Friday, February 13, 2015

A Simple Look at Aussie Rules Footy Fitness Part 2

Earlier this year I did a post that gave some insight into the different energy systems to train and how to train each of them.

This post will give you an insight into the order of which to train these energy systems during the year.

I'm going to write this out as though I am in charge of a footy team from the 1st day of their off season. This will mean that I won't be starting 'again" come team pre-season training, it will build on what is laid out from the off season phase.

Please refer to post linked above for recommendations for each energy system training requirement.

Off-Season Energy Systems Training

This refers to the time between you're last game and the 1st night of pre-season training so we're looking at about 8 weeks.

Goal 1 - Alactic Power

Goal 2 - Aerobic Capacity

Alactic power is the top of the pyramid in regards to energy systems for team sports. The fastest players are generally the best players and is what can set an AFL player apart from an elite VFL footballer. All things being equal, the fastest bloke will get drafted every time and some blokes get drafted purely on speed, in the hope they can be coached to an elite level.

You'll use a short sprints and mostly sub maximal intensity for 4 weeks then increase the intensity and then the distance slightly, in the next 4 weeks.

Aerobic capacity is what you probably already do by going for a few 10km runs per week which is fine, but you need to make sure that you're staying within a heart rate zone that will build actual capacity and not build up fatigue for 2 reasons.

Reason 1 is that speed cannot, and will not, be increased in the presence of fatigue. Reason 2 is that it's October and you can';t be breaking down the body 11 months from finals time or you'll find yourself in a hole you won;t be able to get out recovery wise.

You'll start at the low end of the duration scale and a heart rate of 130 - 150 beats starting at the low end and progressing to the top end over the 8 weeks.

Pre-Season Energy Systems Training

This refers to the start of team pre season. and we'll split this into 2 portions of pre and post Christmas.

Pre-Christmas Goal 1 - Alactic Power

Pre-Christmas Goal 2 - Aerobic Capacity

These goals remain the same but the training will be different. These 2 energy system qualities take the longest to gain so it stands to reason they get the longest training time.

Alactic power will shift to near maximal intensity and slightly longer distances then you ended with pre-Christmas. Just remember that actual max speed can only be held for 2 - 3secs max so use set distances that are too long for actual speed development erring on the shorter side if anything.

Christmas Break Energy Systems Training

This refers to the time between your last pre-Christmas team training session and you're 1st post Christmas team training session. We're looking at 3 - 4 weeks here which is plenty of time to slack off and lose a lot of your benefits from last year. Your goal here is to at least maintain where you are and with a few extra days off you might actually find yourself faster during this time from extra recovery.

Post-Christmas Energy Systems Training

Work back from your 1st practice game to the start of post-Christmas pre-season training to see how many weeks and sessions you;ll have between now and then which will determine how long each goal will be the main focus for.

Post-Christmas Goal 1 - Aerobic Power

Post-Christmas Goal 2 - Lactic Power

After 2 or so weeks of finishing up alactic power ans aerobic capacity development, we'll now move to a few more goals, while maintaining alactic power with low volume, high intensity training as you can maintain it with as little as 30 - 50% of the volume you used to build it, so long as intensity is maximal.

Aerobic development will also be maintained with some specific drills for it as well a greater emphasise on skill drills which can also be performed at an aerobic capacity type intensity.

Again remember when you're training the power side of anything you need full rest between sets so plan some easy skill drills between these sets.

After 3 - 4 weeks of aerobic and alactic power now we can head into alactic capacity. You can't build high capacity if you have low power so ensure that power is trained, and improved upon before capacity. If you're not fast for 1 set then how can be fast for 5 or 10 sets? You can't.

You'll need to be a programming demon at this point because you now need to address alactic power, aerobic capacity, aerobic power, alactic power and now alactic capacity all at once.

Plan the bulk of your energy systems work prior to your 1st practice match as those early games will build more fatigue then any other games you play for the year as the body gets accustomed to the intensity of change of directions and contact/bumps.

You'll also struggle to implement your game plan effectively if you're still slugging it out on the track 2 a week and going into games already half knackered so the focus for training is on high quality with "some" volume that will decrease from week to week until round 1 where you want to be at your peakiest best!

This is all laid out for you in the Ultimate Footy Training Manual so get your hands on one before it's too late to do something about it and round 1 is on top of you!

I've actually got a 25% off offer at the moment if you go via this link: