How to build an AFL body 1CategoriesFooty Program Footy Tips

Jack Mclean: How to Develop an Elite AFL Physique

  1. Meet Jack Mclean: Your Expert Guide to AFL Conditioning

Jack Mclean is not your average coach. He’s a seasoned professional when it comes to preparing athletes for the grueling demands of the AFL season. With years of experience under his belt, he’s well-versed in the intricacies of getting athletes in peak condition. In this blog post, Jack will share his top insights into how to develop the ideal AFL body.

  1. Unveiling the Secrets of Building an AFL Body

Jack Mclean knows that building an AFL body is not just about pumping iron in the gym. It’s a holistic approach that involves diet, recovery, and focused training. In this post, he’ll reveal the key elements that go into crafting the perfect physique for Australian Rules Football.

  1. The Core Components of Your Training Week

A week in the life of an AFL athlete is far from ordinary. Jack takes you through a typical week in his training regime, breaking down the essential components, including conditioning, strength work, and skill development. If you’ve ever wondered how the pros structure their training, this section has all the answers.

  1. Battling Injuries and Staying Motivated

Injuries are an unfortunate part of any sport, and AFL is no exception. Jack shares his insights on dealing with injuries and offers valuable advice on how to stay motivated throughout the season. It’s not just about physical resilience but mental strength as well.

  1. The Muscles Behind the Game

AFL is a game that demands a lot from your body. Jack delves into the specific muscle groups that come into play during the game, highlighting their significance in the sport:

🏋️ Hips: These are crucial for stability and balance, which are vital for runners. Uncovering how imbalances can lead to injury and how to address them. 💪 Shoulders: The open, unstable joint of the shoulder needs strength for injury prevention and player safety. 🦵 Knees: A hotspot for injuries, especially the dreaded ACL tear, and how strengthening the knee area can prevent them.

  1. The Role of Size in AFL

While AFL players come in diverse shapes and sizes, certain physical attributes do provide advantages. Jack explains how height, arm length, and body fat percentages play a role in an athlete’s performance on the field.

  1. Piling on the Pounds: Gaining Weight the Right Way

AFL players need to be mindful of their diets, especially around training times. Discover how eating to complement your workouts can help optimize your gains and keep you fuller for longer.

  1. The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is a critical component of recovery and peak performance. Jack discusses how professional athletes need 8-10 hours of sleep each night and why getting enough rest is vital for every player.

  1. Crafting a Diet for Weight Loss

For those looking to shed some kilos, the right diet is essential. Jack touches on the pre-fueling aspect of training, explaining the energy and nutrition needs of athletes during training sessions and games.

  1. Pro Tips to Start Taking Action

Get ready to put these tips into action. Jack provides a sneak peek of some of the key takeaways and the next steps to kickstart your AFL journey.



How to build an AFL body 1CategoriesFooty Program Footy Tips

Jack Mclean: How to Develop an AFL Body | Prepare Like a Pro

1. Jack Mclean is a professional AFL strength & conditioning coach who knows a thing or two about preparing athletes for the rigours of the season
2. In this blog post, he shares his top tips on how to develop an AFL body
3. He explains that it’s not just about going to the gym and lifting weights – diet and recovery are just as important
4. He outlines a typical week in his training regime, including conditioning, strength, and skills work
5. Finally, he offers some advice on dealing with injuries and staying motivated throughout the season

  1. What muscles do you use in the AFL? 


The pelvic area is an important component in the AFL due to the high demands of running. High degrees of stability reduce muscle imbalances and improve biomechanics, reducing injury rates for football players who typically kick with only one leg over time.
As you build up your own imbalance from kicking as all the stress goes onto its opposite side through muscular strength alone – thus putting greater force onto this area–you’ll develop pain in what would otherwise be perfectly healthy tissue.


The shoulder is an open, unstable joint that requires strength to keep it strong and safe. In many cases where athletes have been injured or unable to perform at their full potential due to injury their shoulders were not able enough stability so they ended up getting hurt more than once even if everything else seemed fine with them! This leads us to why you need delt exercises like rear and lateral raises which will provide support for this important muscle group as well help protect against further injuries from happening.


Knee injuries are a very common occurrence in football, especially when changing direction or looking to give off the ball. The most severe of these is the “ACL” (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). It can be injured by direct contact with another player during twisting motions such as stopping suddenly and then changing direction.

Strengthening muscles around your foot and hip complex in conjunction with efficient running and jumping techniques develop stability and reduce the load on an athlete’s knees.

Check our injury mitigation exercises here:

  1. Does size matter in the AFL? While some successful AFL players come in all shapes and sizes, there are a few physical attributes that seem to be important. For instance height gives an advantage when trying reach for the ball or jump higher than your opponent because it takes less energy for you do so with greater altitude; arm length can affect balance since longer arms mean more time spent balancing on one foot before running back into position. Due to the large running demands of the game it helps to be around 10 – 15% body fat and as it’s a heavy contact sport having enough critical muscle mass around the torso to protect the internal organs and assist in contested ball performance is key. Overall each player will have their preffered optimal weight and this will largely depend on their role for the team and their individual strengths.

  2. How do AFL players gain weight?                                        You should eat around your training times to optimise gains. You’ll be fuller for longer, so don’t worry about trying too hard with food or not being able eat in between meals; just focus on getting some good nutrients into each one! A great way of doing this while still following the rest of our guide is by adding extra scoopfuls into whatever you’re eating at that moment – whether it oatmeal during breakfast time slotting right before workouts…or a protein shake after weights session has ended. You can also improve the nutritional content of your workout by adding further nutrients to the food you already eat. For example, if training early in the morning then try eating breakfast before going to the gym floor so that it contains enough energy for intense workouts and adds a rich sources of necessary vitamins such as Vitamin B12 which is only found naturally occurring within bodily fluids (such as sweat).

  3. How much sleep should I get each night?Professional athletes typically need more than most—it’s recommended that they get 8-10 hours every night.Individual sport athletes are reported to sleep on average 6.5 hours per night while team players get 7 hrs, according to an article from The Conversation. It was also revealed that individual sportspeople were more prone than groups who played together for long periods of time at any given moment due in part by their unwavering commitment towards regular sleeping routines, high quality mattresses and pillows as well most importantly naps during the day which helps them stay fresh before returning back into competition later on throughout tournaments or seasons respectively. Everyone needs sleep in order to feel restored and function their best the next day. Other physical benefits include:
    Allowing your heart rate or breathing patterns, which are controlled during waking hours by thoughts and emotions; these change back as you fall asleep so that they may be re-established on an even keel throughout slumber’s restorative cycles. This helps promote cardiovascular health by stabilizing blood pressure levels at night similar to what occurs when we lie down after being upright for awhile

  4. What type of diet does an AFL footballer need to lose weight? 

The pre-fueling for a training session or a game is a time when athletes must think about their energy needs, carbohydrate intake, and protein consumption. In addition, fruit vegetables provide important micronutrients which assist the immune system with high-stress levels prevalent in this phase of training.
The more you put into it, the better your results will be. It’s important that during training days eat foods like protein-based meals or snacks with wholegrain carbohydrates because this helps ensure adequate recovery from workouts so athletes can back up training sessions with energy and focus!


I elaborate more on tips you can start actioning here: