Metro State Men's Lacrosse
Official Site of the Metro Hood

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Welcome to the official website for the Metropolitan State University of Denver's Mens Lacrosse team. The one and only place where "Metro Hood" becomes more than simply a joke among friends, it becomes a brotherhood, a lifestyle. Where a lacrosse team can go beyond the field, and take dedication and commitment into all aspects of life. Striving to be the best not only on the field, but in the community and the classroom as well.

"If you can still run with a 'spring' in your step, you didn't run hard enough! If you aren't bleeding at the end of the game, you didn't play hard enough! If you are happy or content with a loss you didn't leave it all out on the field! Now go and play for your fans, play for your coaches, but most of all play for your family. Your brothers in battle!"

METRO HOOD   

 

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Recent News

Avoid Anabolic Steroids - the Health Detriments of Usage - May 13, 2013

While there is much evidence that following an appropriate diet in combination with resistance training can lead to a significant increase in muscle mass to aid performance, for some athletes this is not enough; they turn to anabolic steroids as a means to boost their muscle gain. This is seen across a wide range of sports and lacrosse is no exception. Indeed a recent study conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association found that of 23 sports, it was lacrosse where the use of anabolic steroids was highest amongst players. The use of these performance enhancing drugs not only provides players with an unfair advantage and can ruin their reputation if a random drug test indicates that they have been abusing them, but players do not necessarily appreciate that these can have a negative impact on their health and well-being. Here we consider the damage that these drugs can have on the body, supporting the use of more natural methods through diet and exercise to promote muscle growth.

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Not many athletes realize that by taking steroids they significantly increase their risk of developing heart disease. Young athletes needn't think that this is not applicable to them, as heart attacks and strokes are not unheard of in those under the age of 30 who take these drugs. It is believed the main way in which anabolic steroids adversely affect someone's chance of developing cardiovascular problems is through their affect on cholesterol levels. While they increases levels of the damaging LDL cholesterol, which is deposited in the walls of the arteries causing narrowing and therefore reducing blood flow, they lower levels of protective HDL cholesterol, the role of which is to help in the removal of cholesterol from the body. Should the blood flow be sufficiently reduced to either the heart or brain, this results in a heart attack or stroke respectively. Steroids are also known to make those taking them more susceptible to developing a blood clot and raised blood pressure, both of which increases the likelihood of cardiovascular events.

Loss of bone mass

Although osteoporosis is considered to be a disease of old age that more often affects women, males who use steroids to enhance their performance make this a very real possibility for themselves in their younger years. Taking these drugs for a three month stint may be enough to cause significant thinning of the bones and if you take them long-term there is as high as a 50% chance you will develop osteoporosis. Your risk is further increased by habits such as smoking and consuming large quantities of alcohol. A fall during a game of lacrosse could be all that it takes to break a bone, with fractures of the wrist and hip being most common. Placed on the sidelines for months waiting for your fracture to heal, you will see your fitness fall, as well as your performance when you re-enter the game; exactly the opposite of what you were hoping to achieve with steroids.

Damage to the liver

Research shows that using steroids for just 12 weeks can be sufficient to cause liver damage and it appears those taken orally cause greater injury than those that are injected. The liver is harmed during the processing of steroids and over time this means that its function is reduced; signs that this has happened include jaundice, abdominal pain and distension, nausea, loss of appetite and feeling generally unwell. Liver tumors, which may either be benign or cancerous, can also be a consequence of using these drugs; if these rupture, internal bleeding can occur. For athletes taking steroids via injection, they also risk developing hepatitis if they make the unwise decision to share needles; this also leaves you vulnerable to contracting HIV.

Reduced fertility

Although college students may not think much about having their own children, taking anabolic steroids can reduce your chance of fathering children when you decide that you want to start a family. The impact of steroids on the male reproductive system is clearly visible, with players who use them finding that their testicles shrink; what you can't see though is that your sperm count is also reduced.

Cosmetic changes

Increased muscle growth is often considered to improve someone's appearance. However, the use of anabolic steroids to achieve this can lead to unwanted changes in the body that are very visible and may be severe enough to cause reduced self-esteem and low mood. The most common changes to physical appearance are an oilier complexion, which leads to the development of or worsens existing acne, as well as hair loss that is characteristic of male pattern baldness. Skin changes will usually clear up on ceasing steroid use, but hair loss can be a permanent problem, which for a young man conscious of his looks will come as a real shock. While hair growth shampoos are one of the treatments that are effective for the management of hair loss caused by a disruption of male hormones, as is the case when anabolic steroids are taken, avoiding the need for these measures is preferable. Therefore think twice before using steroids, as they won't necessarily make you physically more attractive.

Although many of these changes and disease risks are reversible if steroid use is stopped, long-term steroid abuse is more likely to cause lasting damage. The best policy is however to avoid their use in the first place.

By: Eve Pearce

 

Steps to Develop Your Muscle to Excel in Lacrosse - Apr 10, 2013

Although good cardiovascular fitness is imperative during a game of lacrosse and training requires players to build on this to ensure they perform well, developing your muscles is also crucial. During a game of lacrosse you can expect to use most of the muscles in your body; all these need to be developed to enhance play and to prevent sports injury. Well formed and strong leg muscles are a must if they are to provide you with the stamina to run up and down the pitch for an hour. Your core muscles are also vital, as those of your abdomen and back allow you to bend forwards, to the side or backwards to enable you to reach for and catch the ball during a game. Then let's not forget your arm muscles, as you need to increase your upper body strength if you are to control and manipulate your lacrosse stick to cradle and throw the ball. Consequently, unlike some sports that require you to concentrate your training on building up specific sets of muscles, your regime needs to work all your muscles. However, it isn't solely about appropriate resistance training, as what you eat can help to maximize your increase in lean body mass.

Developing your lower muscles

If you're not able to get to the gym to use their resistance machines to work your leg muscles, squats and lunges represent a great alternative, as these also help to add bulk and strength. Through these you will be using your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and those of your lower back. Both additionally require you to use your core muscles, so you get more of a work out than you realize. While it's advisable to do these or an equivalent exercise three times during the week, to prevent overexertion leave at least one day in between each strength training session.

Training your upper body

Don't underestimate the importance of your arm, shoulder, chest and upper back muscles during a game, so don't focus on working your lower muscles at the expense of these; on the days when you work out, turn your attention to both. Resistance training for your upper body could include bench presses and dips, push-ups and pull-ups, as well as shoulder presses. Using weights can additionally help.
Good all round training.

Swimming isn't just ideal for helping you to work out your heart and lungs, but it also requires you to use a wide range of muscles throughout your body, working those of your arms, legs, shoulders, chest and back. Varying your stroke can help to develop your muscles, as each uses the muscles in a different way and to different extents. Front crawl is great for working the muscles of the chest and back, and the fast arm movements required by the stroke allows you to make improvements in the speed and power that these can produce. Additionally breaststroke and butterfly are good for strengthening your shoulder muscles; incidentally butterfly is the best stroke for fat burning if you are aiming to reduce your body's fat stores. As you would expect, backstroke really works the lateral muscles of your back. All strokes rely heavily on your use of your hamstrings and quadriceps, helping to keep these muscles in good shape. If you know there are particular muscles that you need to work on, you can adjust your stroke accordingly. A training program where you're resistance training three times a week would benefit from two weekly swims; add another if you want to burn fat, but remember you need to leave yourself time for recovery. However, swimming does carry the advantage that it is low impact, so allows you to achieve a good work out, while not putting the stress on your joints that you experience on the field or in the gym.

Consider your dietary intake

When trying to build muscle, many people will simply up their protein intake, but this is a mistake. While adequate protein is needed to repair damage to muscle fibers and stimulate the growth of new muscle tissue, once you start consuming daily intakes close to 2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight, your body can't incorporate it into new tissues, so the excess is flushed from the body. Besides this limit of how much protein your body can use, it also needs sufficient carbohydrate; not just to fuel your strength training activities, but also to physically create new muscle tissue. A high protein low carbohydrate diet is therefore definitely off the cards, as both need to be included at each meal; fill about a third of your plate with each of these, while the remaining third should be vegetables or salad. Obtain protein from low fat sources to promote a healthy heart; lean red meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs, skimmed milk and pulses are all good options. Meanwhile wholegrains, root vegetables and fruit should provide the majority of your carbohydrate at meals, as these are denser in vitamins and minerals than refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread or those we think of as tasting sweet. For optimal muscle building, include a snack after training that contains protein and carbohydrate; examples might include a cereal with milk, a sandwich, fruit and yogurt or dried fruit and nuts.

Through following a strength training regime that targets all muscle groups, while paying attention to your dietary intake, it should be well within your reach to achieve the muscular physique that will enhance your performance in lacrosse.

 

By: Eve Pearce

 

Optimum Nutrition to Boost Performance on the Pitch - Mar 11, 2013

Lacrosse players take their game seriously and as a result undertake rigorous training. However, this training alone is not sufficient to see results on the field. All the effort you put into training needs to be accompanied by good nutrition to achieve the best standard of play in a game of lacrosse; without this you won't see the benefits of training, with tiredness and poor performance becoming a problem during matches. If your energy levels are low or you are dehydrated prior to a training session or game, you will find it difficult and won't derive the same enjoyment, as if you had taken adequate carbohydrate and fluid beforehand. For those players who can identify with this, now is a good time to address your diet to ensure that it is optimum for success. While in the main a balanced diet containing foods from all groups is important, particular consideration needs to be paid to intake of carbohydrate and protein, as well as fluid consumption. Although making changes can be difficult once habits have become ingrained, those who use tobacco or know that they over indulge in alcohol, may also want to quit smoking and drink in moderation, as both can impact on fitness and how well you play. However, it doesn't matter what your current diet is like or the lifestyle choices you have made until now, you are already doing well through participating in sport; taking steps to improve your diet and other habits will not only see your game performance improve, but can provide additional health benefits.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body's preferred energy source, as they are easier to use as fuel and release their energy more quickly than fats do since less oxygen is required for their metabolism, so they are more efficient. If your body does not receive sufficient carbohydrate, performance is hindered and your body takes longer to recover from exercise. The joint guidelines by the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine advise that athletes require between 6 and 10g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. This not only satisfies your body's daily energy requirements, but allows the muscles to replenish their glycogen stores, which they rely on for energy during intense exercise. However, the day before a match you may benefit from increasing this up to 12g of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight to meet the increased demands. As lacrosse matches only last 60 minutes, there is no need to consume extra carbohydrate beyond this in the few hours prior to a game.
The best source of carbohydrates is complex carbohydrates that include those found in bread, cereals, potato, pasta and rice. These provide a slower release of energy than more sugary carbohydrates, particularly if you choose wholegrain versions; these are also higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals, which benefit general health. Carbohydrates should be included with each meal and also with snacks; good options for between meals include toast, muesli and oat bars.

Protein

Protein is not typically used as an energy source and instead it is required to maintain and repair muscle mass; it also plays an important role in the immune system, which itself can help with fitness, as infections can make athletic performance more difficult. Strong muscles are essential for speed and endurance during a game of lacrosse, so besides training, adequate protein is needed to build muscle to achieve top performance on the pitch. Consuming between 1.2 and 1.7g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight will meet the increased requirements of sports players, though eating more protein than this will not provide additional benefits, as it will merely be excreted. Lean meat, fish, eggs, low fat dairy produce, pulses and nuts are all good options for inclusion with meals and snacks, as they are low in saturated fat, which is known to be detrimental to health. Follow training sessions and matches with a protein-containing snack to optimize the repair and growth of muscle tissue.

Fluids

Losing as little as 1% of your body's weight due to dehydration can be all that it takes to impair physical and mental function, both of which can hamper how well you play. Although you may see specific figures mentioned for the amount you should drink before, during and exercise, as everyone has different fluid requirements, the best guide for how much to drink is to follow your thirst; that way you are unlikely to take too much fluid on board. However, the volume of fluid you drink isn't the only important factor, the type of fluid is also crucial. During and after intense or prolonged activity, water isn't adequate for hydration, as it does not contain sufficient levels of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium, which are lost in significant quantities during sweating. Failure to replace levels of these electrolytes can result in imbalances within the body, which can cause fatigue, dizziness and impair muscle function; if allowed to progress more serious problems develop such as an irregular heartbeat, seizures and loss of consciousness. For this reason if you will be exercising for an hour or more, a sports drink should be taken, as these contain a balanced mix of electrolytes to replenish losses; with these there is also less chance of developing potentially fatal low sodium levels, which can occur as a result of over-hydration. Flavored sports drinks additionally have the benefit that they are more palatable than water alone, which can encourage us to drink.
Here we summarize the key points for good nutrition for lacrosse players.

DO:
• Follow a balanced diet
• Include complex carbohydrates and protein with every meal and snack; this is especially important after a game
• Select low fat options for carbohydrate and protein
• Follow guidelines for daily carbohydrate and protein intakes
• Drink according to thirst
• Choose sports drinks when exercising for an hour or more.

DON'T:
• Exceed recommended protein intakes
• Drink alcohol the night before training or a match
• Use water to rehydrate after intense exercise.

 

By: Eve Pearce

 

 

 

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