What does it take to be an AFL player? For many, the answer is years of hard work and dedication. But what about the players who are already in peak physical condition? How do they prepare for the demanding season ahead? In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways AFL players get ready for the big leagues. Stay tuned for tips on how you can train like an AFL superstar!
AFL players are some of the fittest athletes in the world. They need to be able to run for long distances, jump high and make powerful tackles without getting tired. So how do they prepare for the season ahead?
How Do AFL Players Train in the Preseason?
Many AFL players follow a rigorous fitness program during the off-season. This might involve running, lifting weights, gymnastics, or aerobic training. How much weight players are lifting depends on their position, age, and athletic physical development plan.
The preseason is also a time to build up the muscles required to handle the physicality of the sport i.e. tackling, and bumping. The club strength and conditioning coach designs a program that works on exactly this.
All AFL players have one thing in common: a rigorous training routine. Even though they may conduct different workouts depending on their talents and shortcomings, they are all functioning at an exceptionally high level.
It’s very common for professional athletes to exercise five days a week for several hours each day. It’s their day job, and training is a necessary component of it. Not to mention that they maintain this rigorous training regimen for many years to become top-tier athletes. They reach the pinnacle of their abilities as the training progresses. In a nutshell, it isn’t something that occurs overnight. So, if you want to train like an AFL player, you’ll need a rigorous training routine.
A typical training program of an AFL player involves running for repeat short bursts, and strength/power training. Here’s a sample of what comprises a common AFL workout:
During an AFL game, there is a lot of stopping and starting, which necessitates the ability to sprint rapidly and efficiently. As a result, sprint training is an important part of AFL training and a good place to start if you want to train like an AFL player. An example of sprint training is as follows:
- Make a 20-meter measurement.
- Warm up before beginning your sprinting practice.
- 40-meter sprint (to the 20-meter mark and back) 8 repetitions with a 30-second break between each repetition
- 1 set is 8 sprints
- Complete two to three sets.
You can also check out these running workouts provided by Prepare Like A Pro on YouTube.
Although sprinting ability is key for an AFL player’s skill, endurance is also necessary. As a result, longer intervals to target high speed running is frequently used in AFL training. Even so, this isn’t likely to be what you’re used to. You won’t be running for long steady state distances on our program.
Strength and Power Program
After that, you’ll begin to do some strength training. Because of their stability, the barbell is a popular tool among AFL strength and power programs. They aid in the development of strength, power, and work capacity.
The following are barbell exercises that you can use to train like an AFL player:
- Bench press
- Bench Pull (Prone row)
- Hip Thrust
- Hang High-Pull
- Romanian Deadlift
- Back Squat
Use these exercises with your strength and conditioning coach ideally with AFL experience to guarantee the correct technique and get the most out of the movements.
Explosive Power Training
AFL players also put a lot of emphasis on explosive power training. Explosive motions are defined as transitioning from a state of rest to maximal power in the quickest possible period. You’ll train your fast-twitch muscle fibers. It’s challenging, but it vastly enhances your athleticism required to perform in the Aussie rules football. Your exercise science specialist or trainer—like the ones over at Prepare Like A Pro—may work with you in the gym on:
- Improve ankle, knee, and hip power with Olympic lifting movements.
- Running sprint power bands that require you to pull against resistance while running sprints
- Plyometrics are a type of movement in which you perform a explosive motion (from a static position to dynamic with or without resistance.
Check out our AFL power-based exercises here: AFL power exercises provided by Prepare Like A Pro on YouTube.
Your actual strength comes from your center, at the end of the day. Your core will assist you in changing directions fast, stopping and starting sprints, and providing more force in explosive motions. Using core workouts to develop like an AFL player is another option. Exercises with kettlebells, such as the ones mentioned above, are excellent for strengthening your core while also working your extremities. Other core-strengthening activities, such as heavy strength training and isolated core exercises such has hanging leg raises and or cable wood chops or pallof press.
Stretching and Rest
One of the most common mistakes people make when starting a tough training routine is neglecting to stretch and recover. Stretching is necessary for flexibility and mobility, while recuperation is necessary for muscular growth. Make sure you devote time to stretching and resting after each training session. This will optimize your results and help you avoid injury.
Mental training is just as vital as physical training. Reaching your fitness objectives and training like an AFL player is frequently a mental game. Pushing yourself to your boundaries implies believing that your body is capable of more than your mind believes. So, when you’re about to give up and push yourself a little harder, you begin to realize that your body is capable of handling it. The importance of mental training for AFL players cannot be overstated.
Similarly, surviving the heat of playing outside in the Australian sun may be a mental challenge in and of itself. It’s crucial to become used to doing workouts outside in the heat when training like an AFL player. Just remember to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
Another mental aspect that AFL players must deal with is performing under pressure. In any competitive setting, the stakes are high, and while this pressure frequently helps athletes perform at their best, it can also lead to avoidable blunders. Pressure mistakes can be avoided by practicing in a game-like environment.
Now that you know what an AFL player’s workout looks like, you can begin to put together a program of your own. Utilize the exercises and tips above to develop the strength, speed, endurance, and explosiveness you’ll need to succeed on the field. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. And finally, always listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. With a little bit of dedication and effort, you can train like an AFL player and reach your fitness goals.
Keeping your body in shape is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The more energy you have, the better off you are going to be. Our team at Prepare Like A Pro wants to help make sure that every athlete gets what they need to succeed on and off the field. Whether it’s a fitness assessment or personal training sessions with our expert staff, we offer everything an athlete needs to stay ready for their next game day! Contact us today if this sounds like something that would interest you!
Check #PrepareLikeAPro High-Performance Testing with an AFL Strength & Conditioning Coach today!