the three pillars of endurance running: VO2 Max, Muscle Efficiency and Lactate Threshold, and how to program a training schedule that will address each of these while being a fun, varied workout. How can you calculate your VO2 Max without equipment? Why do you need to know your Maximal Heart Rate to make your training more efficient? How do you calculate it accurately and why is your wearable not trustworthy? Elite running coach Van Den Broek, who runs a training centre in Iten, Kenya, reveals how the best train and why you can use that knowledge to make your running better at any level.
Sleep and the athlete with Dr Sam Pullinger
This is an era of chronic sleep deprivation, triggered largely by our addiction to the screens of our personal devices. But how do athletes deal with sleep deprivation? What's the relationship with sleep and athletic performance? Why should athletes carry their own pillows and switch off their phones at night? Do short naps have any benefits when it comes to performance? And why is it that our strength and power outputs are better in the evening? Is training for elite athletes structured according to the time of day? All those answers and more with Dr Pullinger, the Head of Sports Science at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, where India's finest athletes live and train.