Be better: Training tips from Zach Zenner and Sanford POWER
Pro running back Zach Zenner and Sanford POWER are teaming up to offer ongoing insight and education into athletic performance over a variety of topics:
What are you paying attention to in terms of nutrition?
“I try to look at scientific studies that have been done, and if there’s nothing like that out there I talk to the team nutritionist. I know that’s not available to everyone, but you can make appointments with nutritionists – especially in cities like Sioux Falls. Sanford is a trusted regional expert for sound nutritional advice and guidance to improve your performance.”
A good nutrition plan can help athletes optimize their training, performance and recovery, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all eating plan. The 2016 position statement of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine states that science-based recommendations can and should be tailored to develop a personalized plan that accounts for an athlete’s training schedule, preferences, goals and success with different nutrition and hydration strategies. Working with a Registered Dietitian can help athletes create a well-balanced food plan that contains adequate carbohydrates to fuel their muscles for exercise, protein to build and repair muscle, healthy fans and plenty of variety to help athletes meet their nutrition needs and optimize their sports performance.
Registered Dietitian Lizzie Kuckuk of the Sanford Sports Science Institute is available for virtual nutrition consults on these topics and others.
What exercises do you do at home or on the road when you don’t have access to a traditional gym?
“I do a lot of yoga and stretching at home, and also recovery like foam rolling and rolling with a softball – things like that. Those recovery things are things that anyone can do.”
Performing body-weight or band-resistance exercises is a great introduction to strength training for athletes of any age. This requires little to no equipment, and can be performed at home. It’s a great way to teach the foundational movement patterns that will be used as athletes transition into a weight-room setting and begin to add higher external loads. Body weight or band-resistance exercises to incorporate include: Variations of squats, lunges, push-ups, presses, pull-ups, rows, bear crawls, planks, anti-rotational and jumps.
Being an athlete, you get advice from a lot of different sources. How do you know what to trust?
“I’ve had to find my way through that by figuring out what works best for me, and executing it. Trying different types of things during the off-season, or trying trial runs are always a help. Not everything is for everyone.”
With the Internet and different social media channels, there has been an explosion in information you can access at your fingertips; everyone considers themselves as “expert.” Develop a relationship with a reliable source like Sanford POWER, which is an integrated team of Sanford medical, athletic, exercise, physical therapy and health experts. Sanford POWER is backed by the largest orthopedics and sports medicine group in the region. Make sure your sources are educated in their field, are certified by a national professional organization, experienced and integrated.