Pre-season training (for Refs):
So we all know that feeling when our brains know what is going on but our bodies don’t right?! And it’s also very common when on the pitch to reflect and say if I was in better position, if I got their earlier or even If I had more energy I would have been able to ‘call that, blow that, award that’..oh yes all very familiar at the start of the a season! Therefore putting in the effort now to get yourself in better physical condition for the up incoming season will undoubtingly start your first few weeks of games off with a bang and having you perform better when it counts.
In addition to potentially starting the season in bad form, you’re at risk for more injuries than if you condition your body properly. Everybody hates the frustration of being injured or even having those niggles that just cause you to miss games/tournaments here and there. So, what are we waiting for let’s get you into some pre season training.
How Often Should You Do it?
Now, you know why preseason training is so important let’s continue to look at how often you should participate in it per week. The answer on this will depend on what your current fitness levels are and when your season (first weekly fixtures or first tournament is)
My recommendation is to fit in conditioning sessions at least twice but not more than 4 times per week. The reason for this is that your muscles need rest between your sessions to recover properly.
Keep in mind that when you are training you are not actually building up your muscles, you are breaking them down. It is during your rest period that your muscles are growing.
So, What is conditioning?
Research show’s that conditioning involves flexibility, cardiovascular work, and resistance training all of which contribute to the structural integrity of the joint as well as the muscle-tendon unit in our term= Injury Prevention!
Key Principle- Build intensity and volume gradually Here is an example of what this means. (see rugbystrengthcoach.com for more)
Think of fitness like a pyramid. Just like any other pyramid, the wider you can build the base in the initial stages, the stronger it becomes and the higher you can eventually build the peak. Your peak being your quickest fastest most powerful self. Try to build a high peak on top of no base and not only will you build a shorter pyramid, your pyramid is much likelier to topple over. (injury, injury, injury)
Essentially, you must earn the right to perform intense training in high volumes by first performing lower intensity and volume training, which acts as the base of your fitness pyramid. By focussing initially on lower intensity stuff like steady cardiovascular exercise, lower intensity circuits, and moderate intensity tempo work, not only will you properly prepare the body for intense training and reduce your risk of injury, you’ll make more progress and be fitter by the time the season rolls around.
So here is your Steady State Cardio workout- SportsFit #Conditioning
What is conditioning
A training session that is mixture between traditional High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and a Strength, Agility and Quickness (SAQ) workouts. The HIIT element will improve both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, helping you to burn more calories than traditional workouts (even after the class has ended). Meanwhile, the SAQ component will improve your ability to perform explosive multi-directional movements by reprogramming the neuromuscular system to work effectively. SAQ training also enhances spatial awareness and reinforces the movements and connectivity not only in your muscles, but in your brain too.
The Christmas Tree- You will need 13 cones arranged like the shape of a Christmas tree.
Start from the first cone at the base of the tree cone and run forward to the first cone. The next bit can be altered at your discretion. You can either run the whole course facing forward or for the flat sections (e.g. the line marked 1) you can sidestep and then run forward on the angled sections. Once you reach the top of the tree turn around and come back down. You can also integrate the pumping back motion we use constantly in touch, or the turn and run diagonally.
Beginner level– sprint 1 side slow recovery back. 30-60 secs recovery x 8
Intermediate level– sprint up slow recovery back no rest x 8
Advanced Level – Sprint up and back 30 secs recovery x10
Here is your low Intensity Circuit = Sportsfit #Strength
What is #Strength?
Strength training is more than lifting weights – it encompasses the entire development of physical performance via full body compound movements resulting in improved endurance, core stability development, and increasing your VO2max.
Dumbbell (DB) Intervals (min 6kgs) – Complete all exercise before moving to interval run or cycle. Repeat 3-4 times
DB Squat with press
DB lunge with arm swap underneath
Push up on DB with single arm row
*Reps = 12 or 6 on each side * Weight needs to be heavy enough that last 2 reps are almost impossible
Bike or Run Interval- 10Sec Sprints, 10 secs recovery, 20 secs sprint, 10 secs recovery, 30 secs sprint, 10 secs recovery. Repeat for 6 mins
And here is your moderate intensity tempo work – Sportsfit #CardioAcceleration
What is Cardio Acceleration:
A hybrid training approach that combines strength training with cardio sprint sessions.
Why Cardio Acceleration: Science says it’s the quickest way to burn fat while building muscle.
Benefits to Invasion Games Players/officials: Build speed endurance while building strength and power.
Cardio Acceleration Session 1- 40 sec work intervals 20 secs rest.
6 Squat jump for distance and jog backwards to start position
Alternative Reverse Lunges
6 Forward walking lunges jog backwards to start position
6 Lateral jumps (ice skaters) jog backwards to start position
6 Bounding leaps jog backwards to start position
Repeat 2 or 3 rounds depending on fitness level….high conditioning level already make exercises more dynamic…squat jumps, jump lunges….or make your interval time 50 sec work 10 secs recovery.
This is just phase 1…. stick with me team and you will be ready for Phase 2 (Speed, Power and agility)
p.s Don’t forget your flexibility and mobility …there are so many Mobility WOD’s on YouTube…choose one a week that target’s your injury weaknesses first
p.p.s Top Tip- Make a training diary …when are you exercising over the next 6 week? What sessions are you doing and what progressions will you do? THEN share this success! Tell your friends family and your ref buddies!