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Thursday, June 28, 2012

July Newsletter 2012


Here's the contents for the July Aussie Rules Training Newsletter:

- You Can Still Improve This Season
- Triphasic Training (my 2012/12 Off Season Training Program) 
- Running Style or Weakness?
- Are You Training the Core Incorrectly?
- July Training Program

Hit the Paypal button on the main site if you want a subscribe.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Beginners Guide to Starting in the Gym


This is a little post I put up on www.bigfooty.com in the health and fitness section that I frequently post on.

We’ve had a few posts from young blokes wanting to know what they should do in the gym so instead of doing replica posts I’ll put something up that everyone can be directed to.

Exercises
You MUST start with bodyweight exercises and see where you are at with them before trying to load up on bench presses. Why? Because it’s your smaller stabilising muscles that determine if you’ll lift a certain weight for a certain amount of reps or if you’ll fail before you reach the 8 or so reps you’re aiming for.

Sticking with the bench press, it’s your smaller muscles that surround the shoulder that will tire well before the much bigger and stronger chest muscles will so if you jump straight on the bench press, these muscles are not required as much as they are during a push up or hand walk exercise. This means that you develop the chest muscles a lot quicker and then you’ll also plateau a lot sooner because the brain senses an injury will happen if it lets you lift heavier and thus ends up shutting down the big chest muscles from doing the weight you want to because it doesn’t have enough support from the smaller, stabilising muscles

So bodyweight exercises are your starting point.

For the lower body you’ll want step ups, split squats, reverse lunges and walking lunges while at the same time learning the correct technique a squat and hip hinge movement pattern.
For the upper body you’ll want push ups (which have plenty of variations to progress with), inverted rows and various core progressions from a hands and feet (prone) position.

Training Schedule and Frequency
Contrary to those shitty muscle mags, you don’t need a 1 day for arms, 1 day for shoulders and 1 day for chest. Why?
For starters, the reason you want to start going to the gym is because you’re skinny and weak right? Well that tells me, an exceptionally well read personal trainer and personal trainer studio owner (not some fat meathead from the gym) who already knows now that you’ll need less time out of the gym then in it. That means full body workouts x 3 - 4 per week depending on what else you have going on with other sporting activities.

So we’ll train the upper and lower body in the same session each time we train. Frequency wise you can train everyday when you’re a beginner because you’re lifting a very low percentage of your actual potential load so muscle damage is minimal and nervous system activity is very low.
If you have other sporting commitments you might just train 3 – 4/week or if you’re right into it, then you can train every day.

Sets and Reps
As a beginner gym goer, we don’t need to worry the best sets and reps to gain mass or the ultimate program to become the greatest athlete alive. It’s a time to learn.

The best way to learn is to repeat the skill you’re trying to perfect. Going to the gym and trying new things each session is not going to make you any better at anything and you’ll be starved of the “newbie gains” that can be had with a proper training program can have.

Initially we want to keep the volume on the low side because we want to train with 100% quality and worry about the quantity later. If you go out like a bull at a red flag then you’ll end up doing 3 good reps a lot of shitty one’s, which actually tells the brain to train with shitty technique all the time because you actually ingrain the movement in your nervous system. This means that you’ll plateau real early and then to progress you’ll need to actually go backwards, relearn what you were meant to do and ingrain a brand new pattern again.

So for the most part we’ll start with 6 – 8 reps per set x 2 – 3 sets. That’s it.

Progression
A training program is only good as its progression. This is FACT!!

If that fat meathead from the gym gives you a piece of paper and says “do this” and nothing else, you might as well make use of it and take it to the toilet with you.

An exercise or program can be progressed many ways but our main progression will be total volume.
Sets x Reps = Total Volume

So if on the first day we do 3 x 6 for push ups we have a total volume of 18 reps for that exercise. The next time we do push ups we want more volume so we’d move to 3 x 7 which equals 21 total reps, a 3 rep increase.

What this does is gives us more “practice” at the exercise giving us a greater chance of that pattern being ingrained in the nervous system and the brain sooner and it will also provide more training stress for the muscles in that exercise to be exposed and then to adapt to. Ultimately it lets us get stronger and bigger continually as the stress always increases.

Taking a more long term approach we will also progress through exercise progressions where we’ll use exercises that are more difficult or require more muscles to complete.

So each “session” we progress through increased volume and each “program’ we progress through exercise selection.

Technique
You do push ups to build your chest up right? That’s fine, that’s what they’re meant to do. When they are done correctly. You jump on your bike to go down to the shops but if you go the wrong way then you never get there. This is the same with the gym.

A push up can train everything except what it’s meant to if they are not done correctly. Technique is vital to beginners because it ensures the right movement is being used and ingrained in the nervous system. This is crucial to when moving to harder and heavier exercises because if you can’t hold the correct positioning for a bodyweight squat, you’ll get crushed when you try barbell back squats.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

Program 1
Step Ups / Inverted Rows / Push Ups 3 x 8 increasing by 2 reps per set each session until you’re at 16 reps each exercise. Do inverted rows and push ups from a setting that allows you to comfortably reach 8 reps per set. At the same time practice squatting and hip hinge movement patterns with just your bodyweight for the same sets and reps.

Program 2
Split Squats / Inverted Rows / Push Ups 3 x 8 increasing by 2 reps per set each session until you’re at 16 reps each exercise. For the inverted rows and push ups, decrease the bar height to the next lowest setting and repeat. At the same time practice squatting technique with your hands on your head and the hip hinge technique with a very light bar or broomstick for the same sets and reps.

Program 3
Reverse Lunges / Inverted Rows / Push Ups 3 x 8 the same as the last 2 programs with a lower bar setting. If the bar is at your waist height for inverted rows then use a 1sec hold at the top of each rep. If you can now do push ups from the floor, then do so but make sure technique is still perfect. Continue with the squatting practice by using an unloaded barbell across the back of your shoulders and also use an unloaded barbell for the hip hinge practice.

Program 4
Walking Lunges / Inverted Rows / Walking Push Ups 3 x 8 using the same sets and reps as the earlier programs and working up to 16 reps per exercise. For inverted rows you can now try elevating your feet on a small step while keeping the bar height the same. Walking push ups are performed by doing a push up, walk 1 "walk" forwards and do a push up etc until you've done 2 full squares. For squats use a broomstick behind your head across your shoulders and for hip hinge do rack pulls from a knee height with a broomstick

So there’s your first 20 training sessions. At this point you’ll be craving for some iron so we’ll introduce some while continuing with the exercises we’ve mastered in the last 4 programs.

Program 5
Step Ups / Inverted Rows + Cable Rows / Push Ups + Barbell Floor Bench Press 3 x 8 increasing by 1 rep per set each session until you’re at 16 reps each exercise. Do inverted rows and push ups from a setting that allows you to comfortably reach 8 reps per set. Squats will now be trained with goblet squats and hip hinge with knee height rack pulls with a slightly loaded bar for 3 x 8 working up to 16 reps per set.

Program 6
Split Squats / Inverted Rows + Dumbbell Chest Supported Rows/ Dumbbell Floor Bench Press + Push Ups 3 x 8 increasing by 1 rep per set each session until you’re at 16 reps each exercise. For the inverted rows and push ups, decrease the bar height to the next lowest setting and repeat. Squats will now be trained with box squats with a lightly loaded bar and hip hinge will be trained with rack pulls from a mid shin height.

Program 7
Reverse Lunges / Inverted Rows + Dumbbell Rows / Push Ups + Barbell Bench Press 3 x 8 the same as the last 2 programs with a lower bar setting. If the bar is at your waist height for inverted rows then use a 1sec hold at the top of each rep. If you can now do push ups from the floor, then do so but make sure technique is still perfect. Squats will now be trained with front squats with a lightly loaded bar and hip hinge with deadlifts from the floor but for this program we will start at 3 x 6 and increase just 1 rep per set per session so you’ll reach 10 reps per exercise.

Program 8
Walking Lunges / Inverted Rows + Chin Ups / Walking Push Ups + Dumbbell Bench Press 3 x 8 using the same sets and reps as the earlier programs and working up to 16 reps per exercise. For inverted rows you can now try elevating your feet on a small step while keeping the bar height the same. For chin ups try and do a complete rep and if you can then do 8 total reps whether it be 8 x 1 or 2 x 4, just get 8. If you can’t complete 1 rep then attempt a chin up isometric hold at the top position with your chin over the bar and aim for 3 x 20secs then increase by 2secs per session. For squats we will use back squats with a lightly loaded bar and hip hinge will be trained with romanain deadlifts with a lightly loaded bar for 3 sets of 6 increasing 1 rep per session.

I have an excel spreadsheet with all these programs laid out on it for you to use so email me at lange_troy@hotmail.com if you want it.

So there you go, your first 40 gym sessions all laid out for you. Be sure not to skip ahead, you’ve got a lifetime to reach the top.

The best part of starting out like this is when you finally start using the big exercises for big weight it won’t seem such a strain and progression in the weight you can lift will be more sustainable as you’re body is doing a movement is knows perfectly, it really just comes down to your recovery and programming after that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How Much Faster Do You Need To Be?




The fastest 20 meter sprint recorded at the AFL Combine / Draft Camp is 2.75secs by Joel Wilkinson from the Gold Coast Suns in 2010.

Broken down that gives us a 10 meter split time of 1.37.05secs

Broken down even further, each meter is covered, on average, in .1375secs

As we're not all speed machines lets use some more realistic figures and say that 20 meters can be covered in 3.2secs which gives a split time of 1.6secs with each meter covered in .16secs.

Doesn't sound like much does it?

But if you're a backman, and even worse a slow backman, who is just 1 meter behind your opposition, with the right kick you're done and dusted and standing the mark for a shot on goal.

By the numbers, speed doesn't look like much but as with all sports, every split second counts, especially with sprinting speed.

AFL teams look for potential draftees to be able to cover 20 meters in 3secs or less.

3.0secs would get you looked at.

3.2secs probably would not.

Still it doesn't sound like much though does it?

.1 of  a sec? A piece of piss.

As a backman you might think that just being 1 single meter behind your forward opposition player on a lead, as .1 of a second is nothing but over a 20m lead it actually means that you're actually 5% behind him which is a quite a lot for a game that focuses a lot on the 1%'ers.

There's not too many teams who actually train for speed but it can be improved, especially starting speed.

In nutshell, get stronger, keep bodyfat on the low side and actually train maximum speed as it takes as little as 5 days for any maximu speed gains to dissipate all together. This means that it is essential to train it either at training each week or in a separate session.

You don't need much volume, nor would you want to do a lot of volume in season so keep total distance to 200 meters or less per session.

As you can see any improvement will be more then adequate when you see how it really breaks down with meters per second.