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Adding bulk and muscle is all about surviving the rigours of life as a fast bowler in the hectic schedule that is modern-day cricket.

Name: Jason Behrendorff
Club: Perth Scorchers
Age: 24
Height: 194cm
Wickets: 27
Average: 27.22

Emerging Perth Scorchers tearaway Jason Behrendorff had a plan during the off season. Put on muscle to become more durable.

End-of-season meetings with his coach Justin Langer and support staff confirmed Behrendorff’s need to bulk up. It’s not that the slimly-built 194cm left-arm quick hadn’t previously been aware of this, but rather he simply hadn’t been able to put Adding bulk and muscle is all about surviving the rigours of life as a fast bowler in the hectic schedule that is modern-day cricket. Whenever there’s talk of national team ‘rotations’ or player management, more often than not it’s a fast bowler at the centre of the discussion - such is their intense workload and the toll their trade puts on their body.

Subsequently, Behrendorff spent several months at Brisbane’s National Cricket Centre over the off-season, and plenty of hours in the gym there too, working on his goal and reading up on nutrition to get maximum results.

Session after session, set after set, rep after rep, book after book, page after page, word after word, Behrendorff would return to the WA and  Scorchers set-up with an additional 6kg of muscle, leading to his career-best 10-wicket haul early in the Sheffield Shield season and giving rise to hopes of his maiden Australia call-up.

“Putting on six kilos of muscle throughout the off-season was really big for me, given I’ve been struggling to put on weight for a while,” Behrendorff says.

Durability is a key to handling the hectic cricket schedule, which includes the Matador One-Day Cup in October, a block of Sheffield Shield cricket from November to mid-December, onto the KFC T20 Big Bash League from late December through to early February, and a final two months of Shield cricket.

Throw in additional commitments with international cricket and the World Cup just held locally and it’s clear the modern-day cricketer has a lot on his plate. Behrendorff, as an emerging talent, spent time with the Australia A set-up in the winter months and is a player on the radar of the senior national team.

Bulking up while building power, strength and durability is all key to a quick’s success, hence Behrendorff’s off season goals.

“The big thing for me was doing weights but also the nutrition side,” Behrendorff says. “I’ve been able to eat a lot of the right foods at the right times as well, before sessions and after sessions, instead of having something for breakfast then training and not eating until I get home.”

The three-hour nature of T20 cricket provides a unique challenge for cricketers, normally used to spending six to seven hours a day out in the field.

One of those challenges is nutrition and when, what and how to eat on gameday, with most Perth Scorchers home games starting around 4:10pm.

“It was eat, train and eat straight away which was really helpful to making gains,” explains Behrendorff.

The hard work paid off for Behrendorff, who gave standout performances for the start of the 2014-15 season and was named the domestic cricketer of the year at the Allen Border Medal Ceremony in February.

Eat Like Jason

9.30am Breakfast: “Something simple, Weet-Bix and some fruit, or maybe make a smoothie with bananas or some yoghurt.”

1pm Lunch: “I had a routine of eating some burritos; we had them a few times and started winning some games! But I’ll try to have anything with some carbohydrates and protein.”

3.30pm Arriving at the ground: “Once we get to the ground, I’ll snack on something like a bit of fruit or a muesli bar. Once we know if we’re bowling or batting I’ll decide whether to eat or not. If we’re bowling first, I won’t eat until we’ve finished our bowling innings.

“If we’re batting first, I’ll have a bit more of a substantial meal as I know I won’t eat for a while after that.”

As for the night before: “It’s about trying to get some carbohydrates and proteins in, covering off those major food groups.”


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