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Snooker and the gym - serious question

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  • Snooker and the gym - serious question

    Evening all

    I'm a fairly average club player, regular-ish 40 and 50 breaks, with occasional 70s and the odd foray into the dizzy heights of the 90s.

    Recently I've started properly going to the gym - nothing huge, just trying to get into a bit of shape, 40-minute workout on the machines, a few weights and whatnot, twice or three times a week.

    In the last month or so my snooker has really hit rock-bottom. The other night I played with a mate for over 2 hours and had a highest break of 9! (Amazingly, we drew 4-all!). It seems to be just relentless awfulness, I feel like my brain and my arm have no communication with each other at all, I can concentrate all I want but I just get the feeling my elbow will do whatever it wants and no brainpower will influence it. I am, quite literally, playing as badly as I was in 1990 when I was a newby teenager!

    I don't think I've knocked a long pot in since January, and fairly often I hit the red on completely the wrong side.

    So, having thought about everything tonight to draw my thoughts away from smashing the cue into shards*, I wonder whether it is all because my arm is possibly a completely different machine from six months ago so some major tweak needs to take place?

    Any thoughts as to whether working out could have such an effect?

    (* My cue was made in about 1922, so I really don't want to snap it for at least another five years so I can legitimately say it has made a century!)

  • #2
    The simple answer is no it won't affect.

    My qualifications: I've played snooker pre and post bodybuilding and currently studying MSc Biomechanics so have an interest in neuromechanics and how the human body functions and why it functions that way.


    • #3
      Originally posted by thai_son22 View Post
      The simple answer is no it won't affect.

      My qualifications: I've played snooker pre and post bodybuilding and currently studying MSc Biomechanics so have an interest in neuromechanics and how the human body functions and why it functions that way.
      Hmm strange, it's been said before many times on here that it does affect your snooker and really the 2 things do not mix


      • #4
        i found the gym very beneficial, so much so that i would say its a must if a player wanted to get very good and consistent. but, would stay clear from the dumb bells/heavy stuff, and lean more towards cardio/cor and strength training/ spinning classes
        could even mix things up if you have the time and tack up another sport like swimming, or even boxing/mma.


        • #5
          I would have thought it would affect your stance and alignment to some degree. White lost weight and a few commentators mentioned he had to adjust his stance as he was a lot trimmer than he was.


          • #6
            When I was running and working out regularly is when I played my most consistent and also played closer to my practice game at the time. I'm a much better player now, but day to day consistency isn't quite what it was.

            I think any changes to your body will affect your stance and how your cueing feels. It did with me, both when I lost a bunch or weight and when I've gained it.

            Weightlifting will have an affect on your cueing in the short term, and it's definitely a good idea to do some stretches if you've lifted on the same day you are playing. But you should be doing that after the gym anyways!

            Eventually should smooth out as you get used to everything. All in all, you should probably expect to see positive results in your game at some point if you stick to it.


            • #7
              It will only make a difference if you get biceps like Arnie, moderate weight training will help if anything not make you play worse
              It's hard to pot balls with a Chimpanzee tea party going on in your head



              • #8
                Hey, totally understand what you are going through. Yes, in my opinion and experience gyming is the sense of lifting heavy weight does affect your snooker. Lifting heavy weight causes your muscle to tense up frequently in the gym. When changed to playing snooker your muscle may react the same way, tensing up and this not good for snooker as snooker requires little strength and more of timing. However, in my experience this is only last for awhile. Once your muscle understands how to react in both ways, you will be back on track. Be patient and enjoy your snooker! Cheers from Singapore!


                • #9
                  Let's look at it another way. Take tennis for example. The tennis player knows how to contact the ball with racket through hand eye coordination. I would say this is similar to your snooker.

                  The power which that shot is driven can be determined by muscle mass or lack of so to speak. This is to do with motor unit control and firing frequency.

                  They are different concepts and why I think they shouldn't affect.

                  I can understand Michael whites issue but this is to do balance control and the vestibular system. And from what I remember statman you're slim and tall and I don't think you fall into this. (Tsf big day out)


                  • #10
                    When I started playing, I had been 'bodybuilding' for few years. I was quite fit and exercised 4 times a week. I had no problems with snooker, unless I played the same day I had trained my upperbody. Six months ago I became too busy with Uni stuff, and cutted exercise to once or twice a week, and my snooker went rubbish. Now for few months I haven't exercised pretty much at all, and my snooker has become better and more constistent.

                    So in my opinion, based on my own experience, it is all about regularity. If you hit the gym regularly twice or more a week, your muscles adapt and won't become sore and will function normally. But if you go every once in a while, you will experience even a week long delayed on muscle soreness and will lose your fine motorics for few days.


                    • #11

                      It appears the general consensus is exercise is beneficial to one's snooker game. However, I think you gave it away when you mentioned hitting the wrong side of the object ball on long shots. This problem is purely a function of your grip and your shoulder muscle. Check yourself out and see if you are dropping your elbow prematurely (before you hit the cueball) and also experiment with keeping your grip as loose as possible and try to not tighten it at all during the stroke.

                      This second will be very difficult since hitting the cueball demands the cue be gripped tighter but keep in mind it weighs 4.5 times the weight of the cueball and should have the mass to go through the cueball.

                      One other point is with your new muscle mass you just might be decelerating through the cueball. Remember to drive through to the chest and keep the entire upper body still.
                      Terry Davidson
                      IBSF Master Coach & Examiner


                      • #12
                        I believe regular exercise will help reduce tension and keep your muscles and nervous system in good shape. Whilst there has been a fair few pros in bad shape, practically all the long term greats have been slim and healthy.

                        I can't imagine weight training would be bad, unless your muscles are tightening a lot up because you haven't balanced stretches and other exercise into your regime.


                        • #13
                          Any change in body shape has to affect your snooker.
                          This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!


                          • #14
                            Going to the gym will mix fine with snooker, as has been mentioned before mix up the training a bit with something like swimming as this will help loosen the muscles up. And stretching is really a must don't skimp on that, try to uses the fullest range of movement you can for each exercise, you want to build up strength and stamina while increasing mobility.

                            Oh and as also has been mentioned don't go straight from the gym to play snooker. Tried that 30 years ago, comical how i played snooker after a good workout, and yes the joke was certainly on me.


                            • #15
                              Have you considered changes to your eyes. From what I´m reading you must be 40+ which for many people are the time, when their eyesight starts changing.
                              ....its not called potting its called snooker. Quote: WildJONESEYE
                              "Its called snooker not potting" Quote: Rory McLeod