Friday, July 15, 2022

STRENGTH TRAINING PRINCIPLES FOR CONTACT SPORT A/R FOOTBALL - By David Sedunary

In 2017 I became the strength coach of my local Australian Rules Football Club. I could see the need for getting the players stronger and bigger, for obvious reasons such as preventing them being intimidated on the football field, becoming better conditioned and the prevention of injuries. I contacted my friend Bob Whelan through WebStrengthCoach.com to help me design a program based on the goals and equipment available.


Unfortunately, after 8 weeks the Coach of the team saw no benefit in strength training for his players, and the program folded. He was a non-believer, after 5 years the Club continues to be unsuccessful, and lose on a regular basis, and are still bullied and intimidated. Regardless of what others think of strength training I am a firm believer in getting athletes stronger and better conditioned, they will benefit, have less injuries and play longer and stronger. I hope you get benefit out of the principles below; they are basic and true. It would be great if you could instigate them into your local Football Club, it will take time, but eventually with discipline and consistency you will be successful.


How to get the most out of your workouts


  • Muscular Strength is one of the most crucial factors to a Footballer.

  • It is my feeling that strength training has had the greatest effect on the improvement of athletic performance, more than any other variable.


Why? 


  1. It provides the power behind every movement.


  1. Because of the role it plays in protecting the Footballer from injury.


  • Stronger muscles enable a Footballer to kick farther, hit the ball harder, tackle harder and not get knocked off the ball so easily.


  • Stronger muscles also provide increased joint stability- whether it is ankle, knee, shoulder, hip, neck, elbow, or wrist.


  • Many Athlete/ Footballers have strength training programs of some form or fashion. The results that are gained through from the vast amount of training time and effort fall far short of what they should be.


  • Most Footballers lightly scratch the surface of their potential


The problems seem to stem from:


  1. Faulty training techniques, which limit results and contribute to injuries, and 

  2. Lack of understanding built on extensive list of myths and superstitions, such as what is the right way to build strength? How often should I train? Which methods should you use? What exercises are best?


How can one distinguish between Fact and Folly?


This presentation was put together to answer these questions and provide Football players with some basic guidelines to use in establishing sound strength training knowledge and programs.


I will present 6 basic strength training principles


Principle 1. 


Strength training must be progressive: you should constantly attempt to increase the resistance or repetitions in every workout.


(Force your body to use its reserve ability; it forces muscle to get stronger).


 In general, best results will occur when repetitions are kept in the 8 to 12 range.


If you perform less than 6 reps of an exercise, little in roads are made into your reserve ability.


 When you perform 8-10 reps in good form increase the resistance by 5%, in that exercise at the next workout.


 Never terminate a set simply because a certain number of reps have been completed.


Training should be done to build strength, not to demonstrate it; therefore, how much you can lift for one rep should be avoided. (Do not throw a weight or jerk a weight it5 will damage connective tissue)


THE CORNERSTONE OF STRENGTH TRAINING IS PROGRESSION, OR CONSTANTLY TRYING TO INCREASE THE WORKLOAD AT EACH TRAINING SESSION.


Principle 2.


The building of strength is related to the intensity of exercise; the higher the intensity, the better the muscles are stimulated.


The set that is terminated prior to the point of failure, will not involve the maximum number of muscle fibers.


 If one decreases the intensity of effort, a reduction in results will occur.


Example of working hard or hard training-   is the last 2 reps of an exercise are extremely hard to perform in good style.


HIGH INTENSITY OF MUSCULAR CONTRACTION IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN EXERCISE PERFORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INCREASING MUSCULAR STRENGTH.


THAT IS WHY your workouts are supervised.


Principle 3.


Each repetition should be performed with special attention given to a slow speed of movement, a vast range of movement, and pre stretching of the involved muscles.


 The speed of movement must not be too fast, or too slow. Reps performed in a slow smooth manner, apply steady force throughout the entire movement. (2 to 3 seconds up)


Special attention should be given to the lowering portion (eccentric contraction) of all exercises. (4 to 6 seconds down)


Jerky movements should be avoided at all costs.

3 to 4 times the actual; weight is directed on the muscles and joints if we jerk or throw a weight.


 The range of movement from full extension to full flexion of each rep should be as great as possible.


LIFTING A WEIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH, REGARDLESS OF THE AMOUNT OF WEIGHT. HOW YOU LIFT A WEIGHT IS A FACTOR OF GREATER IMPORTANCE.


REMEMBER: TAKE APPROXIMATELY 2 SECONDS TO RAISE A WEIGHT AND 4 SECONDS TO LOWER A WEIGHT. I PREFER TO REST THE WEIGHT FOR 2 SECONDS AT THE BOTTOM, BEFORE RAISING AND 2 SECONDS AT THE TOP BEFORE LOWERING. THIS CREATES GOOD FORM, AND FAR LESSENS THE CHANCE OF INJURY.


Principle 4.


Exercise should be selected that involve the greatest range of movement of the major muscle groups.


 The greater mass of muscle involved the greater the value of the exercise. For example, the Squat, Dead lift, Chin up, Dip, Press, Bench press, Lat Pull downs. (Compound exercises, which involve rotation of two or more joints, the standing press involve movement around the elbow and shoulder joint).


The following exercises, grouped by muscle group and equipment, are applicable to most strength training programs, such as the program the West Football Club are using.


Buttocks/lower back ----    Squat /Trap Bar Dead lift, Leg Press,                    Hyper extension


Quadriceps-------------- Squat, Leg press, Leg Extension.


Hamstrings ------------Squat, Leg press, Leg Curl.


Calves-------------------Calve Raises, Leg Press


Latissimus dorsi----------Chin up, Pull down on lat machine, rowing


Deltoids --------------------Press, forward raise, side raise.


Pectorals -------------------Bench Press, Parallel dips,


Biceps--------------------- Curl, chin up.


Forearms ----------------Wrist curl, wrist roller


Abdominal muscles--------------------------Sit up, side bend, leg raise.


Neck-- Neck harness, tension using ball.


 Principle 5.


Increases in strength are best produced by very brief and infrequent training.


 High intensity training must be very brief. It is impossible to have both high intensity exercise and a large amount of exercise. Many Footballers / Athletes make the mistake of performing far too many exercises, too many sets, too many workouts in each period. (Total recovery between workouts becomes impossible)


 Seldom perform more than 1 set of any exercise in the same training session.


 A well supervised, (as we do) properly conducted, strength training session should not exceed 30 minutes.

Can look like below:


 Program 1# of B Press, or  Dips, Chins,   or Dumb bell rows , Squats,

 calve raises, crunch sit up , and neck  exercises performed to the limit, of one all out set per exercise will take no longer than 30 minutes and covers the whole body.


Program 2# Overhead press, Lat pulldowns, Trap bar deadlift, barbell curls, side bends, neck, c raises.


There should be at least 48 hours rest between high intensity workouts, sometimes longer. Strength training breaks the muscle tissue down and you need give it time to replenish and grow. Do not exhaust the nervous system by training to hard and too long. Less is always best.


An advanced trainee does not need more exercise than a beginner; he needs harder exercise and, in most cases, less exercise.


DURING THE OFF-SEASON TRAIN TWICE A WEEK, DURING THE SEASON A PLAYER/ATHLETE NEEDS ONE HARD SESSION A WEEK OR TWICE ONE WEEK AND TWO THE NEXT WEEK, TO KEEP AND INCREASE THE STRENGTH GAINED DURING THE OFF SEASON.


Note:

During a hard football season of 20 matches a player trains his skills twice a week and plays once a week.


He needs to rest and is prone to overtrain, therefore less is best during a season in regard to weight training.


I found when I played Football at the highest level for 14 years weight training for 30 minutes twice one week and once the next week was plenty.


And after 6 weeks I had a week off, when I came back, I attempted to get stronger.


Strength training: advantages for football


  1. Increases all round physical toughness and hardihood.

  2. Supreme health builder.

  3. Correct training improves flexibility.

  4. Strengthens joints and connective tissue.

  5. Improves speed (muscle can contract quicker).

  6. Improves balance and c o ordination.

  7. Improves performance on the field.

  8. Reduces and protects against injury.

  9. To intimidate a strong, strength trained Footballer, who has reached his potential in strength, is not a good move.





David Sedunary in his Playing days.

Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com
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