There's no excuse for cramp in the Premier League

“I have to admit I get surprised when I see players go down with Cramp.” - Dan Gosling, Bournemouth

ONE of the Premier League’s most combative and energetic midfield players believes elite players should never cramp.

Dan Gosling, Bournemouth’s tough tackling midfield lynchpin, has told totumsport.com that the very sight of fellow players cramping constantly surprises him, particularly in an age where players have the tools and the knowledge to avoid such issues.

The 30-year-old former Newcastle and Everton player is a professional who like most players nowadays, is obsessive about his health, nutrition and the benefits they bring to his performance and recovery.

Gosling is someone his Manager Eddie Howe describes as a “true leader”, and is clearly a benchmark player for the genial coach.

Howe needs as many leaders on the pitch as he can get, as his side find themselves in the sharp-end of a Premier League dog fight between now and the end of the season.

In between fighting for his Club’s life in the top tier the former England U21 took some time speak with totumsport.com about his hydration strategies, of which Totum Sport plays a significant role. 

Apart from his views on fatigue and cramping, Gosling speaks about how injury and recovery from injuries is as much part of the professional game as performance and training.

During Dan Gosling’s last layoff, a nasty hip injury sustained “out of the blue” last year, Gosling began using Totum Sport as part of his recovery strategy and he continues to take the hydration solution every day, including on down days. 

Dan, would you speak to us about the importance of Recovery in Football, and your own Recovery regime?

After every session we will have cryo chamber, which means putting your body in temperatures of -130 degrees for two minutes. Personally I will use this every day as I find the benefits huge. I will usually have massages twice a week, minimum, all over the muscles and particularly on the upper body, back and shoulders, which alleviate tightness and stiffness. Ice baths are used regularly, but not after a leg session in the gym. Typically I will go through recovery sessions every Monday (after games) for about 30 minutes. 

Of course dietary requirements are essential to the recovery process with food and proper hydration supplements essential, and that’s where I use Totum Sport. There are a range of supplements available from the club as well. But in a nutshell and throughout the year a typical daily routine will be training, chamber for two minutes, game ready work – on my knee in particular, massage twice a week, strength and conditioning in the gym, one leg session on a Tuesday  and add to that, I take part in a robustness circuit (no longer than 5-10 minutes which help with hamstring conditioning). 

As the season enters its final phase is Recovery (apart from injury) the biggest challenge for you, particularly as you become an older player? 

To be fair last couple of years I have taken Recovery far more seriously. Our training sessions are quite physical. I know this can differ from club to club, but I think the amount of Recovery for top clubs and top players is now one of the most important elements of the game. 

But yes, I’m 30 now, so my Recovery is different than it was when I was much younger. For example I will never skip a ‘Game Ready’ or a massage, which are fundamental for me for every game Recovery and Preparation. As we head towards the final part of the season it really matters that you’re 100% in these areas, because it’s a long hard season in the Premier League and by the end your Recovery is everything.

Can you talk to me about how you look after yourself in your recovery process from injury – I totted up the amount of time that you were out injured in your long career for various injuries, and it comes to around two years (733 days) – which is probably typical for a player as combative as you. 

Everyone is different but for me I am a mentally strong character, I will get over setbacks within a few hours. I’m not able to mope around for days or weeks afterwards and for me the Recovery begins the moment you suffer an injury so it’s really important to treat is as a normal part of the game and get into a good state mentally.

For longer injuries and the impact that they can have on you, well I’ve been quite lucky in being around really good people who help me to deal with that. A lot of players have been through long injuries, I was out for a while last year,  which brought me into the beginning of this season. When I was a young player I got a serious knee injury, from which I missed 10 months. Because you never think you’re going to suffer a serious injury as a youngster, I didn’t really understand and it was very, very difficult. But now, I understand my body so well. Young boys don’t see that yet, so when it happens, it can be quite a shock to get over that, let alone to start the Recovery process as positively as you can. 

I would say that especially during the past three or four years I fully understand more what I need to do and the mind I need to be in to recover. I know where I need to get, what strength I need to, so it’s very much working within the parameters of a very specific strength programme. As I say, I am a mentally strong character, so I am very lucky. 

You have to remember too, that the shock of an injury really comes out of the blue. My last injury, I was training well, I felt good and didn’t miss a day. But then out of nowhere, I passed the ball, and ruptured my a muscle in my hip.

 

I have to admit I get surprised when I see players go down with Cramp. You don’t see it that often in the Premier League, but in other leagues in particularly. I am a fairly fit guy, and I rarely get cramp to be honest. You might get a touch of it at preseason, the start of the season or coming back from a long term injury. I do remember once I got DOMS in both calves and couldn’t walk, but generally it’s not something I suffer with.

Can you talk to me a little about how Totum Sport fits in with your overall Performance and Recovery Strategy?

I started using Totum Sport when I got injured (last summer and was out for three months from pre-season into the start of this season). I made a full recovery and came back strong, and I’ve been injury free ever since. I haven’t had any setbacks since I got back – so it (Totum Sport) clearly has an effect. I’ve been taking it every day and so far, no niggles, despite playing regularly. Over the busy Christmas period I played almost all of time, so it’s definitely given me something extra. 

I take the product before I play, then one at half time, and one at full time to help begin the post-match recovery process.

Dan Gosling’s Typical Diet:

Breakfast: 

I get to the club for breakfast at 8.45am and  straight for breakfast. There’s a wide choice of food, primarily protein pancakes, turkey, smoothies, scrambled eggs.

I’ll usually have a two-egg omelette, a green smoothies, avocado and porridge, but nothing too fancy, maybe some nuts as well.

I also have coffee every morning, then 

Lunch: 

For lunch there is lots of protein, I go for fish, sometimes chicken, and I will have red meat, definitely once a week. 

For carbs at lunchtime there is a choice of rice, pasta, potatoes. Because I run a lot, I need to stock up on carbs. Some people think it’s the devil, but for me it’s a must, and I eat as much veg as I want – a veg rainbow. But definitely no pizza or junk food, obviously.

Dinner:

If I’m not away with the club I eat at home, and I will always have a big dinner. I like to feel full after it, to cut out the need for extras, I don’t like snacking. For dinner I will eat pasta, usually a Spaghetti Bolognese or something like that. Like at lunch, I will eat fish twice a week, possibly three times. I’ll eat less carbs at dinner time at the start of the week, and as the week goes on this will increase the closer I get to a game. 

I will always have a bottle of water in my hand most of the time. 

Pre-match:

For breakfast on match-day I will have a very basic breakfast, usually porridge. We will usually eat at midday and I will usually eat a three-egg omelette, avocado and toast, and I might also have a bowl of granola in a bowl. There’s a good variety for pre-match meals, including pasta, sweet potatoes and rice, but I keep it quite simple. 

Then, as I leave the dressing room I take my Totum’, which is now part of my overall regime, not just on match and training days, but on down days.

Post-match: 

I take a Totum Sport immediately after the game, but after a game the food is much different than for the rest of the week. Post-match is a Saturday night takeaway - not every week – but when I do, a Chinese, an Indian or pizza. It’s sort of my ‘cheat day’. If we’re away from home we’ll probably have pasta, salmon, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

Holiday and Breaks 

When I was a bit younger I would have a club sandwich by the pool and other pool snacks, but not so much anymore, outside of breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can’t really do that anymore with the pool snacks and lots of alcohol on holidays due to the massive demands of pre-season. So if you’re doing that every day of the holidays, and I’ve learned over the years, that you need to calm down on the food that’s not going to be good for you. That can also be quite difficult given the food in these hotels is so great. I will try to have lots of protein, to stay off carbs, I will enjoy the odd ice cream in the afternoon, don’t get me wrong. 

I’ll have an occasional glass of wine, but nothing out of the ordinary.

 


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