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!!


  1. Interested in buying looks wicked. Just fractured my wrist, any advice on how to maintain my fitness and strength while in a cast?

  2. A cast is never good news...running should still be fine so i'd make that the base of your training using some stuff from the pre season manual...gym wise leg presses will be the best option but if you have a wt vest or access to one then pop it on and do plenty of single leg (lunge and step up) variations...for upper body strength continue to train the opposite side unilaterally as you can still get neural (strength) benefits on the non-working side in your situation so when you return to training, strength won't have fallen as far behind although your muscle mass in the arm will be but that's unavoidable...the biggest issue will be body comp as your activity may decrease from what you were doing so also take this time to drop some body fat with a solid diet and even though you'll start late, you can still have a big impact in the 2nd half of the season if you come back a beast!!