Friday, December 31, 2010

What Are You Doing to Make "11" better Than "10"?

We've made it 1 whole year here at Aussie Rules Training so I have to thank all of you for reading and following.

I hope we all had a successful year in 2010 but now it's time to focus on 2011 and I want to know what you're doing to get better so leave a comment and go into the running to win a FREE copy of the Aussie Rules Training Off Season Footy Training Manual valued at $77!!

Hopefully you have been able to use the information from this blog to be able to put something together to improve your game this season and if not then please send me any requests you have for information and I'll post it here.

In my next post I'll touch on what I'm doing training wise at the moment.

Oh and before I go I must congratulate Rebecca on her marriage to Chris yesterday and don't take too long off training!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Introducing Kris Hinck

Just under a year ago when I decided to start up this blog, I sent out some emails to AFL clubs to get some interviews with their strength and conditioning staff.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a reply with one who was more than happy to answer some questions.

I had this interview on a USB that snapped and I thought it was lost but I found it on an old one that I found during our house move a month ago.

Kris Hinck, creator of the DVD Game Based Conditioning - AFL Perspective and the Physical Preparation Coach in Elite Sport for the Geelong Cats (and ex-Adelaide Crows) in the AFL, gave me an insight into the training of AFL players and how us amateur and local football players can apply the same techniques to suit our level of competition.

So as a little thank you for reading my blog over the last 12 months, here it is.

What do you think are the major differences that need to be addressed between training professional or amateur/local footballers and how should we go about addressing these differences?

‘Bang for Buck’ would be the major difference. We have training access to our players 8-10 hours 6-7 days per week so we can achieve many things with that available to us. At club level 2-3 sessions of 2hours per week necessitates you spend time only on the aspects that have large return for effort. An example would be, do you have time at club level to do fitness training and skills training? Are these things better to be combined by good drill design so that some recovery and strength work can be completed also?

Aside from the time issue the players physical profile has to be at a much higher level and a broader range of qualities than at club level. If you are ‘fit’ and have good ‘skills’ you will do well at club level if you can get the ball. At AFL level it is a necessity that you have excellent skills and can get the ball. Your fitness attributes have to be developed in a number of areas. Repetitive effort, aerobic power, strength, power, acceleration/speed all have to be at developed to a high level depending on the individual player and positional demands.

What are the top 3 attributes that you want your players to develop and would this be the same for an amateur/local footballer?

Short term – Relative Strength, Aerobic Capacity, Whole body Strength (incl. Core)

Mod-Long term – Maximal Strength, Aerobic Power (incl Repetitive Effort), Whole body Power

I believe if a club level footballer can be consistent over time with the short-term goals I mentioned they will perform well physically

How do you manage the various fitness requirements for AFL football within such a condensed time frame given the importance of recovery, especially during the season?

Recovery is priority #1 during the season, however if that is the only focus then you will lose majority of the hard work that has been put in over the summer. It’s important to have a well planned but flexible annual training plan prior to games starting. This will allow opportunities for periods of hard training.

What periodisation model do you use or does it change depending what part of the season it is?

I can’t give a succinct answer to that one. In theory it’s easy, in practice not so easy. In general terms pre-season is ‘linear’ and in-season is ‘undulating’. It varies however depending on the training age of the player, the physical qualities of the player and also the physical qualities you are developing.

What's the easiest way to bulk up without adding fat and what's the best way for one to transform his body in 1 off season?

Really simple. Eat quality foods, avoid sugar, work hard and support training with simple supplements. Strength training volume is very important and it should be well planned and progressive. Ad-hoc training and poor diet will not deliver sustained results.

What do you think are some of the bigger training myths out there?

1. Supplements are necessary - FALSE. Excellent results can be achieved without them if diet is in check

2. ‘Core’ strength for footballers comes from Pilates - FALSE. A well designed and consistently performed whole body strength program will far outweigh any number of ‘deadbug’ repetitions

3. Footballers only need to do short repeat effort (RE) running – FALSE. RE running will deliver quick return but will always be limited by an underdeveloped aerobic system.

What nutritional practices do you have your players follow?

Our players have regular individual consultations with our dietician. They support training sessions with specific supplementation such as protein and carbohydrates.

Good nutritional practices are similar to good strength training practices. Often the basics work best and each individual will respond differently which usually is a result of trial and error. Also variety is important.

What are some of the newer training methods you've tried with success with your players?

I’m not sure about ‘newer’ but I have had excellent results in 1RM strength tests using periods of sub-maximal lifting (90-98% 1RM). It takes some control by the players not to ‘max-out’ each set but results in greater total session loads being lifted.

What performance tests do you keep a record of and update during the season?

1RM strength tests over 5 lifts (Bench Press, Bench Pull, Shoulder Press, Squat, Power Clean) including ratio targets.

A series of body-weight and loaded jump tests

3km Time Trial

Grid Running Test (Repeat Effort) 15s On/15s OFF

We have others but these are our base tests.

What do you do to increase the speed of your players?

Increasing leg strength & power and improve decision making.

Thanks a lot for this mate, I greatly appreciate it.

Please post any comments.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Sneak Peak at the Aussie Rules Training Off Season Footy Training Manual

As I posted the other day, here's the contents of the Off Season Manual that is available now. I think you'll find that it covers a lot of area's that are usually not even thought in most players training.


Fitness Components Specific to Aussie Rules

Self Assessment

Interpreting Your Results

Goal Setting

How Do You Move?

- Ankle Assessment

- Knee Assessment

- Hip Assessment

- Lumbar Spine Assessment

- Scapula Stability Assessment

- Head / Shoulder Assessment

Joint by Joint Approach to Training

Dynamic Assessment

- Lower Body Dynamic Assessment

- Upper Body Dynamic Assessment

Training Around Injuries

- Ankle

- Knee

- Hips

- Lumbar Spine

- Shoulders

Warm Up

- Myofascial Release

- Joint and Muscle Mobilisation

- Dynamic Flexibility

- Movement Preparation

- Warm Up Sets


Short Comings of Bodybuilding Programs

- No Structural Balance

- Bodypart Splits

- Inducing vs Managing Fatigue

- Sarcoplasmic vs Myofibrillar Hypertrophy

Benefits of Performance Training

- Performance Based Goals

- Strength Focused

- Progression of Exercises

- Progression of Workload

- Quality vs Quantity

- Movement Patterns vs Muscles

Training Movements

- 1/Week Recommendations

- 2/Week Recommendations

- 3/Week Recommendations

Strength Training Recommendations

Hypertrophy Training Recommendations

Fat Loss Training Recommendations


- Weight Gain Nutrition

- Weight Loss Nutrition

- Weight Maintenance Nutrition

- Peri Workout Nutrition

- Supplements

Sprinting Evaluation



- 2 Point Start

- 3 Point Start

- Triple Extension


Maximum Speed

Speed Training Programming


- Force Absorption

- Force Output

- Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric Training Programming Recommendations

How many of these do you address in your training?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Back!!

Well after a stuff up from out Internet provider which resulted in an extended off-line situation, I'm back on.

It's December so everyone should be knee deep in off season training with the majority of clubs about to do some pre-Christmas training.

I have also been approached by the Hampton Hammers in the Southern Football League here in Melbourne to do some fitness work for them which I am really looking forward to.

Personally I think the best results are attained through some actual hard training before Christmas but I know a lot of teams use December training as a bonding type time for new players but I think both needs to be used.

The Aussie Rules Training Off Season Training Manual is flying off the shelves too so get your copy today for $77 (+ $10 postage if you're an overseas customer).

In the coming week I'll put up a contents page from the manual so everyone can see exactly what is covered in it.

Also remember that if there's anything you'd like covered on the blog then please email and I'll do my best.