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  • Fitness & snooker

    Hello everyone, it's been a long time. My first question in many years.

    Right basically I just got back into snooker some time last year after many years off the baize.

    My question is, do you think someone's physique can affect their play?
    I've been playing bad since I started again as thai_son22 on this forum will tell you, I'm wondering if fitness training directly correlates with bad play?

    Basically (specially in summer) I do my best to keep my body in tip top condition which can be very mentally and physically demanding, this on top of worK and having my son part time. I'm not huge by any means but my body/muscles can feel really tight and stiff at times. Would this be causing my bad play?

    I won't stop the fitness training but just would like to know so I don't be too hard on myself for playing rubbish. I still love the game but it frustrates me to no end. Think I am just looking for an excuse or acceptance to free my mind.

    Look forward to seeing people's input on this as I can't really find anything about it.

    Thank you all.

    Nam.

  • #2
    Originally posted by nam1977 View Post
    I've been playing bad since I started again as thai_son22 on this forum will tell you,
    Welcome back
    I read the line above that you play bad when playing thai_son; so my advice was going to be don't play thai_son

    If you are exercising for fitness and flexibility then I don't think there should be any detriment to your snooker playing. But if you are going too far, body building etc then I do think there can be adverse affects.
    Years ago I had a pool team friend who was very into body building - he was a cracking player- but his game went down hill as his musculature went beyond "normal" physique as he found upper body flexibility was restricted.
    It turned out he had already stopped playing snooker some time previously and he eventually stopped playing pool.

    Be fit, have fun, but as that advert says "when the fun stops, stop"
    Up the TSF!

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    • #3
      What's wrong with playing me?

      Comment


      • #4
        I think fitness is important for a snooker player (or any sport, really) but it has effects on the body and snooker performances. For example, I have hockey training on Tuesday....I know it is not even worth going to the club to practice the next day because my body is not be ready for that. Muscles are too stiff and sore so it affects the fluidity of my cue action, my stance, etc. Muscles need to be relaxed to be efficient at snooker. If you do exercice too much, you will lose this flexibility/fluidity.
        Maybe try not to play snooker the very next day after fitness training. Wait for a full day to let your body recover. Also, doing extensive stretching might help.
        Good luck!
        Ton Praram III Series 1 | 58" 18.4oz 9.4mm | ash shaft + 4 splices of Brazilian Rosewood | Grand Cue medium tips

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        • #5
          Thanks for the welcome deanH and guys for your input.

          I mention thai_son22 because he is the only snooker partner I have. No one else I know plays these days. But he is a good snooker partner 😊

          You guys confirmed my theory then. I train on average 5 days a week and fast everyday. I got into bodybuilding after I quit snooker. I didn't get mutant big but did find it hard to scratch my back 😆. I'm not as big as I used to be but still feel tense, stiff and drained often. Admittedly I don't stretch a lot.

          At least now I know it can affect people so I won't be to hard on myself.

          Might help me enjoy the game a bit more again ☺

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          • #6
            Yoga is your best friend for flexibility while bodybuilding. Once a week after your body has healed isn't bad.

            I train weights Mon to Wed, and do cardio pretty much 5 days a week. But I always try to get a yoga session in on Saturday or Sunday. It puts a different type of strain on your body while helping with elasticity of muscles. you will find that your recovery will be at a faster rate and feel generally better.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nam1977 View Post
              I didn't get mutant big but did find it hard to scratch my back.
              Personally, I wouldn't consider "tip top condition" if you're at the point where you can't move/bend properly. Maybe balance your sessions with more agility training.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the recommendation arsalanjami. It's hard to find time to do class outside of everything, I actually don't go gym but train at home for the convenience. I do weights everytime I train, I don't do cardio apart from some pace walking every now and then.

                I understand yoga and it's benefits, I highly regard and respect that form of exercise as much as tai chi. I know it can be very hard. I used to be a gym instructor/fitness consultant beleive it or not 😛 just getting to a class will be a nightmare around all the commitments these days.


                I should've been more clearer bolty, when I say tip top condition I meant in body composition. For many years now through out summer and most of the year I walk around at 6-7% bodyfat (apart from last couple of years). I've been as low as 5% before.

                Anyone who's ever reached that and not look like a skeleton will know how much hard work and dedication it takes to get there and maintain it. No matter how much agility training I do I feel wreaked, stiff, tensed and tired to which I now know is bad for snooker.

                Though it makes me feel like that I am addicted to the look so I can never stop.

                I just have to accept if I continue with my fitness training I will never be good at snooker and just try learn and enjoy picking balls out the pockets for thai_son22 😀

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                • #9
                  Hi. About a year ago I changed job to one that was more physically demanding and noticed a big downward turn in my game. I found my cue arm snatched at the shot instead of flowing. After a few months I was back to my usual standard but it felt like I was having to learn the game all over again.

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                  • #10
                    I have had a similar experience but not the job part - just starting working out to lose weight and found myself liking lifting heavy weights... The thing is that putting stress on your muscles causes micro tears in the muscle fibre which sends a signal to your body - oh **** better grow and get stronger as your body is anticipating similar stress in the future and wants to be ready. I usually stop lifting weights a few days before any tournament to fully recover and not have any soreness in the arm muscles.

                    Another thing which brings my game down is leg and back workouts such as squats and deadlifts - especially squats. It taxes your body so much that i feel almost light headed and gets hard to focus on snooker.

                    The sensory system of the mind/body that usually allows for a smooth stroke kind of shutsdown under pressure.

                    Don't quote me. Bro Science.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pktotten View Post
                      Hi. About a year ago I changed job to one that was more physically demanding and noticed a big downward turn in my game. I found my cue arm snatched at the shot instead of flowing. After a few months I was back to my usual standard but it felt like I was having to learn the game all over again.
                      I definitely can relate to that, I find I'm snatching the cue to a stop as well. I need to relearn to use chest to stop momentum so the cue follows through smoothly.

                      Originally posted by arsalanjami View Post
                      I have had a similar experience but not the job part - just starting working out to lose weight and found myself liking lifting heavy weights... The thing is that putting stress on your muscles causes micro tears in the muscle fibre which sends a signal to your body - oh **** better grow and get stronger as your body is anticipating similar stress in the future and wants to be ready. I usually stop lifting weights a few days before any tournament to fully recover and not have any soreness in the arm muscles.

                      Another thing which brings my game down is leg and back workouts such as squats and deadlifts - especially squats. It taxes your body so much that i feel almost light headed and gets hard to focus on snooker.

                      The sensory system of the mind/body that usually allows for a smooth stroke kind of shutsdown under pressure.

                      Don't quote me. Bro Science.
                      You probably lift heavier than I do by the sounds of it and understand the human anatomi like me when it comes to weights. At my age I just lift for looks rather than numbers, but the feeling of tense and soreness is still there.

                      For me probably doing curls affects the cue action most, I think because of muscle memory it causes tendency to snatch the cue as when we curl the arm is under most tension at around 45-60° and our grips get very tensed. Hammer curls are the worse culprits as it's the same angle as we hold the cues.

                      I don't feel I tax my CNS to much so I don't need days rest before I play but definitely need to relearn a bit like Pktotten mentioned.

                      I'm just a regular club player so I won't give up the weight training, but want to enjoy the game again.

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                      • #12
                        I trained bodybuilding competitively for 7 years and took part in around 4-5 well known amateur shows regionally and nationally. I'm not massive guy by any manner of means but around 6ft and at my biggest I was around 16 stone with abs so bigger than what is classed as normal I would say. Now I don't really train so much and I play snooker again competitively I reckon I hit the gym 2-3 times a week and i hover around 15 stone with no abs/not fat just normal levels of fitness and a comfortable balanced diet 50/50 bodybuilder/normal human split

                        What I will say in my own personal experience is I find the pursuits are very very different mentally/physically:

                        Snooker requirements:

                        Mentally you will need strong reserves and be a very stable relaxed character to play snooker at a good level in the club you'll still face some pressures of beating your high break/trouncing your mate who always beats you whatever.
                        Physically you don't need traditional strength or cardiovascular ability but I believe you do need is to be well fed, with a varied diet that does not limit carbohydrates as often bodybuilding diets do.
                        The diet element will effect your ability to concentrate and coupled with high intensity training in the gym you may find your always drained and that does not bode well on a snooker table you must be fresh.

                        Bodybuilding requirements:

                        Mentally most bodybuilders start from a place of insecurity and for the record I like the sport/hobbie whatever I'm simply making an observation on myself and the many competitive and recreational bodybuilders I have met over the last 10 years they all start off from a place of not liking their current physique and seem to always be striving towards some pinnacle of adonis like perfection which actually does not exist (see adonis complex)
                        I'm not saying that if your a bodybuilder your insecure but what I'm saying is if you love the gym you are constantly striving in that world, never happy and never satisfied and I believe in my own experience I can identify when I'm heavily immersed in this world my mindset tends to follow. Does this effect snooker? Maybe/maybe not but be aware that the mindset of a bodybuilder causes your focus to always be intoverted and essentially your mind is mostly busy on yourself concentration on snooker and confidence in your ability may become a factor.

                        Physically - I see no reason why a stronger or weaker muscle wouldn't be able to hold a cue and deliver it in a straight line on the point of aim, unless your build like a gorilla which you say your not then at 15.5 stone I can cue aswell as I did at 13 stone and regularly make 70-80 breaks when I play for fun down the club.

                        Diet restrictions of when I was a bodybuilder would cause a problem for me playing snooker.
                        Prepping for shows I would always be tired and moody cause food would be severely limited.
                        Trying to pack on size I would feel tired in a carb coma lethargic kinda way and additionally i couldnt really plan a relaxing day down the snooker without taking 1-2 meals with me as during a phase of trying to gain muscle high level's of amino's must be available within the system in excess of normal levels within 2-3 hours at a maximum, carb's are needed to drive the proteins into the muscle and spark the insulin response. So in either phase your trying to force your body out of homeostasis and make it do something it doesn't want to and your compromised in the snooker club because of your current phase of bodybuilding training.
                        If your not trying to do either of them then maybe it could work to play snooker but then I would question wether your really bodybuilding or just trying to get 'ripped for ibiza bro' snooker is a game you play bodybuilding is a 24 lifestyle choice.

                        So in summary I do feel if your immersed in one world your ability to function in the other could be compromised.
                        Not from a physical point of view but because of your mindset and focus towards bodybuilding you may find it hard to play snooker to a good level.

                        Use of pre-workout drinks and or worse steroids would further exacerbate this problem in my opinion, mentally you will be too wired to simply relax and enjoy a game of snooker.
                        Last edited by Derek P; 19th April 2018, 01:29 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Derek P View Post
                          Not from a physical point of view but because of your mindset and focus towards bodybuilding you may find it hard to play snooker to a good level.
                          +1 .
                          Been there. I've been doing power lifting for 2 or 3 years , on a very strict diet(even now I am on keto diet which is zero carbs). I still find the intensity training didn't do any good for snooker. Even you didn't peak, you do 60% weight on any excises, like squats , back row, it will harm your snooker believe me. Next day you would lack of concentration. It taxes your body too much. Whether your body adapts your training program or not, when it gets to give everything on snooker table, you find your muscle is trying to repair and withdraw blood and energy from your other body parts, especially from your brain ! You form will suffer , concentration will be undermined.
                          At the end of day, snooker is cardiovascular activity, which goes against any anaerobic metabolism. Let it along, snooker definitely raises your cortisol at practice match and tournament. Some point in your life the stress hormone , either weight training or snooker would hurt your CNS and you won't make any progress in either sports you love.

                          I had a hard time to reduce my training from 5/6 days a week down to 2, then 1 , now I have started jogging which I used to mock as a girly activity. But what can I say, you love this game and you will want to give up everything for it.
                          Last edited by howardlax; 19th April 2018, 04:35 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Glad to see there are others juggling Snooker with Exercise

                            I am doing a triathlon on June 23 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run (not huge compared to others) but as soon as I play my last tournament next weekend I will going full blast on my body and have complete disregard for competitive snooker. It does get really hard to not pick up the cue - so I keep it lying around the house for random shot practices at the dinner table study kitchen etc.

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                            • #15
                              In my experience they defo require a very different approach and mindset and are not complimentary goals.

                              If you want to get good at snooker you need to put lot of hours in on the practice table learning the patterns of shots for break building getting good at the soft little screws and stuns and also plenty of work on the 3/4 black bouncing off 1 cushion and 2. This all takes up lot of time.

                              The gym isnt a game its a 24/7 lifestyle thing if you want muscle from it you better believe you'll work every second of a day to get it that includes diet/sleep & fatigue from hard training sessions.

                              My advice would be pick one as the priority and keep your hand in on the other.

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