For Humber Hawks varsity team athletes, maintaining their athleticism and a good in-game body shape is a hard and grueling process.
Hawks men’s volleyball head coach Wayne Wilkins knows this process very well.
“We work with Humber’s high-performance group who have the team on a strict diet to help them replenish after a game,” Wilkins said.
“The team is on a high-protein low-carb diet trying to make sure they don’t gain weight while still having energy,” he said.
Wilkins said the workouts his team demands more than just practice on the court: two high-performance exercise sessions and one cardio session on their own every week.
The workouts that all of Humber’s varsity teams go through is a demanding process to undertake.
Mark Vassell, a personal trainer for a member of the Hawks men’s cross country, has seen what these types of workouts can do.
“Workouts can get to the point where they feel like vomiting or their muscles hurt so much they need 24 hours to recover,” he said.
Vassell said workout and diet programs are designed into three categories, off-season, pre-season and in-season training.
He said a high protein diet is key during the season, with a focus on staying lean and absorbing enough vitamins to recover for each workout and game day.
“During the off-season they would have to eat more to help build up muscle mass and to recover after each training session,” he added.
“Training is usually two, three hours a day, three days a week but the type of training depends on what sport the athlete plays,” Vassell revealed.
For Vassell’s client, the exercises are of high intensity with runs and circuit workouts.
He said the pressures of varsity sport can cause mental stress.
“Don’t overthink the game and take a break if you really need it regardless if it’s a physical, mental and emotional breakdown, having a break is always important,” Vassell said.
Freshman varsity badminton player Vikranr Thakus believes having a break is one of the most important things an athlete has to take into consideration.
“There is always stress of maintaining a perfect balance between winning games and getting marks, you kind of have to get used to it,” Thakus said.
He said the personal trainers at Humber help them both physically and mentally.
“They have us do stretching and breathing exercises to help make us focus and calm down,” Thakus said.