Friday, November 27, 2015

A Timeline of My Knee Rehab Part 1

On August 16th I had a pretty serious, but not major, injury to my left knee. As you can see from the image above (taken 3 days post injury), there was quite major swelling which generally indicates not all is right. Here's a look at my timeline since then:

Aug 16th - Suffered Knee Injury
Aug 20th - Rack Pull x 5 reps at 30kgs...yes 30kgs - just a quite 100-odd kgs of my general max! But you gotta start somewhere I suppose.
Aug 27th - Rack Pull x 3 reps at 77.5kgs
Aug 31st - Rack Pull x 3 reps @ 87.5kgs...aiming to play in the Preliminary Final this Saturday!

Sep 1st - Attempted Tuesday night training where I hobbled through 12 run-throughs over 40m or so...pulled out of prelim final
Sep 6th - Got some pain meds from the doctor which I will test drive tomorrow
Sep 7th - Pain meds seem to work well it seems. I had 1 mid morning like I would pre-game next week and the pain did subside. 2 would definitely do the trick so I'm in for next week....except we lost!!F$$^^&K!!!!!!!!
Sep 10th - Rack Pull x 3 @ 97.5kgs
Sep 12th - did Front Squats for the first time post-injury and did 3 x 65kgs
Sep 16th - Rack Pull x 3 @ 112.5kgs and Front Squats x 3 @ 70kgs
Sep 21st - Front Squat 3 x 75kgs
Sep 23rd - Rack Pull 3 x 125kgs
Sep 25th - Front Squat 3 x 80kgs + started Bulgarian Split Squats x 8 at bodyweight.
Sep 28th - Rack Pull 1 x 140kgs...totally miscalculated here, I was going for 130-something!! Started Pistol Squats where I could lower about 3 - 4" only to a bench and get back up. How the mighty fall!

Oct 2nd - Front Squat 2 x 95kgs...Increased Pistol range of motion by about 2"
Oct 5th - Started Aerobic Capacity work which I have been doing by playing basketball where I've set up a little program I do and I time it which I described on Facebook around this time. It's low impact and low force as it's just basic shooting from various spots on the court and most importantly, it's not boring like running or doing the cross trainer. Started out at 30mins.
Oct 9th - Front Squats 1 x 100kgs
Oct 10th - Increased Pistol ROM by another 2"
Oct 12th - Aerobic Capacity increased to 45mins
Oct 13th - Started Front Squat Lockouts which I videoed on Facebook around this time 3 x 105kgs
Oct 14th - Increased Pistol ROM another 2"
Oct 15th - Started Band Drop and Catch Squats to work eccentric strength 3 x 65kgs
Oct 17th - Bulgarian Split Squat 6 x 15kgs
Oct 19th - Band Drop and Catch Squats x 3 @ 70kgs
Oct 20th - Increased Pistol ROM another 2" + Aerobic Capacity increased to 60mins
Oct 21st - Front Squat Lockout 3 x 110kgs
Oct 22nd - Band Romanian Deadlift 5 x 75kgs which I videoed on Facebook around this time.
Oct 23rd - Bulgarian Split Squat 5 x 22.5kgs
Oct 27 - Increases Pistol Squat ROM another 2"
Oct 28th - Front Squat Lockout 3 x 115kgs
Oct 29th - Band Romanian Deadlift 5 x 85kgs
Oct 30th - Bulgarian Split Squat 5 x 27.5kgs

Nov 2nd - Band Drop and Catch Squats 3 x 80
Nov 4th - Front Squat Lockout 1 x 120kgs + increased Pistol Squat ROM another 2'
Nov 6th - Band Romanian Deadlift 5 x 95kgs + Bulgarian Split Squat 5 x 30kgs
Nov 9th - Introduced Skipping 6 x 50 as reactiveness has all but left me from being ground based for so long + increased Pistol Squat ROM another 2"
Nov 11th - Front Squat Lockout 1 x 130kgs...a few days I started to develop a cyst on the inside of my left leg which I knew would be cut out once I went to doctors tomorrow so I maxed out on the Lockouts because I'll need the next week a half off legs while I have a small hole in my leg.
Nov 23rd - Started Reactive Ladder exercises, otherwise known as the agility ladder, to start increasing ground contact force as well to develop lower leg/foot stiffness.
Nov 24th - Romanian Deadlift Triphasic Training style 6 x 1 @ 70kgs + Moderate Hill Runs x 10 sets - 1st TIME RUNNING!!!
Nov 25th - Romanian Deadlift Triphasic @ 72.5kgs + Hills x 15

So here's been thinking in ordering my comeback:
Step 1 - Improve basic movement back the knee, especially flexion (general strength work performed in Aug/Sep)
Step 2 - Improve strength through my left leg, especially flexion again (high force strength work performed in Sep/Oct)
Step 3 - Improve ground force through the leg starting with moderate force and low velocity/impact (low impact jump/hops/hill work performed in Nov)
Step 4 - Improve ground force through the leg with high force and moderate velocity/impact (resisted flat ground sprints to come in Dec)
Step 5 - Improve ground force through the leg with moderate force and high velocity (acceleration flat ground sprints to come in Dec/Jan)
Step 6 - Improve ground force through the leg with low force and high velocity (max velocity work to come in Jan/Feb)

I will not start any other conditioning work, but still continue my aerobic capacity basketball stuff, until I can run at full speed. You've got to stay the course!

So as you can see small incremental increases do work wonders over time. I don't need to be at 100% until March/April (depending if I play practice games or not) so there is no need to be in a rush.

So if you are coming back from an injury then sit down and work out where you are now and where you need to get to then plug in the "how to get there" bit in the middle but give yourself time. You might not be 1000% fit for round 1 but is that really a big deal? Would you rather be 80% fit for round 1 but 100% fit for finals or the other way around?

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Ultimate Pre Season Team Training Session

Off the back of the pre-season training starting up for most, if not all, footy clubs at the moment, here's what a perfect pre-season training team training session would look like IF I had total control over the team and session:

Before hitting the track everyone goes through the Be-Activated Zone 1 Activation Points with Diaphragmatic Breathing then run out as a team. This should take about 5mins.

In small groups or pairs (depending on how many footy's you have), make sure you get 100 - 200 touches (kicks + handballs) on your bad side and 50 - 100 on your good side. This should take about 7 - 8mins.

As a team do a lap plus some tempo runs with dynamic mobility drills thrown in at each end starting with ground based movements and progressing to standing movements as you progress through the warm up. This should take about 5 - 7mins.

Core and muscle temperature should now be raised with a light sweat so now it's time to prime the nervous system for the intense training ahead.

Now I'd set up stations for stiffness and single leg reactivity and break the team into 2 groups. Each station would have 2 - 3 exercises and performed for 3 - 5mins each station so 6 - 10mins total.

So all up from start to finish the prep work should take about 30mins but you've actually trained physical traits in this time in muscle activation, joint mobility, skill development, lower leg stiffness and single leg reactivity.

Now to the actual nuts and bolt of the session.

Next up is acceleration work over 10 - 20m for 5 - 8 sets with full walk back rest for 1min for every 10m covered per set (i.e. 10m = 1min, 20m = 2mins etc). You can do more stationary skill work between sets if you wish.

Next up we can work agility and change of direction with some small sided handball games in tight confines for 20 - 30sec intervals x 2 - 4 sets and then resting while other teams go.

Even though you'll have been training for 45mins or so by now there still should be limited fatigue build up as we've been predominantly working the alactic energy system which is covered with no longer then 10sec work periods with full rest so we're definitely going for quality over quantity here.

Next up you can throw some skill development in here with a good idea, depending on numbers, to run 2 drills at once. So use a bigger drill and a smaller drill and alternate your groups every 3 - 5mins. I think coaches can stick with some drills for far too long and players lose interest and get a bit bored. When setting up drills though try and make sure that players will get adequate enough rest for skills to maintained at a very high level. You can't improve technical aspects of any sport under fatigue, especially if you're skill level is low already. Fatigue will simply make skill level worse and no one gets better, no one gets fitter and they just get tired.

So after your skill work which may take another 30mins or so, I would now suggest you do whatever aerobic work you have planned because now it won't interfere with skill and speed, traits that can only be improved in a fully non-fatigued state.

To warm down you can go through some more dynamic or static stretches and finish off with some more deep breathing to get your players back into a parasympathetic state from a nervous system point of view which will get them into recovery mode straight after training.

To see how all this looks in an actual program then definitely check out the Ultimate Footy Training Manual on sale NOW!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

3 Part Yearly Programming Webinar

I probably should have done this slightly earlier in the "season' but I only got around to it last week so what I've done is a 30-something minute webinar that gives you a template to use when developing your training over a 9 - 10 month season.

Aimed at coaches, fitness staff and players it looks at personal and team training through the off-season, pre-season and in-season.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments you have on on this through the Facebook page.

So with further ado - part 1!

And now part 2 -