A Look into the DCFC Players Gym Presented by American Home Fitness: May
Head of Physical Performance Sam Joyce walks us through how the pros are staying fit for gameday.
This offseason, Detroit City FC’s technical staff grew to welcome its first-ever Head of Physical Performance, Sam Joyce. Thanks to our partner, American Home Fitness, Le Rouge opened the DCFC Players Gym in March, giving Joyce the equipment and space to keep City fit for matchday and in between.
Entering the fourth month of the season, Le Rouge is enjoying a well earned bye week. Detroit City’s USL Championship side has played 15 matches already – including four midweek contests. Through the course of an eight-month regular season, injuries do occur and the injury bug came early for City. With a short bench, recovery and regeneration are crucial.
This month’s ‘Look into the DCFC Players Gym’ focuses on the keys to recovering between fixtures.
Having a mental break and recovery is important, explains Joyce, which is why the team has an off day following a match before heading back to the field for a recovery session.
On recovery/regen days, Joyce has three key pillars he pushes:
When players play a full match, Joyce recommends low intensity exercises that aren’t too demanding on the joints during a recovery session. This includes some light jogging, slower movements, and slower planes of motion. If the players want to continue, he encourages them to stay off their feet by using something like the stationary bike to take a load off of the joints and still get their blood flowing.
After a match, proteins are pushed to repair muscles and help with soreness with carbohydrates for energy. Joyce has his ideal meals for the players for healthy refueling, but sometimes the right foods aren’t always on the mind when relaxing with family so some quick cheats to sneak in nutrition he recommends are smoothies for a quick way to get some carbohydrates, while a glass of milk or a greek yogurt with a handful of nuts or berries before bed is a great way to sneak in some protein.
To get a good night’s sleep, Joyce recommends starting with the temperature of the room – the colder the better. To make this happen, you can add a fan or two to your bedroom. Another tip is to strictly use your bedroom for sleeping. Joyce explained that If you watch TV or read in bed all day, your body doesn’t feel like it’s relaxing when you head back to your bed for the night. His third tip to get the best sleep possible is to reduce as much light pollution in the room as possible. Turn off the TV, close the blinds, etc.. and focus on sleeping.
Each month Detroit City FC and American Home Fitness will give a look inside the DCFC Players Gym, giving recommendations for exercises and how-to’s from the pros and staff.
Sam Joyce joined Detroit City FC as the Club’s first-ever Head of Physical Performance ahead of the 2022 campaign. Joyce comes to Detroit after spending the past three seasons with Indy Eleven in the same role. Prior to his time in Indy, Joyce was on staff with Nottingham Forest FC from 2012-2019 – serving as the lead strength and conditioning coach for the U9-16s before taking over for the U18s in 2016. He first joined Nottingham as an intern before being brought on full-time in 2014.