Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In-Season Training Manual Now Available!!

A few weeks ago I posted some information on my blog in regards to in season training. You can view them at these links:

The main point of these posts is to underline the importance of a structured in-season training program both on the track and in the gym with both being as important as the other.

I’m a personal trainer by trade so I often work the hours that footy training is on. I still hit the gym as hard as I do in the off season, especially if I know I won’t be making training (I’m not a big runner outside of footy training!!).

I have done this since my 2009 comeback except for last year but  have still managed to avoid any injury of any sort and played every game in that time. I don’t know of many 34 year olds that can say that so it really does highlight how important a gym program can be, especially as you get older.

Here are the 5 most important reasons why a properly structured in-season training program is essential to you and your team’s success.

1 – The Maintenance of Your Off / Pre Season Endurance/Speed/Strength Improvements

As discussed above, your aim for in-season training should simply be, at a minimum, to maintain the improvements you made in the off and pre season. Once you reach a relatively high level of fitness, strength or speed, then it takes only about 50% of the volume to maintain it then what it took to actually get it. This can occur if intensity is high enough, frequently enough. Intensity rules in sport and you’re much better deserved doing a very intensive 40 – 50min session then a long drawn out 70 – 90min session.

2 – To Decrease the Risk of Injury By Balancing Out the Muscles/Actions Used in Footy

Soft tissues injuries, especially at top levels of football, should not happen. They can be predicted through restricted movement, injury history and many other factors. I am obviously aware that 90% of local football teams simply don’t have the resources for this kind of stuff but that is exactly why I have this site and why I release my manuals.

When you look at footy there is a lot of 1 action repeatedly. When you run you raise your knee towards your hips with each step which is called hip flexion. Hip flexion uses the hip flexor muscle complex and the quadriceps to perform the action. The opposite action is hip extension and that is performed primarily (or it should be) by the glutes with some help from the hamstrings. When you overload one set of muscles, it will eventually lead to an overuse of this action and thus the muscles involved in the action. This is why there are so many anterior hip, groin and quad injuries in footy. How often do you read of a torn glute muscle? NEVER!! This is because it’s so string it’s indestructible, it’s because it simply doesn’t do enough work because with a very quadriceps dominant pattern, it can actually turn off the glutes leaving all the running work to the muscles on the front of the leg when most of it should be done by the muscles on the back of the leg.

3 – Increase Your In-Season Work Capacity

Taking into account a game and 2 x 60 – 90 minute training sessions, your running volume should be easily covered and then some so to avoid the aforementioned overuse injuries, to improve your work capacity even further, increasing your running volume is not the best option.

By doing a few days in the gym you throw a different stimulus at the body but a stimulus that is actually required in footy – max strength. Max strength is the base of all other fitness qualities. Sprinting speed is directly correlated to how much force you can put into the ground and then reverse back out through the feet , which is best improved by increasing your strength levels. Now if because of my strength levels I can 100m in 12 seconds and your lack of leg strength results in a 15 second 100m sprint time, who is going to be quicker in the 4th quarter when it’s the game is on the line. Even if we fatigue at the exact same level during the game, I’ll always be 3 seconds faster than him.

Speed is king!!

4 – To Maintain Lean Bodyweight

I played with a ruckman last year who lost 5 – 6kgs from the start of the season to the last game. He did 90% of the rucking duties on his own (he has a pretty good tank) but by the last few rounds of the year the long season had taken its toll. Ruckman of the same quality but with bigger bodies were out bodying and out jumping him.

When you neglect strength training during the in-season you’ll suffer a decrease in muscle mass and a smaller muscle does not have the potential for strength as a bigger muscle.

You can offset weight loss by eating but I’ve seen a lot of local football player’s diets and they ain’t pretty which will possibly result in fat gain and muscle loss – not a good combo.

5 – To Not Finish Like Essendon in 2012!!

We are all aware of what’s going on, or what supposedly went on at Essendon last year. They were 2nd on the ladder before the “supplements’ they were taking were shelved by the club and resulted in a finishing position of 11th.

The lesson to be learnt from this is that finishing strong is just as important, if not more important than starting strong. Each year the Sydney Swans seem to have it going at the right end of the year. In the NBA the Miami Heat have won 19 games in a row with 3 weeks left before the playoffs when they seem to be ‘struggling” in the middle of the year.

Today I release the Aussie Rules In-Season Training Manual to provide you with all the answers of the above and more!! You can order it via the Paypal link to the right of screen.

Once notification of payment hits my email then I'll email it through - too easy!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In Season Training Manual Contents

The season is finally here - well the AFL season anyway!!

I've been feverishly working away on the extremely long waited in season training manual. I've actually had a version 2 near completed version for the last 2 seasons but never quite got either of them finished in time and by the time it came time for the next one, I'd learnt a lot more and needed to redo it basically.

So this year I started a bit early and I'm 95% done - I just have some videos to do and some further editing stuff.

The contents of the manual is as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Strength and Fitness Components of Aussie Rules Football
  • The Goal of In Season Training
  • In-Season Training
  • Maintaining Your Of Season Gains During the In-Season
  • Strength and Muscle Mass
  • Speed
  • Endurance
  • Scheduling Your In-Season Training
  • Training Residuals
  • Dealing With In-Season Injuries
  • Training Around In-Season Injuries
  • To Periodise or Not to Periodise?
  • Auto Regulation Training
  • Neural State Testing
  • Set to Set Ramping
  • Speed
  • Endurance
  • Warm Up
  • Warm Up Sequencing
  • The Gym Program
  • Exercise Selection List
  • Neural Charge Workout
  • Workout Template A
  • Workout Template B
  • Exercise Substitutes
  • The Track Program
  • You're Only as Good as You're Recovery
  • Video List
Be on the lookout for the Aussie Rules Training In Season Manual in the next week or so!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In Season Training - Do You Do It Right? Part 2

The 1 thing that you cannot forget when planning your in season training program is that this is not the pre season.

Your number 1 goal is your performance on Saturday. Your number 2 goal is your training performance on a Tuesday and a Thursday. Your number 3 goal is training to performance in the gym or any extra work you take on to compliment goals 1 and 2.

As you work down from goal 1 to goal 2 you need to determine if there is anything that negatively affects your performance for goal 1. For example you might be an older player (like me!!) with a few runs on the board which generally means that you can't go all out every Tuesday and Thursday night like your 20.

Working back down from goal 2 to goal 3, you also need to determine if there is anything you're doing in the gym that will affect goal 1 or goal 2. For example that chest and back fits nicely in your 4 day rotation in the summer but when you're barely getting to the gym 2 a week during the in season, then that plan has to change because if you're not training your legs in the gym, in the in season, then you're not serious.

So if you're only getting to the gym once or twice a week then you're sole purpose is to get the most from the least. Everything you do must be fully justified and in line with improving yourself as a footballer. There is already enough "goal confusion" in the summer where you're torn between gym training to actually improve your football or your chances at the beach, so let's not make that mistake again.

The next thing you want to look at is intensity. As you're aiming to get the most from the least then that means that intensity needs to be pretty high. Now when most players think of intensity they think of more volume or more fatigue like drop sets (never, ever do these please) or even worse, forced reps. This is not increasing intensity. Intensity is classed as a % of your maximum. For the gym this is based on your 1 rep max (actual or projected) and on the track it is a % of our max speed (time or pace) or max heart rate.

Once you do a drop set then you're intensity has actually decreased dramatically because you've decreased the weight, not to mention volume output in most cases. So plan out your program to add in periods of high intensity but you don't need to go high intensity all the time as you'll find out when the manual gets released in the next few weeks.

Like I said in my last post, I think in season training is on par, if not more important then pre season training because there's no point getting strong, bigger and fitter then you've ever been if it just falls away during the playing months. A, you'll start like a freight train and fall away when your gains fall away and B, you're back to start again in September meaning you'll only build back to where you are again now, not actually better.

2 posts in 3 days - I'm back!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

In Season Training - Do You Do It Right? Part 1

How many of us go through this cycle?

The season finishes in September then it's time to hit gym. For starters we want to get bigger and stronger for footy next year and with the sun shining through, there are girls at the beach the same time we're there.

So in the 4 - 5 months you were really hitting the gym you might have put on 3 - 4kgs of muscle and improved 15 - 20% on your main lifts - all of which will serve you very well for the season proper in a couple of weeks.

We continue our gym efforts until about April when the season starts and then something happens. For some reason we all of a sudden become too busy to get to the gym. I'm not sure why this happens because footy training is still 2 nights a week so it's just a matter of changing your days around a little.

So the cycle starts with great intentions but finishes far too early and instead of maintaining your gains made in the off season, they are left shrivel back to their normal size in the case of muscle and in a case of use it or lose it, the nervous system doesn't worry about maintaining strength if it's not going to be used.

The question is - do you need to be near or at your strongest in the pre season or the in season? Surely the in season wins out easily. You'd never not run during the season and expect to be able to run your best each week so why not keep up the gym?

I've just finished my 26 week off season gym program today so immediately move into in season mode. Unfortunately I haven't really been able to get to training as often as I'd like so my fitness is way behind with a practice match 8 days away, but I will continue to train at least 4 days a week in the gym, if not 5. My first phase of in season training which starts next week will be 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) as well as Tuesday and Thursday footy training.

If you are perfect example of the player described above then let me know via our Facebook page why you stop gym training during the in season and I'll report back in the next few days with part 2.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Explaining My Absence

No fandangle excuse really, just life.

The wife hit the skids again with tiredness and sleep probably 70% of February all the while I've also been putting a together a bunch of ebooks for my studio website that have taken a little longer then I thought they would, and they're still not finished!!

Anyway I'm still here and still intending to update this bad boy when all that blows over and I've got some idea's for content including:

  • Correcting breathing patterns
  • Focusing on more then just getting bigger and stronger in the gym
  • A new look at training core stability (linking off the breathing patterns idea)
  • A full wrap up of my 26 Week Triphasic Training program that has just 1 week to go!!
  • Some new idea's on setting up actual team training sessions
  • And a quick build up to the release of probably the most important manual to date, the Aussie Rules In Season Training Manual
So I haven't just been sitting on the couch doing nothing I'm still thinking about this blog even when I'm not actually updating it.

As always if you have idea's for content, questions on training or anything then let me know via our Facebook page here, which you should also like and invite all your friends to by the way!!