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AFL Grand Final Week is upon us with the Richmond Army set to battle the AFL’s newest club, GWS Giants, in what is set to be a blockbuster clash. Now whilst the AFL’s elite gear up to battle it out on Saturday afternoon, I hope you have had time to reflect on your 2019 season and set a few goals for 2020, as I discussed in part 1 of this blog “Surviving Pre-Season.”
After setting yourself a goal it’s now time we look at what areas of your fitness you need to improve to achieve the aspiration you have for 2020. I will give you an example and share with you my training plans for the upcoming month. Keep in mind, I play AFL but you can use this model for any team sport.
My goal is to play more than half the game in the ruck in season 2020. For me to achieve this I need to improve both my aerobic conditioning and muscular power to jump and compete with the other rucks in the competition.
So as I continue to look towards the warmer days and daylight saving, what does my current training program look like to hit these goals? I am still ticking the legs over with a couple of runs a week (maximum 5 km). I am definitely not a ‘runner’ but to play AFL, you need to be able to run and to reach my goal of improved aerobic fitness, I need to increase my running ability. So currently throughout September I am more just building a habit of getting 3 slow short runs in a week to give myself a base to work from for when I start some interval and repeat sprint efforts in October. This is also a great time to address any on-going pains or discomforts you have when running. Myself and the team at Pure Physio can assist you in this area, by looking at both your injury history and assessing your running.
To build power, first you must build strength. My focus for September is to gradually build strength, which is called hypertrophy. Currently, I completed 3 full body strength sessions a week, slowly building lean muscle and focusing on previously injured areas eg. hamstring, knee and lumbar. As a general rule, to maintain fitness we need to complete a minimum of 2 sessions a week and to increase you need to complete 3 sessions a week. Due to time restrictions, I only train 3 times a week at the gym so completing full body strength sessions works for me. If you enjoy the gym and go 5-6 times a week you will be able to break the sessions up into upper and lower body but it’s important to be consistent with your training.
Whilst completing 3 running sessions and 3 gym sessions is very achievable for me, this is not the case with every player. Every player is different is terms of goals, fitness, level of experience and injury history so there is no one size fits all. No two players can complete the same pre season and both achieve their goals. Keep in mind, you should never start any training program without the consultation of a healthcare provider.
So if you are looking to improve your game in 2020 but are unsure on what type of training, number of sessions or how to prevent injuries, book in and see myself or one of the team at Pure Physio to guide you through a step by step program.
I’ll be back after the AFL Grand Final to share an outline of my 6 weeks program, I am completing before preseason starts back at the club in early November.
Enjoy the Grand Final and Go Tigers!
About the Author
Sarah Anderson — Manual Physiotherapist
Sarah graduated from Bond University, Gold Coast with a Bachelor of Health Science and Australian Catholic University, Brisbane with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Since graduating, Sarah has worked in a range of sports and private practice settings gaining valuable hands on experience.