Sunday, December 4, 2016

Max Aerobic Speed and How to Use It

Let me introduce you to max aerobic speed (MAS) which I have referred to as some point on this blog before.

MAS is used by many elite teams, including AFL that uses a measurement of the meters per second (m/s) you cover in a distance run or time trial.

Say you covered 2kms in 8mins 36secs.

8:36mins = 516secs

2000m / 516 = 3.88m/s

So what you can with this figure is to set specific distance targets for time based on every players score.

World renown strength coach Dan Baker, an Aussie, has found through his research on a shitload of elite athletes that the amount of time spent above 100% of MAS appears to be a critical factor for improving aerobic power.

He sees that performing a number of short intervals at a faster pace is more effective of building aerobic power then traditional long slow distance training or attempting to train only 1 interval continuously at 100% MAS.

He also determined that specifically an intensity of 120% MAS is the single best speed for short intervals that are followed by a short respite (passive rest) intervals as this method increases training density and quality compared to 90, 100 and 140% MAS.

AFL players cover 5m/s during games and for every second an AFL player was behind in the MAS test, they reported that team tactical sessions were harder by .2 rate of perceived exertion (RPE). This doesn't sound much until you realise that this means that if you are 10secs behind then a session for someone "at the level' would class as a 6/10 RPE will feel like an 8 to you and you won't be able to handle the same volumes and intensities as they can without fatigue, decreased performance output or even injury.

So our player above with the MAS score of 3.88 would need to perform his MAS sets at 4.65m/s.

For a 15 second set that would mean he'd need to cover 70m.

Dan Baker is a gem and he has heaps of stuff to read on the internet and even though he's done more NRL then anything, he still has some AFL gems in his writings:

- Players will cover 14kms/game
- Use a 6min or 2km (5 - 7min) run for testing
- During games go hard x 5 - 7mins, go off ans come back on
- Can cover 129 - 147 meters per minute (m/m) on the ground compared to soccer which is 110
- Can hold game speeds of 145m/m x 5 - 7mins but then it drops 25m for each successive minute they stay out there

He also goes onto to say that if you can cover 1600m in 5mins then you don't really need MAS work.

I have implemented MAS into the In-Season Coaches Training Manual for it's simplicity and efficiency - both high requirements during the season when energy resources and training time are at a premium.

Next week - the case against MAS.

Friday, December 2, 2016

T Agility Drill

I like to use the T Agility test purely for it's simplicity.

It entails all the main change of directional moves such as linear deceleration/acceleration, a change of direction on both left and right sides as well as deceleration/acceleration on both sides.

It also only requires 4 cones.

Here it is in video form:

For blokes look at these times:

Poor - 11.5secs or more

Average - 10.5 to 11.5secs

Above Average - 9.5 - 10.5secs

Excellent - 9.5secs or less

For females look at these times:

Poor - 12.5secs or more

Average - 11.5 to 12.5secs

Above Average - 10.5 - 11.5secs

Excellent - 10.5secs or less

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Aussie Rules Training Goal Kicking Competition Week 3

Can improve upon last week;s score of 0?

Week 3's set shot is the same position, 40m out and 10m in from the boundary, but on the opposite side of the ground so your kicking foot is facing the middle of the ground.

Last week i think I said I'd start having some practice shots before doing the video but I'm always jammed for time doing this so again I;m out of the car and into it within 2mins - and it shows!

Anyway here are my efforts:

OK so not bad, butt after a 0 last week I needed a 6 or 7.

My 3 points this weeks takes me to 6 out of 21 points so far - pretty shit for a 3 time club goal kicking champion!

Must be a pressure performer...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Secret to Kicking Longer

I'm a left footer and like all lefties, I kick around the corner (but not as bad as some blokes), I can kick accurately and I can kick long. To buck the trend though I do have a right foot and use it often during games no problems.

Let's talk lever arms.

The longer the lever, the more speed is generated at the same speed as a short lever - think Buddy Franklin winding up from 70m. For dog lovers think of the ball chucker thingy.

The longer the lever the more speed occurs at the end of the lever and the more velocity you can produce.

You'll see in any player who is kicking from beyond their comfortable raneg of further, alter their mechanics to incorporate a hook of some sort which is the body finding a way to provide extra force.

Another thing is that lefties make it look so easy as well as the ever so slight range of motion of rotation that they go through as they hook from the left to the middle, can allow for better sequencing and activation.

This is actually how the body is designed to move, you generate movement from the middle then the extremities come through like a whip.

The pelvis has a high muscle to tendon ration (fore produces) while the extremities have more tendon and elastic structures (force amplifiers) and in a correctly aligned body, a small amount of movement at the waist can produce large amounts of force elsewhere in the body, and this case the foot.

When you rotate at the waist, it generates a stretch reflex in the upper body which aids the turning of the leg. Think back to that ball chucker, you swing it back and the flimsy end rocks back like a thrower but as you change the direction from backwards to forwards, the bottom end of the chucker is moving forwards while the top end is still moving backwards. The stretch reflex is when the top end "catches up' to the bottom and starts to fling forward, faster then it normally could.

If you've got a strong middle that can handle these forces and provide the "fling back" mechanism of the ball chucker, then you'll have consistently good distance on your kicks.

The more relaxed sequencing of the kick will also mean you'll be less injury prone.

On the other hand though, more rotation isnlt better here as there will be more slack then power and it will be like swiping with a wet lettuce leaf versus Jon Snow's sword.

Only use as much rotation as you can handle and coordinate at a high level.

Looking at Buddy...

As he "lays back" and swings his leg back, he opens the kicking up which is from the rotation of his middle

As he swings his leg back through to make contact with the footy, you can see that his hip have squared back up as his leg acts as a whip with his foot still behind the lever and generating more velocity.

Just after he has made contact with the footy you can now his hip continue rotating forwards through the follow through.

We've mostly talked about what the hips and lower extremities are doing but have look at his right shoulder too, as it starts backwards and rotates forwards, the opposite motion of the hip, creating even more velocity through torque.

I got the idea of this post from this article that goes into this concept in a bit more depth.

Aussie Rules Training Goal Kicking Competition Week 2

Last week I started the Aussie Rules Training Goal Kicking Competition.

It's 5 set shots from the same spot tat I determine each week.

You get 1 point for kicks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 but if you make the 5th shot, you get a bonus 6th kick that is worth 2 points.

The highest score you can get in any round is 7 points.

For week 1 the set shot was 40m out straight in front of goal and I managed 3 points.

Let's see what happened this week:

Week 2's set shot is 40m out and 10m in from the boundary line kicking with your preferred foot on the boundary line side.

My result?

Dismal - 0 points!

I'm gonna start warming up before the videos from now it's getting embarrassing.

So at week 2 I'm sitting on a piss poor 3 points so video your 5 shots, pop them on the the Facebook page where you should be able to overtake my 2 weeks in 1 week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


If you're not aware it's Thanksgiving in the US this weekend which is bigger than Xmas for them (I'm pretty sure).

As part of Thanksgiving
 they have a huge Black Friday Sale which is a 1 - 2 day sale at absolute bargain prices and at Aussie Rules Training we're jumping on board this year.

You might have seen that I have working like a dog to get the new site up and about that will run along with the main blog site. The new site will be where I run the business side of Aussie Rules Training from and will house all my various training manuals for you to kindly purchase.

There are 3 main product types:

#1 - Short Term Training Programs (specific programs for off, pre and in-season with manuals for both players and coaches).

They will set you back $75 per manual.

#2 - Long Term Training Programs (an off, pre and in-season training program for players to be performed along with your team training + a pre and in-season training program for coaches to use in their own training sessions, a done-for-you type of set up where you, the coach, simply need to plug in your own tactical and skill drills and concentrate on what you do best - coach.)

They will set you back $200 - 250 per manual

#3 - Specialisation Programs (1 Problem, 1 Solution is the mantra here so as a full forward if you need to improve your pace off the mark to cover 10m, then there will be a 4 - 6 week acceleration program there just for you.)

They will set you back $50 per manual.

For this particular Black Friday Sale, and for 2 days only, you can get one of two options:

Option 1 - 1 x Long Term Manual + 1 Specialisation Program for $175 ($100 Discount)


Option 2 - 1 x Short Term Manual + 1 Specialisation Program for $85 ($35 Discount)

All you need to do is:

- Head to
- Send payment to
- Put in either Option 1 or Option 2
- Enter the price for your preferred option
- Let me know in the message section what manuals you'd like

Easy as that!

Then please give me 3 - 7 days to get them out to you as I'll get all the orders at once.

If you have any questions let me know.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Widen Your Aerobic Window for Running Greatness

My opening statement is probably an article in itself but you could probably focus on 2 simple things in regards to energy systems work and that would be enough for pretty much any sport you can imagine.

Get as fast as you possibly can and then train your body to recover between these bouts of sprints as fast as it can.

That's it.

As far as the recovery side of this equation goes, you want a resting heart rate somewhere in the high 40's to low 50's. If it is any higher then you'll be working too hard for menial tasks let alone intensive one's.

Think of the a fitness fanatic versus a couch potato doing a single flight of stairs and notice the difference in their demeanor at after the top step. The same amount of work done has different affects on those with different fitness levels.

If your resting heart rate is lower then the high 40's then you can actually be too parasympathetic (rest) and you need a heavy dose of speed and power work.

The anaerobic threshold is the point at which you move from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism which is where you go from cruising to fatigued. The brain doesn't like this as it's shifting you from your homeostasis point (your body's baseline) and what is bloody interesting here is that in order for YOU to stop pushing further away from your baseline, your brain will 'tell you" that you're fatigued to force you to slow down and /or rest to get back to aerobic metabolism.

Anaerobic Threshold (beats per minute) - Resting Heart Rate (beats per minute) = Aerobic Window

So if you're anaerobic threshold is 170bpm and your resting heart rate is 52 then your aerobic window in 82.

The wider the better.

With a weak aerobic system your heart rate struggles to decrease between runs and then each sprint drives you further into anaerobic metabolism (fatigue) and you get stuck there.

I've been guilty of this in the past before I really nailed down how energy systems work. I'd start my pre-season running by going straight to anaerobic type work so I'd have 1 - 2 real good efforts in me and then I'd be done for a while as it took forever for my heart rate to get back down.

If you're heart rate is too high then this should be the very first port of call as far as your aerobic/endurance training is concerned. This will widen your aerobic window on it's own.

After that then you can look at increasing the time it takes to hot your anaerobic threshold.

To test your anaerobic threshold do a 6min cardio test taking your heart rate every 60secs during the test, add those 6 heart rates up and get an average and that's your anaerobic threshold, or close to.

In the Aussie Rules Untouchable Training Program, there is a huge focus on decreasing your resting heart rate in the Pre-Xmas Pre-Season Training Phase and then we look at increasing your anaerobic threshold in the Post-Xmas Pre-Season Training Phase (coming soon!).