Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Training Max Velocity Speed in the Gym (It Can Be Done!)

Today I tested a low-ish HRV so I needed something somewhat gentle for the lower body and came up with this contrast circuit. Now most players and would head to the gym and develop their program based on muscles of the lower body, using regular tempo reps (2 - 3secs down then 1 - 2secs up). 

This type of training has it's place no doubt (early off-season phase) but unfortunately in an actual game of footy, gym lifts performed in a straight, up and down manner with slow contractions won't really get it done.

If you want to train to perform then using movements that train multiple force vectors (I've posted about this before) is a must as footy is a 360 degree sport.

Here’s how I developed this training session.

Step 1 – Decide on the aim of the session which was to train the lower body and as I’ve just completed a strength block I wanted something to assist with max velocity sprinting.

Step 2 – What components of the lower body do you need to train train to reach the aim of the session. With max velocity being what I wanted to train over acceleration (which I did on Tuesday), I decided that the components that I could train indoors were: 

Intramuscular Coordination 
Achilles Tendon Stiffness 
Vertical Reactive Power   
Horizontal Reactive Power


      Coordination is the ability to sequence the right muscles to fire at the right time and in the case of sprinting, we’re talking hip extension of 1 leg while simultaneously going into powerful hip flexion of the opposite leg. The added component of this is that sprinting is also horizontal in movement nature so a perfect exercise for this is the Bosch Clean which as you can see below, is a perfect replica of human locomotion.
For Achilles tendon stiffness I wanted something to overload the movement with minimal impact so I opted for donkey ankle jumps which allow me to jump to higher then I could in a normal ankle jump thus overloading the Achilles upon impact far greater than normal.
      For vertical reactive (ballistic / up and down movement) power I went for trap bar jump squats which has been shown to result in as much, if not more power then any of the Olympic lifts which a far lesser learning curve in regards to technique.
      For horizontal reactive power I went for reactive long jumps with cable resistance which decreases the impact upon landing on each jump yet probably increases explosiveness from the resistance dragging you back as you jump.
       I did 3 circuits of these and went home.

      As you can see there is a huge difference between general and specific training and to really train optimally you need some form of specificity to get true transfer over to your performance.

      The thoughts of getting bigger and stronger is probably making your on field performance much better really as in the end you're getting better at training in the gym, not on the footy field which makes programming ultra important.

      Stop wasting your time and efforts in the gym and actually make an impact in this years finals series while you still have time to do something about it by following these steps:

       #1 - Click the Paypal icon at the top of the blog
       #2 - Send $20 to
       #3 - In the message part of the transaction type in your goal or glaring weakness in your game being  as specific as possible ("...I'm a full forward so I need to get faster over the first 5m of a lead from a  standing start..." for example)
       #4 - Give me 60 - 90mins per week x 4 weeks of your time
       #5 - Dominate on the field

       I only have limited places for this as I've been doing each program manually so get in before my  time runs out!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hit the Finals in Peak Condition for $20

This week I finished up my little 10 day strength block. I was focusing on squats for this block using a little known exercise called belt squats.

It's as big a bitch to set up and perform as it looks don't get me wrong but it's great for max effort type loading with out spinal compression which should be minimised where it can during the season especially. It's handy to have a 5yr old mini-me to help too!

I did other strength stuff in this block so here's the full program I completed with a few changes as I went along cos you gotta be flexible:

I actually started some of these exercise the week prior doing Belt Squats @ 75kgs x 5 reps + T Bar Deadlifts @ 105kgs x 5 reps + Bench Press (BP) @ 75kgs x 5 reps w/ a 5 sec eccentric each rep

Saturday - Game

Monday - Belt Squats (BS) x 4 reps @ 85kgs + T Bar Deadlifts (TBDL) x 4 reps @ 115kgs*

Wednesday - BS 95 x 3 + DB Chest Supported Row (DB CR) 4 x 12 @ 22.5kgs...BP @ 80kgs x 4 reps w/ a 3sec isometric each rep + Lataral Squat (LS) 2 x 5 @ 10kgs

Friday - BS 105 x 3 + Push Up (set 1 - drop and catch / set 2 - plyometric singles / set 3 - drop catch plyometric) all x 8 reps + Rows (set 1 - stability / set 2 - sa chest supported / set 3 - db row) all x 8 reps @ 30kgs

Monday - LS @ 12.5kgs x 5 reps + BS 115kgs x 3 reps + LS @ 12.5kgs x 5 reps

Wednesday - BS 125kgs x 3

Thursday - BP 85kgs x 4 reps + DB CR 4 x 12 @ 25kgs

Saturday - Game

* I had planned to do both BS and TBDL for this block but I couldn't load the t-bar with more then 115kgs so I took them out.

So why did I choose Squats?

I had a couple of reasons with the first one being that initial acceleration and quad strength has a pretty good correlation and that I hadn't done anything nearing max effort for the lower body since early March so without needing to be 1005 for Saturday I could wear the body down a bit if I needed to.

If I didn't go away for the long weekend I could have done another BS session and gone heavier but there's no premiership medals being handed out for squat strength is there?

Since last August I've done 2 rehab blocks (knee + back), 2 speed blocks, 3 aerobic conditioning blocks and various other "bit" blocks as well.

As you can see I've covered pretty much everything at various times and for the rest of the season I'm yet to plan out what to do next. We have a run of 5 games in a row against teams in the bottom bracket so I could embark in some extra training and I also seem to be pulling up better from games that's for sure.

For most of you it's the half way mark of the season and the peak condition you might have been in earlier in the season has been slowly worn away a little bit which means you need to go again to be at your peak when you really need it - finals time!!

So if you have a glaring weakness then for $20 I''ll tailor make a 4 week program that you can simply plug in to your current training with minimal effort. Whether your speed is lacking, your endurance needs work or your strength levels are down from not hitting the gym like you did in the summer - you let me know what you need and I'll deliver.

The theme for this is 1 problem - 1 solution.

This isn't the time to be trying to set personal bests in everything. Choose 1 thing and let's concentrate on it to get the best, and fastest results.

All programs will be delivered via email with accompanying videos and any notes you need to carry out the program .

Hit the Paypal button below, send your payment to lange_troy@hotmail,com and I'll respond pretty much immediately. In the message bit put in your goal being as specific as you can in regards to how it holds your performance back, what you'll be able to do with it after the program has finished and what time/equipment you have to put into the program.

I'll do the rest!

I'm not sure how many players I can take on for this so get in early before I get overwhelmed and have to stop taking people on for this.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

5 Ways to Make Your 2nd Half of the Season Better Than Your 1st

The Queens Birthday weekend is here signalling the half way mark of the season I suppose and backing off from last week's post "Mid Season Grading and Goal Setting".

I'm heading back to Warrnambool in a minute so this will be a quick one so here we go.

#1 - Start Heart Rate Variability Testing

I've written about this extensively in the last year or so and I couldn't think of any reason why you wouldn't be doing it but for those that aren't then follow these instructions:

- download the HRV4Training on your iPhone (it's not android as yet) where it will cost you maybe $10
- test for 60secs every morning as soon as you wake up in  fully rested state
- look at the correlations between how you actually feel and the training advice it's giving you to see how you respond to different stressors which will help you plan your week

You're only going to get more fatigued as the season goes on so this becomes very important as you want to be playing your best football in August / September.

#2 - Personal Weakness Training Block

If your team's ladder position allows then set up a training block aimed at improving a quality that you know you NEED (not want) to improve to help your team.

It may takeaway a little from your on-field performance so I'd let your coach know what you're doing beforehand in case it does. He'll be more then happy to accommodate you if you're doing outside training for the betterment of the team and if he doesn't then send him my way!

#3 - Get Stronger

As the season drags through winter and fatigue builds up then you need to continue to build resiliency throughout the body to avoid soft tissue injuries. You can't do too much about contact injuries but you should continue to lift relatively heavy throughout the entire season as it feed endurance and speed as well.

#4 - Get Faster

Speed NEEDS to be trained every 5 - 8 days. A game doesn't train maximal speed as it has been shown that you'll only reach about 90 - 95% of maximal speed during a game. To increase actual maximal speed (the holy grail of sport by the way) you need to train it specifically.

Ideally you'd do this on your own before Tuesday training after 3 days of rest from Saturday or during team training. If you can't do it pre-training or your team doesn't really train speed (good luck!) then do it Monday pm

#5 - Recover like an Elite Athlete

As mentioned above fatigue will build up as the season goes on so it becomes increasingly more important to ensure that your are partaking in some form of recovery post game, and training if need be.

Eat meat protein instead of pies and chips.

Drink protein and water instead of beer.

Cool down properly.

Introduce recovery training days above doing nothing at all.

OK I'm out but if you need more information on any of these points then hit me at the Facebook page.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mid - Season Grading and Goal Setting

With the Queen's Birthday weekend coming up most leagues will have the week off signalling the middle of the season which is the best time to take some time to sit back and have a decent look at your progress this year.

This can be hard to do during the season as it can be all encompassing but you have some time to reflect and make informed judgments on your season to date without any emotion which can skew results.

From a team point of view we have dropped 2 games we believed we could win resulting in a win loss record of 5 and 3 compared to last years 7 and 1.

I can honestly say that we won't have our best or near best team on the park until the back end of the year with a few mid year holidays keeping some blokes out for extended periods of time so we have only probably been at 70% full strength tops so far this year.

We haven't played everyone once quite yet but there seems to be a top 6 or 7 and a bottom 5 so we should still play finals once we get everyone back in the team. Obviously the aim is to finish in the top at least get the double chance come September.

As a team we are little undersized in the midfield so we need to really work out our structures at stoppages so we don't have to fight and scrap with blokes bigger then us in tight. We play on a small ground so we like it in tight but a smaller midfield can get tired from battling against bigger opponents all day.

This has also resulted in average disposal coming into the forward line as we not getting a lot of clear takeaways from stoppages (of which there are plenty on reserves football!), and a lot of entries being kicks out of packs or under pressure.

We also haven't scored anywhere near as heavily as last year with a total score of 472 vs 809 this time last year. Defense is about the same with 354 vs 304.

Personally I've under-performed compare to last year with only 8 goals so far this year compared to 21 at the same time last year. As a tiny forward the average entries haven't helped my cause but I've also kicked more behinds then last year, especially from set shots which I'm usually very good from.

My knee injury has taken a bit off my performance unfortunately as I'm not quite as fast as  used to be and I can't quite jump as high either which crucial at 168cms!

There's still minor actions I can't do 100% but there is no pain in the knee at all so I'm hoping it's still just a little protectiveness from the brain that will hopefully release over time.

I'm recovering better from games now compared to the earlier rounds which is great as I can get more training in during the week and my HRV baseline and daily readings have improved as well so I'm handling more volume better which is a positive sign.

My goals for the rest of the season is to hot the scoreboard every week (I've only missed 1 game without scoring a goal so far this year) and I need to present more if only to create space for our other forwards to work in and I'm no chance of getting the ball.

I'll need to get some goal kicking in during the week too so as not to go back to kicking behinds, especially from set shots. I've been good the past month with those though so hopefully I'm past the little case of the yips I had earlier.

Training wise with the week off I can dedicate this week and half of next week to some good old fashioned strength work. I haven't really lifted an appreciable load for 2 or 3 months now, not that you have to all the time, but it's time to top up my strength levels while I can train with a high workload without having to be fully recovered by Saturday.