Friday, December 12, 2014

How to Train Over the Xmas Break

For those teams who commence training pre Christmas, you'll have a 3 or 4 week break coming up.

You've already done some pretty hard yards in the last 4 - 8 weeks in a team setting, focusing on team orientated goals that need to be covered in a team setting.

You now have the time to individualise a little before heading back to team training in early to mid January.

Here's how you can do it.

You'll most likely do your last session for 2014 in the week pre Christmas which will give you 3 - 4 weeks to get some quality individual training in.

First determine your weakest aspect out of strength, speed and endurance. If you can'r decide then use these guidelines to help you:

Strength - Hip Thrust x 10 reps at 1.5 x your own bodyweight

Speed - 20m sprint 3.2secs or less

Endurance - resting heart rate under 60 beats per minute

Now a program for each quality.


You might be thinking a squat or a deadlift will be the go here but I'm going a different way - I'm going with the hip thrust.


Pure glutes that's why.

Squats will hit the glutes a bit and so will deadlifts but you can easily do both of these exercises without using the glutes at all.

Hip thrusts can also be performed with everything but the glutes which I'll redirect you to the "Glute Guy" for a little hip thrust tutorial article here.

Other great qualities you'll get is an increase in speed and having strong glutes can really off set a lot of lower body injuries you'll get from footy.

Programming wise you'll hip thrust every time you hot the gym and every off gym day at home.

Rotate through these 2 gym workouts when you go there:

Hip Thrust 1 - work up to a hip thrust max set. Week 1 do sets of 12 until you hit a max. Week 2 do sets of 10, week 3 do sets of 8 and week 4 do sets of 6.

Hip Thrust 2 - do 30 reps with 70% of the hip thrust max set from hip thrust workout 1.

Home Hip Thrust - do 5 x 20 of bodyweight hip thrusts straight into bodyweight glute bridges alternating the exercise you start with (circuit 1 hip thrust into glute bridge, set 2 glute bridge into hip thrust etc). Rest 1 minute between pairs.

Now that I know that you've read the hip thrust how to article above but in the end there is 1 rule that cannot be broken and that is the rule of glute activation.

If at any point glute activation ceases and the stress of the hip thrust shifts to your hamstrings and/pr lower back, then the hip thrust session is over. The point of this exercise is to train the glutes and pretty much nothing else so if it;s not training the glutes then it's really doing but nothing but hurting your back and giving you hamstring cramps.

You don't have to the hip thrust strength level above so leave your ego at the door on this one.


It staggers me of the little, if any, attention that is given to improving sprinting speed in local footy considering it;s the one's who do what we all do the fastest that play at the higher levels.

Simply staggers me!

Anyway if you're finally ready to take the plunge then here's your 4 weeks of training:

Week 1 - 30m acute hill sprint
Week 2 - 20m flat ground sprint
Week 3 - 20m slight hill sprint
Week 4 - 20m flat ground sprint

You'll do this 3 times a week each week either 3 days in a row (yes all in a row) or every 2nd day, whatever fits your schedule the best.

You're also going to time each sprint so get your stop watch and hand hold time yourself. Once you do a 2 sprints in a row that are slower then you're fastest set, go home.

For example say you do 4 sprints that are progressively faster with the times of 7.05secs, 6.93secs, 6.73secs, 6.44secs followed by a 6.65secs and a 6.59secs, then your quality of work is declining and you want to get outta there.

You'll also rest 4 - 5 minutes between sets and DO NOT cut this short!


For 7 days straight, take your resting heart rate every morning immediately upon waking and put it in your phone. After 7 days take an average and that's what we'll use for your resting heart rate.

If you're over 60 beats per minute then you'll need a plan focusing on lower intensity work. If you;re under 60 then you'll still do some lower intensity work but you'll also have some higher intensity stuff thrown in the mix.

Over 60 beats per minute:

Session 1 - Steady state running @ 130 - 150 beats per minute

Session 2 - Steady state running with 10 x 5 second bursts of 100% resting until heart rate is back to 130 beats per minute or 1 minute, whatever comes first. Do your 10 sets of intervals then continue with steady state x 10 - 20 minutes at 140 beats per minute.

Session 3 - Tempo intervals @ about 70% for 15 x 12 seconds with 1 minute rest + 10 - 20 minutes steady state at 140 beats per minute.

Under 60 beats per minute:

Session 1 - Steady state running with 20 x 5 second bursts of 100% resting until heart rate is back to 130 beats per minute or 1 minute, whatever comes first. Do your 20 sets of intervals then continue with steady state x 10 - 15 minutes at 140 beats per minute.

Session 2 - 22 x 5 seconds at 100% + tempo intervals @ about 70% for 22 x 12 seconds with 1 minute rest + 10 - 15 minutes of steady state at 140 beats per minute.

Session 3 - 6 - 8 x 90secs as fast as you can with 3 - 4 minutes rest or when heart rate returns to 130 beats per minute + tempo intervals for 12 x 12 seconds with 1 minute rest.

You'll see I've put in heart rate zones which means you have 2 options - get yourself a heart rate monitor (I got mine off gumtree for $40 - plenty on there for memory) or get annoyed stopping and taking it yourself between sets. In other words get yourself a heart rate monitor!!

So there you go - 3 programs for you to choose from to hit the ground running when pre season starts again in 2015.

"DON'T WASTE A SECOND" - Murray Bushrangers Mantra

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Comeback Requirements of an AFL Player

I knew had this information somewhere but could not locate it for ages but I came across it this week going through some old files.

When a rampaging Fremantle Dockers outfit destroyed my beloved Swans in the 2013 finals, Luke McPharlin had only just made his return after a 8 - 10 week lay off from a calf injury.

He came straight back into the senior side without any game time in the WAFL which was thought to be a huge risk to play someone who hasn't felt actual game time pressure for 10 weeks, especially for a cut throat final.

In the grand final I watched an interview with Ross Lyon who explained their reasons as to why they thought he was ready to go straight back into the senior team. Here are the points he made:

#1 - A really heavy pre-season training load is 30 - 38kms per week depending on your playing position.

#2 - McPharlin did 24kms per week for the last 2 weeks of his rehabilitation program to come straight back in after 10 weeks out.

#3 - The Saturday before he returned the senior side he did 10 - 12km training session with 2 of the kms being sprints.

#4 - Running backman will do 1.3kms of sprints per game

As a side note he also mentioned that everyday the players come into the club they are tested for power to see where their recovery is at (heart rate variability).

Don't think that as local footballers we need that sort of training load because we don't but it does provide a little insight into what returning to full fitness really looks like and that you really can't take a week or 2 off playing and training and expect to comeback in and be right to go.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Building Aerobic Capacity

I touched on aerobic capacity, and my lack thereof, in my previous post but i'll go little bit deeper in this post.

Capacity, in regards to any energy system, refers to the total amount of work you can do at a specific intensity and/or heart rate zone.

For aerobic development you're looking at an intensity of 60 - 70% as a general figure.

OK so few easy tests are needed here.

#1 - To find your heart rate maximum use this equation:

220 - Your Age

So for me I'm 36 so 220 - 36 = 184bpm for mt heart rate maximum. 60% of that number is 110bpm (184 x .6).

#2 - The easiest way test your current aerobic fitness is by doing a basic heart rate test by placing your index finger on the underside of your wrist or on your carotid artery just under ear. If you have a heart rate monitor or watch then use them by all means. Do this upon waking while you're still in bed everyday for a week and take an average.

So back to me - I already knew my aerobic base was terrible but I decided to do a 10min aerobic based session purposefully going slow (but still trying to jog), and seeing how low I could keep my heart rate.

I failed miserably as I my heart rate measured 174bpm (by the 5min mark and held there til the 10min mark even though I was barely raising a sweat.

I should have taken my heart rate every minute which I would have done if I knew I was going to do so badly!!

Joel Jamieson of (an MMA training website) always says "don't get stuck in the middle", meaning don't do too much work in the 70 - 90% heart rate zone.


Well it's too intensive for aerobic work as you'll cross into your anaerobic threshold at some point which builds up fatigue and performance drop (a future post). On the other end of the spectrum it's no where near intensive enough to be classed as anaerobic work.

The middle should be reserved exclusively for restoration work and game specific skill drills so you shouldn't really need to do any specific work for it - especially with limited training time us amateurs have!

So before you head off on a run you need to first decide what you're doing this run for and if it is for aerobic capacity (aerobic base in a lot of circles) then you'll need to work out what specific heart rate zones you need to stay in to make sure you get that exact training effect with your training.

This might actually result in you having to go a lot slower then you normally do but don't worry, the heart is getting the workout it requires. Look at me I'm doing treadmill walking for god's sake!

Even though it's boring as hell I am seeing progress with my 4-weekly 20min walks. I have increased the speed of the treadmill while still being able to keep my heart rate down (increased capacity right there) and my Sunday morning local walk is getting further and further watch week again while keeping my heart rate in the correct zone.

To get your head into this just remember that one of the primary functions of your aerobic system is to improve your recovery between bouts of intensive anaerobic bouts (50m chase down tackle for example) so that you can do that effort at the same intensity again very soon. That is what is getting me over line with this boring workout!

Remember the Ultimate Footy Training Manual is available for purchase via the Paypal link at the top of the page as well as online training programs set by me specifically for you. Email me if you need a hand going to the next level.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Off Season Training - How I'm Doing It

Most teams are about 4 weeks away from pre Christmas team training so hopefully you've out in some 4 weeks of solid training on your biggest weakness already in preparation for season 2015.

Once the season finishes, goal setting is your first step.

My off season goal setting looked like this:

Goal #1 - Aerobic Capacity

I'm a born repeated sprinter and even my younger days when I was nicknamed "the greyhound", I was probably the best of the "b grade" long distance runners. My big thing was being able to win every sprint drill we had and I literally pushed myself to do so. As the years have gone by I've relied and focused so much on maintaining and max speed and repeated sprint that I've pretty much done away any sort of aerobic capacity conditioning which affects the amount of contests I can make during a game. But not this year. 

We'll have an excellent reserves team this year (which I play) so although we are aiming for the big one, I'm also gunning for some personal awards this year, or at least try my best to achieve behind team success.

Goal #2 - Improve Max Strength / Power

This is the time of year where you have the time and energy resources to get your max strength levels back up to scratch. In season training can be unpredictable (weather conditions, soreness, injuries etc) and can make it hard to pan exactly what you're gonna do and when so if you can get a fair base behind you during the summer months, then the longer you take to build it, the more you'll build and the longer you can keep it without having to dedicate a lot of time to it.

Last season I was sometimes playing Saturdays and Sundays on the same weekend which didn't leave a lot of petrol tickets to set pb's in the gym and my gym strength levels did decrease during the season by a fair margin. I;m usually golden at maintaining strength but last season may have been the one where I start to go downhill in regards to being able to recover as quick as I could in my younger days (36 now!!). 

Goal # 3 - Improve Sprinting Speed

I'll say it again - SPEED IS KING!!

At 36 I'm still one of the fastest on the ground in any game I play so that's ultra important as probably the shortest bloke too (168cms). Without a lot of aerobic fitness this is basically what I've been living off as well being a strong body and able to break tackles and lay them too.

Only getting hard and contested balls can be hard on this old body so I'm hoping with maintaining or improving my max speed, combined with my new found aerobic capacity will get me a lot more outside ball where I can use my 60m accurate left foot more often!

So now that I have my goals in place, the next step is to build a plan to reach them.

I am unable to train with my team because of work so I must ensure I do everything on my own which takes a fair bit of discipline but I'm good with that. The biggest thing is to the things you aren't good at, which usually doubles as things you don't like which for me is aerobic training.

A good measure of aerobic capacity that everyone can utilise the old school resting heart rate. Every morning for 7 days in a row immediately upon waking, take your resting heart rate x 10secs, multiply that by 6 to get your per minute resting heart rate. Add those 7 numbers together and divide it by 7 (days) to get your average.

You're aiming for 60 beats per minute or less at complete rest with low 50's being the ultimate aim.

Mike Robertson wrote an article on the "aerobic window" which is the distance between your resting heart rate and anaerobic threshold which is basically where you start to work pretty hard and use up fuel tickets. With a higher resting heart rate this window is far more narrow then it would be someone with the same threshold point but lower resting heart rate. In the end they work far less to the same amount of work you're doing meaning they'll go for longer while you blow up in no time at all!

Aerobic capacity is also crucial for recovery between bouts of high intensity sprinting so the sooner you can recover, the sooner you can sprint at (near) top speed again.

I'm using a starting point of training at 120 beats per minute which sounds easy but I was surprised when I tried to do it the way I thought I could do it.

I thought a slow jog would be fine for this so off I went to the oval and just slowly jogged up and down the oval throwing in some side steps and backwards action for variety for 10mins straight - remember I'm a sprint for 3 -5secs and rest man!! It was more boring then hard, I wasn't puffed at all and literally had to be mindful of not running too fast.

Just quickly your max heart rate is determined by subtracting your age from 220 so at 36 my heart rate maximum is 184 beats per minute.

Taking my heart rate at the end of the 10mins I was blown away when I registered a heart rate of 174 which is 95% of my heart rate max. Last off season when I was doing a repeated sprint program I was at 95 - 105% of my heart rate max at the end of the workout (flat out on my back!).

I'd strongly suggest you take your heart rate at various times of your runs to see how you're tracking heart rate wise and get an idea of how hard you;re actually working. You don't want to purposefully train "in the middle" as it's neither aerobic or anaerobic (70 - 90%). It's too intense to get aerobic benefits and not intense enough for anaerobic/speed benefits.

So I work as hard as I do at low intensity during high intensity efforts - that's not good!

My aerobic window is pretty much non existent so that's goal #1 with a bullet.

Getting back to my 120bpm workouts, I now have to do them on a treadmill in the studio to ensure I can set the speed and incline to where I need it to be to hit that number. So for 20mins x 5 days a week that's what I'm doing. Over time the aim is to be able to increase the speed and or incline, so increase the intensity, but still remain at 120bpm thus opening my aerobic window a little further each week.

For strength I'm again using block training as I really like to train a quality really hard and fast then let it rest a little and repeat. I'm using a set up like this from 12 weeks of which I'm 4 weeks into right now:

Weeks 1 - 6: Max Strength x 3 days in a row then 4 days rest doing squats Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday then bench press and back (pull/chin ups or rows) Thursday, Friday Saturday. So I train legs hard 3 days in a row while the upper body recovers and and then I train upper body hard 3 days in a row while the legs recover. On day 1 I set a maximum baseline for a 1 rep max then drop the weight to 93% and do singles until I can't then repeat that for another 2 days. I do the same thing with bench press with a different exercise each week for both. I am also working from high to moderate force on the force-velocity curve at this point.

Weeks 7 - 9: Power again x 3 days for lower body then 3 days for upper body then 1 day of rest focusing on moderate to light force on force-velocity curve.

Weeks 10 - 12: Max Velocity x 3 days in a row for lower body followed 3 days for upper body followed by 1 day of rest.

Now the purpose of this set up is to overreach (a far better term then overtraining) a little on strength, then overreach a little on power, then overreach a little on max velocity. 

When using a block of training, you need to wait the same length of the block to see the benefits so a 6 week strength block mine will take 6 weeks to occur - so week 12.

The 3 week power block will see results 3 weeks later so again week 12.

So during my "peak" block (max velocity) both power and strength will be peaking at the same time ans hopefully allowing to put out some crazy sprinting times.

So right now my week looks like this:

Monday - Lower Body Max Effort + Singles @ 93% + Swings*
Tuesday - Lower Body Max Effort + Singles @ 93% + Swings
Wednesday - Lower Body Max Effort + Singles @ 93% + Low Volume Sprints (3 x 10/20m + 2 x Flying 10m)* + 20min Walk
Thursday - Upper Body Max Effort + Singles @ 93% + 20min Walk
Friday - Upper Body Max Effort + Singles @ 93% + 20min Walk
Saturday - Upper Body Max Effort + Singles @ 93% + 20min Walk
Sunday - 20min Walk

* if you remember in my 1st training block I did 10'000 swings in 2 weeks and then set a personal record in the 20m sprint. Even though fatigue is building up through this strength block I felt that max velocity was lacking a little so I've popped 3 sets of 50 of these in on Monday and Tuesday.

Sprints are performed just to make some use of the weeks training in a performance sense and if you time them then you can see how much fatigue you might be inducing with your other training if you look at the drop offs in speed from week to week. I've managed only a slight drop off from which hopefully means I'm getting faster but presenting as a maintenance of speed as fatigue gets higher.

This is a real work example of how the Ultimate Footy Training Manual works and should be used. If you're not a pre-Christmas trainer then there's still time to build some meaningful improvements before January team training so head to the link and have a look at what's inside it. Even better purchase it from the paypal link at the top of the page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Ultimate Footy Manual - Available Now!!

The Aussie Rules Training Manual that puts all my other one's to shame is finally here!
After 5 re-writes lay out changes it's now ready for YOU!

This a full 12 month training manual with 11 individual manuals with accompanying programs.

Here's what's in it:

  1. Off Season Training - self assessment, interpreting your assessment results, goal setting, competing demands of training, rehabilitation, RESET program, off season template, alactic power and aerobic capacity
  2. Pre Season Training - pre season template, training block 1, training block 2, training block 3, training block 4
  3. In Season Training - training residuals, auto regulation of training, training around injuries, in season training template and monthly training block
  4. Speed Development - acceleration, acceleration mechanics, max velocity, max velocity mechanics, speed assessment, strength training for acceleration, training acceleration mechanics, strength for max velocity, training max velocity mechanics, foot/ankle stiffness, big toe mobility, Achilles tendon stiffness, muscle relaxation, bounding and knee lift
  5. Aerobic and Anaerobic Conditioning - aerobic capacity, aerobic power, alactic power, alactic capacity and lactic power
  6. Strength Training - programs for high frequency training, variable exercise selection training, 3/week strength, 2/week strength, force-velocity relationship, chin up strength and reps, mass for back, chest, traps, shoulders, exercise progression tables for single leg, rowing, push up, deadlifts, posterior chain, glute activation, core and arms
  7. Agility - agility mechanics, strength training for agility and pre + in season training recommendations
  8. Other Conditioning Methods - combination fitness, deceleration + acceleration drill, grids, tempo running, malcolm drill, threshold training, distance variation sprints,  square sprints, pyramid runs, fartlek running, 300m drill, coat hangers and 25m shuttle test
  9. Nutrition - body composition, body composition nutrition, fat loss nutrition, weight gain nutrition, weight maintenance nutrition
If you need it to hit your performance peak, then it's in this manual.

With easy to read information and program tables, this manual is ideal for anyone involved with footy from players to coaches to strength and conditioning staff!

Implementing the idea's presented in this manual will result in your best season yet, no doubt!

Purchase before October 25th at the special price of $75 before it reaches it's full price.

Hit the Paypal link at the top of the page.

Payable to through Paypal. Once notification hits my email I will email it out to you within 24 hours.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Training Block 1 Finished!

In my previous post I talked about my first training block in preparation for season 2015.

I finished it up today and not a moment too soon!

Being the dickhead I am I decided to squash a 4 week program, with already great volume in it, into under 2 weeks.

It was the 10,000 Swings program by Dan John which has you doing 500 swings per session x 4 - 5 sessions for 4 - 5 weeks, depending on your training frequency.

I have my training perfectly timed (as you'll soon see) up to Christmas so I only had a 2 week block to use thanks to my late season finish and the fact that my now 36 year old body needed some time off.

The shoulder injury I had which meant I couldn't really squat or bench forced me into the swings program but I wanted to do it anyway, I just would have liked more then 2 weeks to do it in!

Anyway here's how my 2 weeks looked:

Day 1 - 720 reps
Day 2 - 820 reps
Day 3 - 1000 reps
Day 4 - 1000 reps
Day 5 - 1220 reps
Day 6 - 820 reps
Day 7 and 8 off - AFL Grand Final Day
Day 9 - 710 reps
Day 10 - 830 reps
Day 11 - 990 reps
Day 12 - 1160 reps
Day 13 - 730 reps

Total 10,000 ON THE DOT!!

The first 3 days left me with some pretty solid soreness through the glutes and hams but then that all magically evaporated come day 4 and I was left with some solid tiredness - capacity type work is not my forte - where I pretty much napped every training day, including today (2 -1/2hrs on the couch - good times when Archie's at daycare!

My weight and reps per set increased as I went through as conditioning plus the wanting to just get this shit finished as soon as I could took hold.

On day 1 I did sets of 30 - 50 reps at 80 - 90pds on the cable machine but in the last few days I was doing 200 rep sets at 150pds, 170 rep sets at 170pds and sets of 80 at 220pds.

What will this do for me you ask?

Well it provides me with crucial aerobic capacity work which I need probably more then anything else and if I don't have to run endless and boring km;s to do so then that's a win. My resting heart rate is about mid 60's (tested 66 on Thursday morning) so I'll retest that over the weekend as my slight training overreaching dies off. If I can get that to 60 or less I'll be in good shape going forwards.

The end range contractions for hamstrings should improve my max velocity potential once I start sprinting again (next training block). Again improving this without the stress of sprinting (even though I find max velocity sprinting way easier then anything metabolic related), then that's a bonus.

At 36 years old, if I can get improvement sin speed and endurance with minimal joint stress and impact wear and tear, not that I can't really handle it, the better I'll be.

It's the little things like that can make a huge impact on your training and keeping healthy for the entire year - I haven't missed a game of footy since I came back from layoff in 2009.

This makes my new manual must have as this literally walks you through whatever it is you need to do to go to the next level and get better each year rather then come back as same player you were the season prior. It's a full 12 month training manual so all your training stuff can be taken care of and you just have to show up, do it and go home! There is nothing, absolutely nothing, available like this.

I'll hopefully finish that up this weekend and release later next week so keep an eye out.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Block 1 for 2015 Football Season

I played my last game for 2014 just under 2 weeks ago.

I played reserves + over 35's this year so we had a preliminary final for reserves 3 weeks ago (by the time you read this) then the over 35's grand final the following Sunday.

We had a semi final on a Sunday so with a 6 day break I did minimal training leading into the prelim.

From the prelim I had my AC joint smashed about 4 times and couldn't lift it off my hip that night. I also sustained what I can only describe as 2 sprained wrists where I could barely hold my knife and fork that night either.

I wasn't in good shape!

I did my opposite AC joint in the last practice game on a Saturday before our round 1 game the following Friday and it wasn't long enough and as soon as I got hit once, the shoulder was buggered again and I was rendered pretty much useless but it was fine for round 2 which was 8 days later.

So going off this, and with the pain not being as bad as the first AC injury (so I thought) I imagined I would be pretty much good to go for the Sunday game as far as my shoulder was concerned.

Going for a mark in the arm up put an end to that thinking and the fact I still couldn't really gram anything like a jumper for instance again rendered me pretty much useless for that grand final.

Anyhoo, I had a complete week off training which I never do!!

This leads me into block 1 for season 2015.

Even though the shoulder was mostly fine now, I already have the bulk of my off season set in stone and with the bench press being a decent part of it, I need the shoulder to be more then ready to go before I can do that.

Also with the mighty Swans gunning for a grand final, and mt birthday always being within 3 - 3 days of it (if it isn't on the actual day) then I knew I had a big weekend planned (this weekend) and therefore didn't want it to be happening through my main block of training.

So I needed a quick block to get the ball rolling and that brings me to Swings.

You may have done or seen these before and if you have you wouldn't have seen them done with a cable and to be honest, I'm really testing to see how these go. I don't have kettlebells and the "attack the zipper" part of a traditional KB Swing doesn't happen with a db or t-bar, that I currently use for Swings.

With swings come a Dan John program called The 10,000 Swings Workout.

If you click the link you'll find the program which calls for 10,000 Swings done over a 4 week period. The way he sets it out you'd do 500 Swings per session x 5 sessions per week which looks tough on paper in the first place.

The dickhead I am, I only have a 2 week period between my week off after my last game and when I need to start my main pre - Christmas block so that I can fit it all in before Christmas.

So I'm sliding 10,000 Swings into 2 weeks, which includes grand final / birthday weekend (tomorrow).

So really I;m doing all those swings in 11 days!!

That's a lot of Swings - in fact yesterday I did 1220 Swings with 720 reps in the AM and another 500 in the PM. I'll do this a few times next week as well but I haven't done that everyday.

This will end up being my hamstring and max velocity block which isn't really the order I wanted to go with but because of my shoulder I had to move things around a little.

When you do a block of training that results in a state of over reaching (a performance decrease), then in order for you to supercompensate for performance to start increasing again, you need to rest the same time that the block took to get it so any performance increases won't be seen for 2 weeks after my 2 week block ends.

So I'm over half way through total rep wise for this and to be honest it's getting boring, but if there's 1 exercise you can't do too much of, than it's probably Swings.

End range glute activation, over speed hamstring contractions and hip hinge mechanics are all essential to optimal performance.

As I Swing up a storm I;m also putting together a full 12 month training manual which hopefully will be completed in the next week or 2 so look out for that bad boy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

New 12 Month Training Manual Update

I've started putting together the all-new Aussie Rules Training manual and even though I've done 4 of them before, this will be the first one that is a full 12 month manual with off, pre and in-season training all rolled into the 1 manual!

I hope to have this available in the next 2 weeks so as a little teaser here's the intro:

"...Finals are wrapping around the country, the sun is starting to shine which indicates that another footy season is in the bag.

If you’re a strength and conditioning geek me you've already been thinking about you’re off and pre-season training for season 2015.

What I find with most players and even amateur strength and conditioning coaches is that they know what they want to achieve or what level they’d like to get to, they have the commitment and discipline levels to follow the plan, but it’s the actual plan can sometimes be a little flawed.

There are many ways to get the same training effect but for a sport like footy, which pretty much requires every strength, fitness and movement quality known to man, you could be trying to fit too much into your plan at one time or alternatively, too much of some things and nowhere near enough of others.

If you tend to make up your own programs until team training comes around in November then you probably follow the same tried and true stuff you've done in the past. That’s great if you’re happy with the level you’re currently at but if you want to actually get better then you need to bring new stuff in each year.

Other players just do what they have seen others do in the past with a “good enough for him, good enough for me” attitude.

What I would like to see more of is more thought going into why you’re training, what you’re training for and how you’re training to attain it.

Just turning up and doing a 10km jog or some bench presses will not automatically make you a better football player. You might get better at those actual activities but how do they make you a great footballer? On their own they don’t.

This manual will provide with the insight into all the strength and fitness qualities that need to be trained to be the complete footballer. Hint: there’s way more than you think!

I will try and keep it as simple as I possibly can but if I get a bit scienc-y, then definitely re-read the bits you don’t quite understand upon your first read. There will be programs you can follow but if you really want to know the how, what and why’s in regards to training for footy, then educating yourself can make things a lot more efficient and makes it easier to see through a lot of ordinary training practices you see and even might encounter from your own team’s strength and conditioning trainers. This way you point them in the right direction once you actually learn why footballers should and/or shouldn't do certain things in their training..."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Auto Regulation + Velocity Based Training = Beast!

So this is the last in this series so here's a recap of the it in its entirety:

Part 1: Force Velocity Curve

Part 2: Force Velocity Curve #2

Part 3: Velocity Based Training

Part 4: Velocity Based Training - How To

Part 5 - Implementing Auto Reg into Your Training

Today I'll show you how to combine auto regulation and velocity based training into your own program.

It's probably a good idea to schedule in a block of low load - high velocity training after a block or 2 of high load - low force (maximum strength) work to take advantage of the increased neural adaptations you get from that type of training.

For footy you might do this block x 4 - 6 weeks leading i to your practice games or round 1.

Instead of working with reps per set you'll do reps in a set amount of time like maximum reps in 5secs for example, depending on your goal.

Within your block you might start at sets of 3 - 5secs and with the aim of doing 1 rep per second. Start light and work up to a maximum load you can do for 2 rep per second then continue doing sets with that weight until you can't.

It's as easy as that!!

You've implemented the velocity component by limiting the time you have to complete your reps and the auto regulation has been implemented by setting a time to complete a set amount of reps in.

I've been playing with this the last few weeks but keeping my time per set to 5secs and have used the following methods for this:

#1 - start with barbell only and do as many rep sin 5 secs as I can increasing weight each set until I can only do 5 reps in the 5secs then stopping.

#2 - start with barbell only and do as many rep sin 5 secs as I can increasing weight each set until I can only do 5 then continue to do sets of 5 reps in 5secs until I can't then stopping.

#3 - start with barbell only and do as many reps in 5 secs as I can increasing weight each set until I can only do 5 reps in 5secs.

Remember it's all about quality not quantity and this method ensures there is nothing but quality. You set a the set time and the reps you need to reach and once you reach or can't maintain it, you stop. Those last reps you do where you can barely move the weight do nothing for you but build up more and more fatigue.

Good luck for those in finals this weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Implementing Auto Regulation into Your Training

Way back in 2010 I posted about Auto Regulation in regards to your training.

For those not in the know, auto regulation is a way to ensure that your training is of the utmost quality each and every time.

You can look at training as like filling a glass. Once you program the amount of training you can tolerate, then adding more only overfills the cup and will result in a decrease in performance from too much stress or not enough recovery but almost certainty both.

High volume and /or frequency training programs are fine and I do them myself but I think we all know that quality trumps quality every time so if half of your sessions are doing you good but the other half aren't, then what's the point of them?

Also how do you know if everything is having an effect? Maybe only 1 part of your training is providing you your performance improvements but 3 other parts are not. So why continue with the other 3 parts that are just adding unneeded stress to your body?

When implementing auto reg, it provides a set point that you are aiming to reach but not cross. Once at that set point then you can use a drop off point that you'll continue to train to but once you hit it then it's home time.

An example of this is someone who has a strength program that says he's gotta do 5 x 5 of bench presses.. You first 2 sets are pretty good and you've built up a bit of fatigue and feel that you might not reach 5 reps on the next set. Sets 3, 4 and 5 are completed with a far slower rep speed and your also straining between reps holding the bar at lockout taking big breathes to fire out more reps. You lockout of some reps almost comes to a complete halt until you squirm on the bench a little and force it up with a twisted torso position. Not great technique but, hey you got it up let's count it!

You finish your 5 sets of 5 an follow it up with 2 more bench press variations and a fly/crossover exercise or 2 and go home with a pump the size Texas and you're happy. You wake up tomorrow and you're sore as buggery and won't train chest again for 6 full days to recovery from yesterdays pec-tastic session.

Now when using auto reg you'd follow something like this:

Step 1 - set a goal for the session, let's say strength again. You also want each rep of each set to be completed with full acceleration through each rep with no sticking points, excessive straining/grinding or change in technique.

Step 2 - set a rep goal for the session, let's say 3.

Step 3 - focusing on the speed of each rep of each set you ramp up in weight each set until you hit the heaviest weight you can for 3 reps with full acceleration.

You've hit your aim for the session and now you've got some decisions to make whether it it be a focus on strength, hypertrophy or explosiveness.

Step 4 - whatever decision you make, you'd drop the weight and do a specific reps per set until max out following the guidelines of your training from step 1.

Here's how it might look numbers wise:

Set 1 - 3 x 50kgs
Set 2 - 3 x 60kgs
Set 3 - 3 x 70kgs
Set 4 - 3 x 80kgs
Set 4 - 3 x 90kgs
Set 5 - 3 x 100kgs (max set)

Goal is to continue with strength improvements so you will stay with 3 reps and also drop the weight 5 - 10% for your next sets.

Set 6 - 92.5kgs x 3
Set 7 - 92.5kgs x 3
Set 8 - 92.5kgs x 3

On your 8th set it didn't feel as "good" as the others and there was a bit of wavering in rep acceleration so you'll call it a day right there.

As you can see this method cuts out any bullshit volume that is there to fill up time or your program sheet.

It ensures only quality work is completed which will usually result in less overall volume which will result in less overall recovery from this session. This means that tomorrow or the next day you'll be able to do more high quality work again because you didn't overfill your stress glass.

Too many footballers follow bodybuilding programs, which is ridiculous, and has far too much shit volume in them that is not needed for footy when you have a lot of other things to train for.

You can apply so much stress before you break down.

In my next post I'll go into how I apply velocity based training and auto reg training together to make you a beast!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Velocity Based Training - How To

The most precise way to measure velocity is with a little something called a Linear Position Transducer sold through a website called GymAware. I am not an affiliate of these guys nor do I have one as they are a little costly but the principle is very important one in regards to athletic performance.

It's not as simple as this but what this little fellow does it attaches to the bar and measures the speed at which you lift it.


You may have seen force plates used before in vertical leap tests which is a similar thing but the LPT can be used to measure just about any exercise you want, not just ground based exercises.

As I understand it it doesn't measure power or speed but rather the displacement or distance of the chord that gets pulled from the machine. 

When combined with time, you can then calculate velocity and all equations after that, such as force and power are calculated against the system of mass (of the load or the athlete).

Now unfortunately you can only measure velocity with these machines which you may be thinking is a waste of post, what can I do with this?

I've posted about auto regulating training before and this is what these machines do. For example if you are wanting to train speed strength for a particular exercise, then from a couple of posts ago you would need to train at a speed that covers 1 - 1.5 meters per second. 

Getting instant feedback from a machine like this means that after each rep you knowing exactly what level you need to reach and it also provides a specific form of feedback that can actually enhance your training sessions because you will have a specific aim to reach each rep.

The big picture of this velocity stuff I've been blabbering on about is 2 fold.

1 - varying rep and load for specific exercises can train specific strength qualities which is essential for footy players who need to cover just about the entire force-velocity curve somewhere in their training


2 - auto regulation of your training which is something I have touched on before and will be the subject of my next post and is CRUCIAL to footy players who must train for a lot of things during a full season without training yourself into the ground.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Velocity Based Training

In the last couple of posts we've looked at Force - Velocity curve (separate links for force and velocity there) and its implications in regards to program design.

In the last post there was an image that showed what spectrum of the force velocity curve you train at certain %'s of your max.

So you might be thinking "I already do train in some or all of those %'s, so I've got this covered."

Not so fast chief!

The force velocity curve is only valid if you are lifting with maximal acceleration, or at least the intent to lift with maximal acceleration, and as discussed in my previous post, most players lift more like bodybuilders, not power athletes.

So here's another image for you:


As you can see there are actually measurements needed to be reached to ensure that your are actually training in the force velocity spectrum that you intended to.

Looking at the graph you can see what most people would expect, that the heavier the load (or higher the force), the slower the velocity and vice versa.

So if you do a 1 rep max but that 1 rep takes you a full 8secs to grind out, then is that the best exercise or, implementation of that exercise, to transfer over to your sport? Probably not. There's no situation on game day that gives you 8secs to fend off a tackle of gather yourself to jump for a mark in footy!

On the other hand do those 20 rep sets performed at 50 - 60% of your max have a good chance of transferring to your on field performance? Again, probably not.

You've got to abide by the meters per second lifting range of motion number that corresponds to the force or velocity quality you aim to train for.

Next up: Ways to Implement VBT

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Force - Velocity Curve Part 2

Just over a week ago I posted about the force velocity curve and gave a very basic insight into what it is so
a quick recap is that one axis is force, or the heaviest load you can move irrespective of time and the other axis is velocity, or how fast you can move a given load.

So lets break the "curve" down a little shall we?


Now as you can see there are various strength qualities that you've probably never heard of or even trained for (on purpose that is).

Max Strength refers lifting loads that are 90- 100% of your maximum so we're talking max bench press attempts and lifts of that nature. Car pushes is another example here for "other" max strength related activities.

Strength Speed refers loads moved in the 80 - 90% range of your max so the force requirements is a slightly lower that will equate to slightly greater velocity outputs. So it's a submaximal effort here but at a relatively high load still like an Olympic lift.

Speed Strength refers to loads moved in the 30 - 60% range of your max so now your essentially using a 50% split or close, of strength and velocity during these activities like a resisted sprint or plyometric exercise.

Max Speed (or velocity) is pure speed of movement like sprinting or a boxing combination.

I left out power deliberately because it's where strength speed and speed strength meet and overlap and can be dependent on your muscle fibre make up and training experience. A weighted jump is an example of a display of power.

Notice I haven't mentioned anything about sets and reps yet - this will be discussed in a future installment, but generally I think we'd all agree the the lighter a load is then the more reps we can do with it. This is true but rather then think of training in terms of reps, volume etc, how about focusing on the speed of the movement?

So now that last paragraph reads "I think we'd all agree that the lighter a load is then  the faster we can lift it".

Yes much better!!

Next up: Velocity Based Training

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Force - Velocity Curve

Training for performance is not what most players do in the gym.

I'd say 80 - 90% of players train to increase muscle size with the other 10 - 20% training for strength.

So 1 of those options is an actual strength quality (strength) and the other is a by product of a particular type of training.

My suggestion is to work off the force velocity curve:

As you can see from the image above one axis is force and the other is velocity so they are at opposite ends of the spectrum essentially.

Getting back to my opening statements, most players seem to think that training for hypertrophy and/or strength will automatically increase speed which is partly true as strength would be represented here as the force part of the equation.

Unfortunately the velocity part is often neglected.

To simplify:

Force refers to the highest load you can move regardless of time (think of a slow 1 rep max attempt) and velocity is the speed at which you can move a given force/load (think throwing a punch in boxing).

In regards to footy, you'll be doing it hard in the gym to hopefully increase sprinting speed (the difference between professional and amateur footballers) followed by full body strength for strength over the ball and hypertrophy for armor to protect against collisions as well as for injury prevention.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Indigenous Laguntas Program Involvement

I posted this Facebook update last week:

with some more information at this link:

and in the end they came away with the win at this link:

So my brother works for Richmond as their Indigenous programs dude and with their main 2 hour training session Friday and the big game on Sunday, they were wanting to break up Saturday's seminar day with some form of movement which is where I come in.

Not wanting anything too intensive so as not to impede recovery from Friday nor impede anything for Sunday, I sent through a sample of what I would do with them which the AFL Indigenous guys were happy with but with 30 blokes in a my 165m/sq studio space was going to be a battle but we got around it.

Here's what we did:

Tennis Ball - glutes, calves, pereoneals

Foam Rolling - ITB, Quads

Breathing / Core / Glutes - Supine Breathing, Short Lever Heel Drop, Posterior Pelvic Tilt, Prone Stability Hold...Prone Breathing, Glute Bridge, Side Stability Hold...Lunge Isometric + Thoracic Rotation, Bent Leg Hip Extension, Hip Hinge

Mobilisation - Hip Rockbacks, Split Stance Adductor Mobilisation

Stiffness - Line Jumps, Lateral Line Jumps, Wideouts, Low Squat Foot Jump

That wasn't the order but the groupings I did.

All up it took about 45mins to get all 30 kids through and they were very receptive.

I went down for a look on the Sunday and they looked pretty good and I was surprised by how much handball the under 18's use to clear the ball from packs rather then just banging it on the boot like we did in the good ole days!

I've got my online stuff up and running so if you need some extra training assistance coming into the back half of the season then let me know.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Block Training for Easter

With the Easter weekend being free of footy for everyone (I'm pretty sure) you've got the chance to do something a little radical that can yield pretty dramatic improvements. 

Without the need to be fresh for Saturday and possibly a night off training this week, you have a short window to train the single biggest weakness you have.

Whether it's speed, strength or anaerobic or aerobic capacity - this might be the chance you get this year to give it a concentrated effort.

As work prevents me from training at all with my team, I must do all my fitness work on my own which with all the rain last week and a shoulder injury the week before hasn't really happened since the season started.

So for the next 10 days or so I'll be doing my 3rd repeat speed block this year! I've set it up so I can do 1 session inside and the other outside so the weather won't make me miss any sessions. If I have to do 2 outside sessions in a row then no big deal, there's no footy this weekend.

I'll still be training other stuff as well and each day will involve training for stiffness, acceleration and repeat speed.

Here's what my next 10 days will look like:

Monday - Skipping (stiffness), Cable Resisted 5m Sprints (acceleration), 10 x 15m up and back every 30secs + 10 x 10m every 10secs (repeat speed).

Tuesday - Line Jumps, Prone to Push Up into 10m Sprint, 6 x 40m every 30secs 6 x 20m every 20secs.

Wednesday - Lateral Line Jumps, Cable Resisted 5m Sprints, 11 x 15m up and back every 30secs + 11 x 10m every 10secs.

Thursday - Low Squat Sprint, MB Throw into 10m Sprint, 7 x 40m every 30secs + 7 x 20m every 20secs.

Friday - Wideouts, Cable Resisted 5m Sprints, 12 x 15m up and back every 30secs + 12 x 10m every 10secs.

Saturday - Ankle Jumps, Backpedal to 10m Sprint, 8 x 40m every 30secs + 8 x 20m every 20secs.

Sunday - Alternate Split Squat Toe Jumps, Cable Resisted 5m Sprints, 13 x 15m up and back every 30secs + 13 x 10m every 10secs.

Monday - Low Box On / Off Jumps, Bound to 10m Sprint, 9 x 40m every 30secs + 9 x 20m every 20secs.

Tuesday - Low Depth Jump, Cable Resisted 5m Sprints, 14 x 15m up and back every 30secs + 14 x 10m every 10secs.

Wednesday - Low Box On / Off Wideouts, 3 Point + Standing Stance 10m Sprints, 10 x 40m every 30secs + 10 x 20m every 20secs.

I'll have Thursday and Friday off running and be good to go the Saturday.

For this week coming my gym schedule, which is not concentrated, will be:

Mon - Trap Bar Deadlift work up to 135kgs x 1 (progression from last block), Floor Bench Press x 6 reps to see how the shoulder is going, Single Arm Chest Supported Rows 6 x 5 @ 25kgs (left arm x 5, right arm x 5 all in a row for 6 sets each), core.

Wed - Bottom Position Reactive Back Squat, Floor Bench Press x 4 reps, Supine Barbell Chest Supported Row 4 x 15, core.

Fri - Bottom Position Reactive Split Squat on Toes, Floor Press x 2 reps, Stability into Deadstop DB Row 3 x 5/5, core.

I'll see how things are going with all the running stuff and shoulder before making up the next week's gym stuff but I don't think it should be too different.

So let me know via Facebook what your biggest weakness is and we'll make it a strong point in the next 10 days!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Single Greatest Way to Orgainse Your Training?

Tomorrow night marks round 1 for the mighty South Yarra where we play under lights at a place called Hallam which I'm still not really sure where it actually is except on the outskirts of Melbourne!

The last 3 weeks we'll had practice games where I continued on with a rather high load of training leading into this week. Unfortunately last Saturday some arsehole deliberately pushed me while I was in full flight taking a mark hew wasn't good enough to stop. It resulted in me flying into an on coming player who otherwise wouldn't have made it to me which resulted in a compressed AC joint of sorts.

It's still a bit sore but range of motion is there so I'm battling on. I've been assured that it can't get any further damage and a bit of tape (which I hate and NEVER wear) should be my course of action.

Anyway it put a bit of a dent in what I had planned for this week which was a new training schedule I have been playing with for about a week in regards to the best way to set it up.

So my thought was to ramp up towards Saturday in regards to high velocity activity.

There is a thing called the force-velocity curve which looks like this:

Max Strength is referred to as 90 - 100% of 1RM, Strength Speed is referred to as 80 - 90% of 1RM, power is referred to as 30 - 80% of 1RM, speed strength is referred to as 30 - 60% of 1RM and max speed is 0 - 30% of 1RM.

Basically the heavier the load, the slower your velocity (speed of movement) will be so it's a 1rm bench press attempt (high force / low velocity) vs a bench press @ 30% of your 1rm (low force/high velocity).

To set this up you'll need to start your week from Saturday, or game day. This is not only main day, but the day you build up to every week which is also the day where you display the highest force of velocity.

So we played Saturday and even though my shoulder was still pretty sore, I simply did some lower body stuff to see how this would work. Most days consisted of a stiffness exercise, a glute exercise and a main exercise for the focus of the day (max strength, strength speed etc).

My week looked like this with each day increasing in the speed of velocity by exercise selection

Monday - High Force / Low Velocity Day

Tuesday - Strength Speed Day
  • Ankle Jumps + Trap Bar Deadlift 8 x 1 every 30secs @ 60% of day 1
Wednesday - Speed Strength Day (the official start of high velocity training for the week)
Thursday - High Velocity Day
  • 1 x 10, 20, 30, 40m sprints from 3pt stance + 1 x 10, 20, 30m sprints from standing stance (max velocity dominant)
So breaking it down you probably see more clearly how I went about it:
  • Skipping to ankle jumps to overspeed swings (greater stiffness requirements from greater eccentric stress)
  • 90% to 60% Trap Bar Deadlifts (high to medium force + low to medium velocity)
  • 3 point stance to standing stance sprints (the greater torso angle you have the longer the ground contact time you'll have so compared to max velocity sprinting it's medium to high velocity)
As a side note I set a huge personal record in the 20m standing sprint today with a crazazy 2.72secs! Handheld stop watch but I'm taking that, especially at 35 and a 1/2 years old. Yesterday I hit my fastest 10m in a while getting a 1.78sec where I couldn't get past 1.81 a week or 2 below. 

So maybe a bit of recovery setting in, my new fandangle program or a bit of both.

I'll do this again next week with some improvements put in and see how it pans out results wise but the end result is to peak for game day so it will be all about how fast and explosive I am tomorrow night.

My programming rules there's no doubt and you could be a beneficiary of it by signing up to the Aussie Rules Training Online Consultancy and Training Program where I'll first assess what you need then program for it for YOU, not some generic program that 50 people do, tailored to your training schedule and equipment requirements.

You can't not afford to do this because the bloke flying past you after that loose ball probably is!

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 Things You Don't Know About In-Season Training

I assume most of us are getting the practice games on either currently or in the next couple of weeks which means the actual season is very close and with that comes the shift of your training from your pre-season model to your in-season model...although not too many teams have one!

Because of the requirement to be 100% every Saturday come game time, there are specific things that need to be taken into account.

1 - Goals of In-Season Training

The goals of in-season training is not only to get ready for Saturday game time but also to build on, or at least maintain the improvements gained from your off and pre-season training.

Above all, your main goal is to stay injury free. We can't predict or protect against collision injuries but you can and should be able to avoid non-contact and soft tissue injuries. A good idea is to measure your range of motion throughout your notorious tight joints/muscles prior to the season starting and then maintain that range of motion throughout the season. As soon as the range of motion starts decreasing then it's a big sign that you're overloading that area in some capacity which will ultimately lead to an overuse issue like OP.

On the track you should aim to maintain your acceleration, max velocity and both aerobic and anaerobic capacities.

In the gym you should aim to maintain strength and body weight.

At a bare minimum, stay within 10% of your off/pre-season personal bests.

2 - Auto Regulation

Auto regulation refers to regulating your training to fit your current neurological state. It's fair to say that you'll have greater training intensity potential on a Tuesday then a Sunday but fr those of us who like to train more then just Tuesday and Thursdays on the track, you can only build up so much stress before lack of recovery gets the better of you.

In the real world this means on a Monday you might head to the gym for your main workout of the week but you don't want to go so hard that it affects the other training sessions, and potentially the following game, later on in the week.

So if you have squats on the agenda for example then you want to set some form of baseline of when to call it quits. You don't want to do too much to hinder recovery but you don't want to do too little and under train either.

You'll have good and bad days during the season so you want to take full advantage of the good days but do the bare minimum on the bad days.

A few ways you can auto regulate is to work up to a certain rep number with progressive weight, work up to a certain weight and do a number reps stopping the set once you hit a certain point such as decreased velocity, a change in technique etc.

3 - Neural State Testing

On the back of auto regulation is neural state testing which you can use to break things down even better. It involves performing a neural test at various times during your training to auto regulate your session. So a sample exercise might be the low squat sprint exercise.

So you'd this exercise and over a period of time you'd find your average of reps you can perform in 10secs. Once you enter the gym then you'd do this before and after your warm up then also between sets of your main lift for that day. Once you drop below 90 - 95% of your reps average then stop the main lift right there as the decreased output tells you that nervous system fatigue has started to set in so you'd better cal it a day. Finish off with some low intensity accessory work and head home. You're much better off doing less and staying fresh then too much, especially during the season.

4 - Training Residuals

Even though this point 4, in my opinion this is the most important part of this post, and in-season training programming.

During the off and pre-season we have all the time and resources (energy) to train many qualities at once, the stress of a weekly game far greater then anything you'll do during this time so it leaves plenty of energy to cater to other qualities.

Training residuals is a refers to how long a specific strength and fitness quality stays with you and how frequently it needs to be trained to be maintained.

For example aerobic endurance will stay at certain level for 30 days with an over flow of 5 days either side of that (25 - 35 days). What this means is that for all you blokes who bang out 10km runs on a Monday can cut this to once a month and use that time to work on more glaring weaknesses.

By using these training residuals you can easily set up your in-season training program because you know when something will need to be trained and you just plug it in.

Remember it's the off/pre-season, you don't have the time or resources to train everything!

5 - Exercise Selection

This one is easy - try to limit the amount of new exercises you introduce to your training program. New exercises means you have a much lower tolerance to the movement meaning soreness. You get sore enough from a game let alone from your training which can affect your natural mechanics which could lead to injury.

You might have noticed my new paypal option just under the main banner...yeah I know you did! Well that's the link you need to click on if you want me to do all of your programming for you. I've already sent this out to my list and have had a pretty good response and with only 25 spots available right now, I expect these to fill up pretty quickly - my list is 10 full pages of email addresses I've complied since I started the blog.

If you're interested then drop me an email at

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Have You Done to Dominate 2014 Part 2

Late last year I posted about the different training I've done in prep for 2014 which can be found here. I was just looking at it and realised I haven't updated it so here we go.

Block 4 - December 27 to January 12

Focus - Repeat Speed / Lactic Capacity

What I Did - 8 sessions over 15 days every 2nd day without fail as described in the link above.

Results - Building on my alactic power and aerobic capacity, the aim here was to do a power of work in a very short amount of time (so incomplete rest) then see how fast I can get my heart rate down to 60% of my max.

Most days I was hitting 100% of my heart rate at some point. Day 1 after doing 10 x 10m sprints every 10secs and my heart rates immediately post and every minute after that were 174, 150, 138, 126, 120, 120.

13 days later after doing 20 x 10m sprints every 10secs it read 174, 132, 114.

A definite improvement in recovery rate if there was ever one!

Upper body was very high volume chin and pull ups at bodyweight which ranges from 40 to 100 reps per session x 4 - 5/week and some pressing for strength but very low volume.

Takeaways - from now on I will do all my fitness work in blocks. My body loves short powerful bouts with plenty of rest so I don't take to this type of training very well these days (was a machine back in the day though!). But knowing that it will all be over in 2 short weeks makes it bearable and I'm more likely to stick with this then drawing it out.

Block 5 - January 13 to February 23

Focus - Big Toe Mobility / Foot Strength / Achilles Tendon Stiffness

What I Did - this took about a week to set up as it's something I hadn't done a lot of before and info on training for them it's only in bits and pieces so it took some brain action but I finally got it together. I trained 6 days a week but most of it was submaximal, low level stuff so it was easily done with minimal fatigue.

My daily template was 1 exercise for each group of these:

  1. Big Toe Mobility
  2. Isometric Foot Strength
  3. Concentric to Eccentric Foot Strength
  4. Achilles Tendon Stiffness Quick Response
  5. Achilles Tendon Stiffness Slow Response
  6. Sprinting Mechanics
  7. Acceleration or Max Velocity Sprints
  8. Glute Ham Raise Isometrics
For upper body I did more chin/pull up variations but now for strength. Again low volume pressing for strength too changing from bench to military pres in there somewhere as I hadn't done any overhead work since last year! Very poor indeed.

Results - for reasons I don not understand I did not time any of my sprints in this block? Dickhead.

Takeaways - This block was too long for even low level tendon work, my speed was failing m in the last week or 2 so in hindsite, probably 2 or 3 weeks max for this type of stuff but it was fine overall. Pull Ups tested at + 30kg x 1 rep so about 110 - 115 all up (I'm 77 - 78kgs most of the time) and equals my bench thereabouts which is good.

Block 6 - February 24 to March 10

Focus - Speed / Repeat Speed Combo

What I Did - not the best 2 things to focus on at the one time as one is capacity and the other power but it seemed to gel alright as I had complete control over my training as work prevents me from training with my footy team. Repeat speed was 6 workouts every 2nd day again but I did the progression over 6 sessions instead of 8 so it got harder quicker but the quick block again made bearable. 

Results - I didn't take many heart rates this time around as it was just more capacity work with praccy games coming up from mid March. I was till finishing at 100% of my heart rate max and I was recovering to 60% of my heart rate max in 3 - 4mins max so I at least maintained from the first repeat speed block.

Sprint speed wise I did some timing and recorded a flying 10m sprint time of 1.22secs. Usian Bolt hit .82secs in his 9.69sec world record 100m sprint back in 2008 for a terrible reference.

Takeaways - On a Friday night Eddie Maguire's son plays cricket at the oval I sprint at and I basically sprinted right in front of his seat for 45mins and he didn't say boo. He may be affiliated with Collingwood but he must not be all bad. James Hird also frequents the park with his kids yet I haven't received any contracts yet. And don't mix power and capacity in the same block. It's not that it didn't work but capacity generally means fatigue build up which impacts power.

Block 7 - March 10 to April 4 (round 1 Friday night!!)

Focus - Peaking Speed / Practice Games

Currently doing this and will update in a few weeks time.

Don't forget the Aussie Rules Training Consultancy and Training Program where you can have me do all your programming for whatever you need! Only 25 spots available and 6 days til I release to the public!

Stop guessing with your programming!

Online Consultancy and Training Available NOW!!

Over the couple of weeks I've mentioned the upcoming release of the Aussie Rules Training Online Consultancy and Training program that I'll be running through some software that I purchased late last year.

Well it's here!!

All programs are personally made up for YOU by ME, they are not automated programs - I don't roll like that.

I have only 25 spots available for right now so do not hesitate to jump on this as I don't expect these spots to last the week.

So if you are interested then email me at and well start the process ASAP.

I'll be back with a better training info update in a couple of days.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Turn Strength into Power

Last week I went in to detail on how to build strength without the use of weights or equipment so they type of stuff you could actually use in a team training setting.

This week we'll look at developing power, the ultimate expression of strength.

You can build strength in the gym but strength, max strength in particular, is a high load, low velocity movement meaning the weight might be bloody heavy but that means the actual movement is pretty slow.

This is great to build foundation strength that can be turned into what you want or need it to be but on it's own, its not optimal.

Enter medicine balls.

The best part of medicine balls is the release phase. Some of you might be familiar with dynamic effort weight training where you use 40 - 60% of your max and do 8 - 12 sets of 1 - 3 reps focusing on acceleration except there's 1 big problem.

For just about any free weight exercise you can think of, there's a deceleration phase which is actually protective tension of sorts from the brain so that you don't keep accelerating and snap your arm clean off. Quite dramatic I know!

But with medicine balls this deceleration phase doesn't exist because you accelerate and accelerate until you release the ball so it trains true power.

For the upper body your best options are chest throw variations either from a lying, sitting or standing position. To focus solely on the upper body muscles the lying or sitting against a wall variations are your go to variations.

For lower body you can use variations that train the lower body exclusively or you can use full body power options. For the lower body you can use scoop throwing variations and foe the full body power you can use push press or chest throw variations.

As for sets and reps it's all about power so your best served with doing single reps with about 15 - 30secs between them which you'll probably need to retrieve the medicine ball with anyway. Do these at the start of your sessions too because you want to be in a fresh state to get the full benefit from them.

So all up do 10 - 15 sets of 1 w/ 15 - 30secs reps between them doing 1 - 2 exercise variations.

Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Random Footy Training Tips Part 6

First a little update from Aussie Rules Training.

Excitement Factor #1 - I'm in the midst of writing a brand new footy manual! I haven't released one in a while and I'm always learning new stuff so as of right now (it might change possibly) the idea is to have a 12 month training manual from September/October all the way through to September the next year. Programs, info galore thus it's taking a while to gather it all and have it all make sense. It will possibly replace the other manuals I have as it will basically put them all together in the single manual with some bits taken from them along with all the new stuff I have.

Excitement Factor #2 - Late last year I purchased some online training software of which I'm in also in the middle of putting my own videos into (tedious and drawn out process!). I had 200 on there already but this requires individual videos of each exercises, not groups of exercises like I had. I'm now up to 357 vids with another 40 odd on my phone needing to be uploaded and another 50+ I reckon to be filmed and also uploaded. With this software I'll be able to program for anyone anywhere in the world and it has plenty of features within it in regards to its set up and nutritional component. I hope to coincide this release with the manual but I'm spinning wheels trying to get them both done!

Anyway back to randoms...

Random Tip #26 - Getting Stronger Without Weights

It could be said that the stronger you are, the better athlete you are. It's not a perfect statement but a stronger athlete has greater capacity for power, speed and even endurance then a weaker one. Strength is the foundation of which all other strength and fitness qualities is built on.

Most clubs will not have the luxury of having a gym set up available for use by players but you can still get your players stronger at training without weights but is doing push up ladders and sets of 50m walking lunges getting you stronger or just building up fatigue and a little endurance?

Enter isometric dynamic bodyweight exercises.

ID exercise take bodyweight exercises to the next level as they require a far greater force output then traditional reps.

These can be done a few ways of which I'll cheat and use a tip # for each variation.

Random Tip #27 - Iso Dynamic Power Rep

An ID power rep is performed by going down into the bottom deep position of a squat, split squat or push up and holding for at least 3secs. At that point your objective is to push out of that position, the mechanically weakest position of the exercise until you are at the starting position. The isometric contraction (no movement) means that you must generate as much force as you can to get out of that position meaning greater. For the power rep variation do single reps focusing on holding perfect positioning when you explode out of the bottom position.

Random Tip #28 - Iso Dynamic Plyometric Power Rep

This is the same as a power reps except now you're aiming to generate even more force out of the bottom position because now you wanna try and elevate the ground with your feet or hands. Again do these in single reps. An important part of this variation is the landing mechanics which you might need to master before trying these plyometric reps. You want to make sure that you are again maintaining correct positioning through the entire rep and also upon landing where the stress should be evenly distributed through the ankles, knees and hips for lower body exercises and the wrists, elbows and shoulders for upper body movements.

#29 - Power and Plyometric Power Reps

I underlined the "s" because this is the difference. Once you mastered single reps with a reset between each one like in points # 27 and 28, then move to continuous reps of 3 - 5 per set. So for squats and squat jumps you jump up and upon landing you are to assume immediately get yourself back into the starting position (hence the need to ace landing mechanics as mentioned above somewhere) where you "stick" the landing for at least 3secs and go again.

#30 - Partner Assisted Power and Plyometric Power Reps

This is a step up from the power and plyometric power reps but can be used for both variations. This is where a partner will provide some low to moderate resistance to you while you are paused in the deep position. So you descend into your push up or squat position then your partner pushes you downwards where you are now resisting this a]downwards action by actually trying to push  or squat up. They will want to provide enough resistance so that you can't actually move and then once they release their grip, you go lie a slingshot and spring out of it. With the power required to get out of this position with the added resistance it will probably result in a plyometric power rep anyway. Again follow the single reps with a reset between each rep then move to continuous reps.

This video from Jeremy Frisch and his team down at over in the US gives you an idea of what I'm talking about at the 2:25 minute mark. Watch the whole thing they have some real good stuff you won't even knew existed before except for what I've put on this blog