First great info on AFL on the Defranco website.
I have played Rugby Union, Rugby league at a number of different levels and have a few questions in relation to how some of what you have stated relates to league.
1) Basically the same question as was asked – how to train different elements of the training for league without negative effects? Taking into consideration if you have not played league; There are little rest for 90% of positions – except for scrums/penalties/half time (10mins) etc. The majority of time in is repeated sprints back to back. In defense – sprint up 5-10m make tackle wrestle for up to 6 seconds – sprint back 10m. or just repeated up 10m back 10m if not involved in tackle. In attack – short sprints 10m – 20m most of time (forward) then running into a number of opposition that wrestle you to ground. So I would say it has to be alot different to AFL as it is alot of lactic and alactic work with 2 x 40min halves being overall an aerobic portion.
Thanks for words cuzzy, but I PLAY LEAGUE BRO!!! Its my favourite code!
Infact, even though the sport is different to AFL, my guidelines are nearly identical to the AFL response.
As I mentioned before; THE MORE POWERFUL YOUR AEROBIC SYSTEM THE GREATER THE LACTATE BUFFER SYSTEM. This is UNIVERSAL!!!!
Obviously, every tackle and carry you want to make an impact (alactic capacity and power). You want to break your oppositions soul, and smile while your bathing in their blood. I completely understand and strive for that myself. But the key would be to perform as much of the game at the required intensities in a more efficient manner. So most of the parts of the game where you are not near the ball, you dont want to be in a lactic/alactic state, you want to keep yourself in an aerobic state. Remember though, you can reach high HR intensities while still being in an aerobic environment!
Important to improve technical skill, better you are and more efficient you are as a team, means that there wont be any wasted energy. If the tackle situation is optimal it wont be a “scramble” and should involve no rushing, if the initial contact is good, the wrestle, takedown and hold then your teammates wont need to ‘scramble’ back to the line. This is why you must always strive to perfect your technical work. I understand that this will nearly never be the case, nothing will ever be perfect 100% of the time, but by striving for technical mastery and by following the guidelines below, your overall work capacity should mean that you can “survive” these unexpected instances.
Specific questions to info on Defranco’s website
1) Obviously aerobic conditioning will provide a greater lactate buffer system but how would you schedule training aerobically and lactate training? (would the focus still be on the aerobic make the stress on body less in theory, but flip side is the fitter you are the harder you run, hit etc you will still be in that lactic system)
You would schedule Aerobic first and foremost. For Rugby, in my opinion Lactic/Glycolytic should never be the dominant regime. The best thing about Aerobic training is it is completely compatible with Alactic.
Here is a list of the compatible training modaltites given by Issurin:
Dominant Training Modality
Compatibility Training Modality
|Aerobic Endurance||Alactic Sprint AbilitiesStrength Endurance-AerobicMaximum Strength, Hypertrophy After|
|Lactic/Glycolytic Endurance||Strength Endurance-AnaerobicAerobic Restoration ExercisesAerobic-Anaerobic (Mixed) Endurance|
|Alactic Abilities||Aerobic EnduranceExplosive StrengthMaximum Strength, Hypertrophy AfterAerobic Restoration Exercises|
|Maximum Strength-Hypertrophy||Maximum Strength-InnervationsFlexibilityAerobic Restoration|
|Learning New Technical Elements||Any kind of training modalities but after learning the new technical elements|
Plus, the most convenient aspect of this is; its easier for you to keep everything Alactic and Aerobic, the field training sessions are normally glycolytic in nature so allow these sessions and the “scrimmage” based scenarios to raise the specialised work capacity and this should be at the final stage before the onset of the Competition Calendar (the season)So why would you as a Rugby physical preparation coach, want to make Lactic the dominant regime, when the other compatible modalities do not include; alactic abilites, maximum strength, hypertrophy, explosive strength, aerobic endurance, aerobic restoration etc. I should also note that, technical elements are improved upon better when in an aerobic state.
Especially off season, keep everything aerobic and alactic. No need to cover glycolytic because preseason will probably do that job for you.
Obviously if your Maximal Outputs have increased then your going to Operate at a higher level too. But this will probably only be in the scenarios when you are either in the process of tackling, or carrying the ball. You know fully well, you cannot rush out of the defensive line on your own. This is why its important to improve the teams Maximal Outputs!!!!
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday HIGH LOW HIGH LOW HIGH LOW OFF AM Field Based Session, low intensity working on technical precision Field Based Session, low intensity working on technical precision Field Based Session, low intensity working on technical precision PM SAC Tempo SAC Tempo SAC Tempo Intensive MB Throws Extensive MB Work Intensive Jumps Auxiliary Resistance Exercises Intensive MB Throws Extensive MB Work Resistance Exercises Resistance Exercises Resistance Exercises Therapeutic Massage (any low intensity massage) Hydrotherapy Deep Tissue Massage Hydrotherapy Hydrotherapy Deep Tissue Massage
-SAC: This stands for Speed, Agility or Conditioning. It will be performed at >75% maximal locomotion
-MB: Medicine Ball
Some people consider tempo work as a mere recovery method. However, it is so much more than that. Tempo’s are submaximal linear or multi-directional locomotion performed at <75% of your maximum velocity. They will help to improve your speed by increasing capillary density – the vascular network (there is miles of it in your body) – you can generate more heat by the motor neurons. It is well known that the more heat you can put around the motor neurons, the less the electrical resistance. This means the fiber starts to take on the characteristic of a white fiber because the only difference is in the innervation. Also, a very good aerobic network allows you to maintain a warm up so that you can have longer breaks between your runs. This guarantees that the following repetition will be at a better quality/intensity. Sprint mechanics can be easily improved while running at submaximal speeds, and obviously a better sprint form will improve your maximal velocity. The increased capillary density slows blood flow through the tissue, allowing more time for nutrient transfer and waste removal. (Charlie Francis)
It’s very important to know what is going on at field sessions because its very easy to overload yourself if you do not account for what is already done – or what will be done – in practice (which is out of your control). For example, it’s best to do skill work before weight work. You only have a given capacity for each day. After a training session, you must subtract from what you have planned for that day – so you are not over volumised. This is known as Charlie Francis’ “Fill the Glass” concept.
You could be at the end of your capacity (the glass) after your speed work. This would indicate you to not perform the remaining training means. The goal is to train for as long as possible with minimal risk of injury. The athlete who trains for 4 years consistently, beats the guy who trains hard for a year, gets injured, trains hard for 2 years then gets injured again etc.
Can you give some examples of tempo training for increasing capillary density – or are you just referring to what we have always been doing as recovery training (swimming, easy distance runs etc)?
As I have said above: Tempo’s are submaximal linear or multi-directional locomotion performed at <75% of your maximum velocity. So you can run, swim, row etc anything under 75% maximal velocity will improve capillary density and improve recovery. Guadango has his guys doing oxidative med ball work at the end of a workout sometimes, these guys may be doing up to 1000 med balls per session. I personally use the recovery benefit of the tempos as more of a “side effect” than the dominant quality.
An example of my tempo runs from today:
3x(10x100m) At the end of each 100m, I do 5 push ups, 15 band pull aparts and 50 abdominals.
Also A problem I foresee with this idea and league training is there just is not enough time to fit all aspects of training into the week using this high low model – strength training 2-3 x week, 2 speed/sprint training, lactate training, skills, wrestle/contact training and aerobic conditioning. What do you suggest with this?
This depends. Why do you need to do all of this? I need some context, are you in season, offseason, pre season? What time constraints do you have? Are you professional, so that you have all day, or are you a weekend warrior and only have evenings? What level of Sports Mastery are you? How intense are the skill sessions? Etc.
Using only the modalities you have mentioned, and just as an example here is how you could organise it (I haven’t included Lactate training):
|Skills||Skills Technical Precision Low Intensity||Wrestle/Contact Training||Skills Technical Precision Low Intensity||Skills||Skills Technical Precision Low Intensity||OFF|
|Sprint||Aerobic Conditioning||Resistance Training||Aerobic Conditioning||Sprint||Aerobic Conditioning|
|Resistance Training||Resistance Training|
|Low intensity massage||Hydrotherapy||Deep Tissue Massage||Hydrotherapy||Hydrotherapy||Deep Tissue Massage|
With the strength training we use to build hypertrophy/max strength in off season, go into power conversion preseason and then maintenance throughout season. Do you see a better way to train this or is this the best way we can periodise training?
This a tough question to answer. It depends, what level of athletes are you working with? What has their previous training been? What methods have been exhausted?
I need more information. It must be made clear however, there must be periodisation!
Any focus on developing maximum strength or hypertrophy you must remember that any exhaustive load will be counterproductive because it disrupts the restorative process. Think again about “finishers”….they are only going to finish any chance you have of adding precious pounds and strength on your frame.
3) Here’s something to keep in mind while trying to improve your skill levels:
If your technical session ends up being more intensive than you planned then you must readjust all of your other training means for that day, otherwise you will go over your capacity for that day (overflow).
Practice intensities that become too high too soon almost ALWAYS do nothing to perfect technical skill. This is because players are so taxed that they’re scrambling to just hold on; this is an absolutely terrible environment for learning!
Even with older, more advanced players, it is also inefficient if lactic loads are introduced too soon because they will not be able to improve on their maximal outputs on any particular movements.
“Lactic training is too slow for speed development, and too fast to recover from in 24 hours.” –Charlie Francis
In technical/tactical sessions, there’s a continual suppression of speed qualities because no one is moving fast enough. Instead, they are simply watering down their skill from drills at the incorrect intensities.
When you start to understand Maximum Outputs vs. Operational Outputs (James Thinker Smith DVD; see reference), you truly begin to understand how terrible some training sessions are and no one is ever in a situation where they can properly recover, either.
Maximum output = what you can do.
Operational output = what you have to do.
Time motion research reveals this (stat data) – average speed, nature of physical activity, metres travelled etc.
But you don’t need any fancy diagnostic machinery.
Charlie Francis says, ”Watch the players, not the game”. Watch how they move and you will get all the information you need.
What most technical/tactical coaches fail to understand is that if you are always spending time in the zone of what they HAVE to do (Operational Output), you’re never improving what they CAN do (Maximal Output).
Why is it so important to improve what they can do?
-The higher your maximum outputs are, the less energy you have to expend to operate in the field of what you have to do – and as a result – it increases because the maximum increases.
You can improve work capacity without doing any endurance by simply improving maximum outputs!
I really like the idea behind what you are saying here but can you explain it a bit more and how it would relate to league training and some examples?
What in particular do you want me to explain more? Maximum vs Operational Outputs? The concept of you only have a certain capacity per day? How lactic is too slow for speed development and too fast to recover from in 24 hours?
We have been changing the way training is done with alot of sports here in Australia with a trend now a day to very sport specific training most of the year except for rehab. Not like the old days where a footy player would run many km’s in the offseason to get fit and do some weights for strength. Now it is alot of repeat sprints etc – very much like the way Joe has changed how they train for NFL.
Thanks very much for your knowledge and your previous writing on this subject.
Looking forward to hearing your response
Pleasure Daniel, I hope I have answered some of your questions. But please don’t take everything I have said as the holy grail. I am by no means an expert, I am and always will be a student, looking to get better and better. Please respond to my questions here so we can develop this discussion.
Never forget; BRING BACK THE BIFF CUZZY BRO!!!
All the best Sir,