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Friday, December 30, 2011

You Must Train Like This In 2012


The 80’s is where it all went wrong.



In the attempt to becoming more professional and with football slowly becoming a full time job, the training volume, and especially running training volume, got way out of hand.

I’m not sure how many 40 – 50 year olds read this blog but if they were past footballers then they surely would have been subjected to “hell on earth”, 100 x 100 meter sprints.

This was either used to develop speed, endurance or simply punishment. Either way, it was doing more harm than good.

Moving to the 2000’s, the game shifted with a huge emphasise on “gut” running thanks to the likes of Ben Cousins, Robert Harvey and Shane Crawford. This also made a shift in the training by players of all abilities that decided that running short marathons was the best way to get fit for footy.


Now long distance and long duration running can have its place in a footballers training program but as training has become more and more scientific, and where the need for training efficiency is of great importance, this again is probably doing more harm than good.

So what is the best way to train in 2012?

Well let me throw this idea at you.

Long distance running refers to slow pace running and the longer you go, the slower the pace will be. Now if football was played at a snail pace, and a consistent snail pace, then this player would be All Australian every year.

The big problem here is that you may be able to “run all day’ but if you’re not quick enough to get to the ball then it doesn’t matter a lick. You’ll be a kick behind play all day.

So you need an element of speed.


What’s speed though if you can only go fast for a single bout and then it takes you 10mins to recover to go again at the same pace? That will mean hellava a lot of bench time so there is also an element of endurance needed as well.

I would day that less than 5% of amateur and local footballers in all of Australia actually train for speed. I mean pure speed. Considering the players are basically getting drafted for their speed means there is a lot of players far behind the mark. You can teach skills and build endurance quickly; speed is a year to year proposition.

As the AFL teams continue with extremely high player rotations each year, so are local and amateur football teams. Why do they do this? If you can maintain a high quality if work rate from all 22 players, you’ll more often than not, win the game and avoid a high injury toll.

Dane Swan is the perfect example. He starts on the ground, does a hard 3 – 5mins and takes himself off for a 2min spell. This is done for basically the full game so he never really enters a period of being “blown up” to the point that he can’t quickly recover and go again.

It also of great coincidence that Collingwood do absolutely no time trials or long distance, long duration running drills at all during their pre season. You probably are.

So if the game now is all about a high quality work with short rest periods then it must mean that you need to be able to go fast for a short period of time, not slow for a long time.

So how do we train for that?

First and foremost you are after quality, not quantity. All “shit running” needs to be avoided. It will take a little bit of getting used to but auto regulation is a great tool to use for this. Shit running refers to the type of running you wouldn’t do in a game situation. Jogging slowly for 20mins does not happen in a game so why do it for training?

Auto Regulation refers to setting a baseline and / or a drop off training point for each session you perform and once you reach it, the training session is over.

Here’s a step by step guide of how to do it:

Step 1 – Set Your Baseline

Simply sprint as fast as you can for a long as you can. Don’t start off at 70% to “finish fast’, you need to start fast and maintain “fast” for as long as you can. Once your speed drops to about 80% of your maximum speed reached during this sprint, stop the test and record your distance and your time.

Step 2 – Set Your Drop Off Point

There are 2 ways to go about this. You can either:

Option A – Sprint for the same amount of time that you tested for and once you can’t reach 90% of that distance in that time, stop the session.

Or;

Option B – Sprint for the baseline distance you reached and when you can’t finish that in 110% of the baseline time, stop the session.

Say for example you tested at 150 meters and 20secs you would do either:

Option A – 20sec sprints aiming to reach 135m

Or;

Option B – 150m in 22secs

For option A do sprints x 20secs and once you can’t reach 135m in any given set, the session is over.

For option B do 150m sprints and once you can’t finish 1 set in 22secs, the session is over.

Obviously your aim is to increase the amount of sets you can do before you reach the drop off point. 
Generally you’ll beat your best effort 6/10 times, equal it 2/10 and not beat your best effort 2/10. If you find yourself getting fewer sets more often than 2/10 times, just readjust your figures slightly and see how you go.

What this method of training will ensure is that you are working as hard as you can each set with an actual goal in mind, not just running to get puffed.

Remember, run long but run it fast!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Month 3, Week 3


Sorry I didn't get to update last week, things have been going bananas around here. We're holding Christmas dinner at our house on Saturday for the very 1st timer and we had a list of 32 jobs that needed to be done around the house. I think there is 3 or 4 left as of now, Christmas Eve Eve. I also forgot to video and because of Christmas parties and funerals, training attendance was a little up and down.

Alas we battled onto week 3 which is the top week for the max effort lifts which this month was Close Grip Bench Presses and Deadlifts from a 4" elevation.

For the sprint performance day we played with some contrast sprints over 10m with the prowler and then we went outside and played with some contrast sprints utilising the slight downhill slope we have at the park we use (Rockley Gardens).

Highlights include:

 - Lachy managing 55 total chin ups after managing a piss poor 10 in 7 sets on his very 1st night!!
 - Troy reaching 2 x 6 @ 25kg in each hand for bulgarian split squats
 - Nick making 52.5kgs x 2 for the close grip bench press, Lachy 57.5 x 2 and Troy 85kgs x 2
 - Lachy reaching 265cms on the depth jump to standing long jump which is actually longer then his standing long jump!!


 - Nick cracking the tonne for deadlifts off a 4" elevation for 3 reps, Lachy 105kgs for 3 reps and Troy 140kgs for 3 reps


As mentioned above, Friday is sprinting day with some other stuff thrown in and this is what we did for the sprinting portion of the workout:

Low Depth Jump into 5m Sprint x 5 reps

Heavy Arse Prowler Drag @ 180kgs x 10m
Light Prowler Push @ 22.5kgs x 10m
10m Sprint from a push up starting position x 10m
x 3 complexes each

We then went outside and did:

20m sprints 3 x 75, 90 and 100%

40m Sprint downhill
2 x 40m sprints uphill

Nick and I did this last week and found that the uphill sprint after the downhill sprint were the fastest we've both done since we started the program.

So today I popped the downhill sprint in 1st and all 3 of us achieved personal best 40m sprint times in the uphill version.

Nick 5.87secs, Lachy 5.69secs and Troy 5.52secs

We had not ran a time below 6secs since we've done this so whether the contrast sprints inside or the contrast sprints outside are working, I'm not sure but it is. I haven't even brought the sled out yet!!

Next week we have deload week but for Jan we have a huge concentrated training block where will train almost everyday. Personally I can't wait to do this but it is a test run and I've never done it before so it's a case of hope and see.

I'll go into more detail next week.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Month 3, Week 1

We're almost 1/2 way through the 5 months and the training is starting to show some results.

This appeared on the Herald-Sun website today:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/weapon-of-mass-destruction-high-performance-guru-dean-robinson/story-e6frf9jf-1226217676548

It's good to see some good old fashioned weight work being done in the AFL. I think that getting your body strong and resilient enough to get through a 9 month season is JUST AS important then being able to run the tan in sub 10 minutes.

For me personally I can't run distance for shit and even in my late teens and early 20's when I did run for footy, within a 3km run I'd have a break of some sort at about the 2km mark and then I'd burst home. Now that I'm 33, I basically focus on being strong, explosive and most important, injury free. So while other 33 year olds are playing forward pocket and icing every joint in the body post game, I'm playing center half back at 168cms while playing an offensive half back flanker type game and doing gym training on a Sunday during the season.

Being strong and conditioning my muscles for high intensity exercise has definitely allowed me to do this at my age. Running for 6 months will not. It will get you fit but it will also play havoc with your joints and the limited range of motion that running has, overloads the small amount of muscles actually doing work and all of a sudden you're struck down in April with shin splints, plantar fasciitis and osteo pubis.

You can actually get a solid aerobic fitness base pretty quickly with a concentrated block of aerobic type training, so I don't think you need to start running marathons in October.

Get fit to run, don't run to get fit.

With pre season training starting I've made a few scheduling changes to the program to cater for the extra training volume:

1 - Tuesday is now assistance exercise night where we'll do most of our hypertrophy based training which is also being done a lower volume because this night is sandwiched between Monday and Wednesday night training so we don't need or want to go overboard and take away from either training mode.

2 - Thursday is now max effort night for upper and lower body.

3 - Friday is now performance night where we really focus on acceleration with the contrast sprints in and outside.

I only have vision of Tuesday night as I forgot the camera Thursday and then it was full on Friday!












If you've got any questions on anything that we're doing during the program (why are we doing a particular exercise, technique questions etc) then please feel free to fire them through.

Month 3, Week 1

We're almost 1/2 way through the 5 months and the training is starting to show some results.

This appeared on the Herald-Sun website today:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/weapon-of-mass-destruction-high-performance-guru-dean-robinson/story-e6frf9jf-1226217676548

It's good to see some good old fashioned weight work being done in the AFL. I think that getting your body string and resilient enough to get through a 9 month season is JUST AS important then being able to run the tan in sub 10 minutes.

For me personally I do can't run distance for shit and even in my late teens and early 20's when I did run for footy, within a 3km run I'd have a break of some sort at about the 2km mark and then I'd burst home. Now that I'm 33 I basically focused on being strong, explosive and most important injury free. So while other 33 year olds are playing forward pocket and icing every joint in the body post game, I'm playing center half back at 168cms while playing an offensive half back game and doing gym training on a Sunday during the season.

Being strong and conditioning my muscles for high intensity exercise has definitely allowed me to do this at my age. Running for 6 months will not. It will get you fit but play havoc with your joints and the limited range of motion that running has overloads the small amount of muscles actually doing work and all of a sudden you're struck down in April with shin splints, plantar fasciitis and osteo pubis.

You actually get a solid aerobic fitness base pretty quickly with a concentrated block of aerobic type training so I don't think you need to start running marathons in October.

Get fit to run, don't run to get fit.

With pre season training starting I've made a few scheduling changes to the program to cater for the extra training volume:

1 - Tuesday is now assistance exercise night where we'll do most of our hypertrophy based training which is also being done a lower volume because this night is sandwiched between Monday and Wednesday night training so we don't need or want to go overboard and take away from either training mode.

2 - Thursday is now max effort night for upper and lower body.

3 - Friday is now performance night where we really focus on acceleration with the contrast sprints in and outside.

I only have vision of Tuesday night as I forgot the camera Thursday and then it was full on Friday!

Month 3, Week 1

We're almost 1/2 way through the 5 months and the training is starting to show some results.

This appeared on the Herald-Sun website today:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/weapon-of-mass-destruction-high-performance-guru-dean-robinson/story-e6frf9jf-1226217676548

It's good to see some good old fashioned weight work being done in the AFL. I think that getting your body string and resilient enough to get through a 9 month season is JUST AS important then being able to run the tan in sub 10 minutes.

For me personally I do can't run distance for shit and even in my late teens and early 20's when I did run for footy, within a 3km run I'd have a break of some sort at about the 2km mark and then I'd burst home. Now that I'm 33 I basically focused on being strong, explosive and most important injury free. So while other 33 year olds are playing forward pocket and icing every joint in the body post game, I'm playing center half back at 168cms while playing an offensive half back game and doing gym training on a Sunday during the season.

Being strong and conditioning my muscles for high intensity exercise has definitely allowed me to do this at my age. Running for 6 months will not. It will get you fit but play havoc with your joints and the limited range of motion that running has overloads the small amount of muscles actually doing work and all of a sudden you're struck down in April with shin splints, plantar fasciitis and osteo pubis.

You actually get a solid aerobic fitness base pretty quickly with a concentrated block of aerobic type training so I don't think you need to start running marathons in October.

Get fit to run, don't run to get fit.

With pre season training starting I've made a few scheduling changes to the program to cater for the extra training volume:

1 - Tuesday is now assistance exercise night where we'll do most of our hypertrophy based training which is also being done a lower volume because this night is sandwiched between Monday and Wednesday night training so we don't need or want to go overboard and take away from either training mode.

2 - Thursday is now max effort night for upper and lower body.

3 - Friday is now performance night where we really focus on acceleration with the contrast sprints in and outside.

I only have vision of Tuesday night as I forgot the camera Thursday and then it was full on Friday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Month 2 Recap Part 2

Month 2 is officially in the bag.

This week we had Nick and Lachy make some week 3 stuff as we treated they're week's off respectively as their deload weeks.

The efforts of the week included:
  • Nick maxing out at 95kgs on the sumo deadlifts and Lachy cracking the tonne for 3 reps each
  • Nick recording a 60kgs 3 rep max for the 3 board bench press with Lachy reaching 65kgs
  • Nick blew apart his chin up 3 rep max making 3 reps with 22.5kgs strapped to him
  • Lachy repping out 32 reps for his 1st set of tricep death at 30kgs and then another 22 on the 2nd set and to put it in perspective the 2nd best total of any set for the month was 24!
  • Troy reverse lunging with 30kg dumbbells for 2 sets of 5 - i stand by my comment that these loaded up are almost, if not the, most demanding exercise you can do
I also played with some sumo deadlifts with chains for my dynamic effort lower body movement in my deload week this week:



Tuesday starts Month 3 before we break for Christmas where our focus exercises will be deadlifts off 4" mats and close grip bench presses along with our usual 10m sprint times and chin / pull ups.

Some of the boys have also started pre season with their respective teams so we'll also cut down some of the assistance exercise volume from now on.