Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Aussie Rules Football Fitness Requirements (Article Summary)

This is a summary of a question and answer that appeared on Joe Defranco's site a few years back and to be honest I wasn't familiar with the terms used in it and thus couldn't really understand it.

It was then that I discovered that my energy systems training knowledge bag wasn't as full as I thought it was so I had to re-educate myself a fair bit on the subject - which I did.

The main question was how to combine training for power and endurance simultaneously without 1 affecting the other.

Here are the best points with the big rocks being in red bold:

- Aussie Rules Football is classed as an aerobic-alactic sport as you cover a lot of running distance + it is of long duration but mixed with short bursts of very high intensity efforts (jumps, tackles etc)
- Correct programming can result in both qualities being developed optimally
- What 99% of players think of fitness for football is the glycolytic/lactic system but if you have an excellent aerobic system then you shouldn't have to tap into your lactic system too often
- 80% of the game is spent at low to moderate intensities so a strong aerobic system is valuable to be able to replenish energy stores in between bouts of alactic/high intensity efforts.
- The majority of your training should be either aerobic or alactic
- Team training can train the glycolytic system so there's no real need for you to train it on your own and especially not before 4 weeks out from your first practice game
- The more powerful the aerobic system the  the better you can buffer the impacts of lactate
- The longer you can stay in an aerobic environment the less stress your body goes through to produce work
- Practice intensities that become too high always do nothing to perfect skill levels
- Lactic training is too slow for speed development and too fast to recover from in 24hrs
- Max Output = What You Can Do (top un-resisted speed in a non-fatigued state or kicking under no pressure)
- Operational Output = What You Have to Do (game speed or kicking under physical pressure)
-  By improving max outputs you expend less energy performing operational output (you can repeat your top speed, or a high % of, for longer or kicking level stays high even when fatigued)
- You can improve work capacity without doing endurance by simply improving max outputs
- Begin skill drills at a very low speed
- Whatever you are focusing on within a training block must be compatible with the other things you train in that block (not all strength and fitness qualities are compatible so you can't just train everything together and expect optimal results for everything).
- Good news for us is that alactic and aerobic qualities are compatible with each other
-  Lactic work is not compatible with either alactic or aerobic but again it should never really be the dominant quality within a training block or session (except in local/amateur circles that's pretty much all we do at training).
- Improved aerobic qualities improve speed reserve enabling you run at high speeds when everyone else is fatigued
- Follow a schedule based on the high/low system

You can access the full article here.

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