Pre-Season Fitness Routine

Unlocking Peak Performance: Maximizing Your Pre-Season Fitness

How do you muster the motivation to kickstart your Pre-Season Fitness Routine or dive into a general fitness routine? This question resonates with many athletes, and the key lies in understanding the importance of a well-structured offseason. Taking a break of at least two to four weeks, and allowing your body to recover, is a crucial foundation. This downtime, devoid of a structured training routine, serves as a mental and physical reset. However, it’s not just about taking a hiatus – a thoughtful two-week buildup is an ideal precursor before delving into more intensive Pre-Season Fitness Routine training.

Highlights of the episode:

  • How to get motivated in preseason
  • Funnel periodization
  • Goals of preseason
  • Jack’s favorite workouts for preseason
  • Injury mitigation

Motivation Unleashed: Discipline, Routine, Progress

Motivation is often considered elusive, but it’s not a magical force that suddenly appears. It’s a byproduct of discipline and routine. Stick to a well-thought-out plan, be disciplined in your approach, and observe progress. As you see tangible results from your consistency, motivation naturally becomes a driving force. Creating a sustainable routine, one that aligns with your goals is a fundamental aspect of staying on course. In the world of Australian Rules Football (AFL), this disciplined approach is a shared ethos among athletes.

Periodization: Shaping Success with a Funnel Approach

Imagine your fitness journey as a funnel, wide at the top and narrowing down. This is the essence of periodization, a concept integral to success in Australian Rules Football. The funnel approach involves starting with a broader focus and gradually honing in on specific aspects of fitness. Credit goes to Andrew Russell, a seasoned AFL manager, for popularizing this periodization model. It provides a roadmap for systematically building and peaking fitness levels, ensuring athletes are at their prime when the season kicks off.

Fitness Peaks: Balancing Aerobic and Anaerobic Work

To maximize fitness in the preseason, it’s essential to break down your goals into manageable components. Focus on both aerobic and anaerobic work, addressing the body’s ability to perform at low and high-intensity paces. Working on aerobic capacity lays the groundwork for sustained effort, while anaerobic training taps into the body’s lactate and glycolytic energy systems, crucial for high-intensity bursts. The key is to peak these qualities strategically as you approach the commencement of games, typically around March.

Workout Wisdom: Crafting a Fitness Arsenal

Implementing a diverse range of workouts is vital for developing the five key areas of Australian Rules Football. These encompass critical speed, aerobic capacity, anaerobic short and long intervals, and repeat speed. To guide you on this fitness journey, a curated list of favorite workouts awaits in the show notes. Whether you’re aiming to enhance your critical speed or improve aerobic capacity, these workouts offer a targeted approach. Check the show notes for a direct link to a comprehensive guide that will elevate your fitness arsenal.

Injury Prevention: The 80/20 Rule and Football Drills

Injuries can be a significant setback, particularly when resuming training after an offseason. Adhering to the 80/20 rule becomes crucial during this phase. If athletes return visibly out of shape, alarm bells should ring. Combatting this involves not just hitting the gym but engaging in football-specific drills. These include directional changes, jumping for marks, small handball games, and maintaining kicking loads. Even during the Christmas break, staying active in a football context is essential to prevent injuries, especially those related to sprinting and hamstrings.

Jack’s favourite workouts for Preseason

Aerobic (Ability to cover the ground for 4 quarters)
Critical speed
Run 3 x 10 min runs at 75-85% Maximal Aerobic speed with 2-5 min rest between reps

Aerobic capacity
Descending ladder:
4min-3min-2x2min-4x1min with WR: 2:1 At 90-100% Maximal Aerobic speed

Anaerobic (Repeat high-intensity efforts)
Short
12-15 sec on 45sec 100% MAS + 25-30% Anaerobic Speed Reserve or 60-80m
Long
30-40 sec on 2 min 100% MAS + 20-25% Anaerobic Speed Reserve or 180-240m

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

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