Actually that wasn’t a question…I was only pretending like I cared what you thought to suck you in and keep you reading the blog…especially since I’m going to make you change your bookmarks again in the not to distant future.
I want to go through some testing results from the other night.
This is their first test and this is prior to these guys kicking off their pre season so all these results are pretty much from a standing start. That’s not to say they haven’t been tipping away in the gym just that some of them wouldn’t be doing anything too structured at the moment. All these guys are playing Gaelic Football at a senior level and what I want to do is to look at a few players in particular from what was a pretty big group.
Firstly, PC is 186cm tall or 6ft 1in and 80kg or 176lbs he benched 90kg (1.13xBW) he did 14 pull ups, 44 push ups in 60 seconds and 26 inverted rows and deadlifted 170kg (2.13xBW) and a 2.45m landed standing broad-jump. For PC I think his targets should be as follows bench 100-120kg, 12+ pull ups, 50+ push ups, 30+ inverted rows and a 160kg trap bar deadlift. So in summary…he missed his bench by 10kg..now I think I could get him there in 3 weeks because his technique wasn’t great so I’d be confident that there was 5-10kg right there. He got 14 pull ups which is 2 more than target so no problems with that. His push ups and inverted rows were a little off his target but importantly they were off in pretty much the right ratio…that same few weeks and I think he’ll get these as well. He beat his deadlift target by 10kg so as far as lower body strength is concerned I think he has got that covered. He also did his rowing test but I want to talk about these results first. Essentially PC is a pretty balanced athlete and he is probably only a month or so away from pretty much having all the ‘strength’ that he needs for Gaelic Football. So what does he do then…once again…I don’t really care what you think…I’m going to tell you. He’ll shift the focus of his training towards power development. He’ll need to do more work on improving his rate of force development. He can spend more time improving his mobility, doing trunk work and his individual prehabilitation work because all these things will have a far greater impact on his on field performance from a gym perspective than any pursuit of further strength gains ever would. The thing is….chasing further strength improvements could actually hinder performance for a couple of reasons…1. He is well up the curve and well past the point of diminishing returns with regard to his stength and muscular endurance and 2. Chasing those strength and muscular endurance improvements comes as all training does…at a risk. The best thing any player or athlete can do to improve their performance is to stay on the field, court, pitch and play and you can’t do that if you’re injured. If there’s anything worse than getting injured playing…well we all know there is…but I can hardly think of anything dumber than injuring yourself in the gym and not being able to play as a result.
Now PC also did his rowing test and he scored the following 169m, 155m, 144m, 134m, 136m, 134m = 873m in total. Now in my opinion I’d rate that somewhere roughly between shit and suck…and probably closer to shit than to suck unfortunately for him. Now he’s a footballer and is expected to run around like a mad man. How’s he going to do that when he has barely got the anaerobic capacity to blow up a balloon without having to go and lay down for a minute to catch his breath. Just to give you an example heres the results of a rugby player around the same weight 182m, 179m, 165m, 156m, 161m, 158m for a 1001m total. I’m not picking out the best rugby player either…that’s just someone around the same weight. John who is another Gaelic Footballer but 10kg heavier than PC pulled a total of 1016m in his test the other week and that’s in the middle of some tough dieting…his actual scores were as follows…188m, 176m, 171m, 166m, 163m, 163m….he was displeased with his results at the time and has done better previously. I’m not trying to run PC down…I’m just saying…his strength is pretty close to where he needs it to be…but his aerobic and more importantly anaerobic power is no where near where it needs to be. I’d be only too happy to see PC ditch a weight session a week and do some intervals instead. Being a great player is about getting your athletic balance right…PC is not balanced athletically for gaelic football.
I posted some other lads results last night…lets have a look at those again.
Now Paul is 85kg and Peter is 75kg. You can see that Paul like PC isn’t far off his targets but in comparrison to PC you can see that his Inverted Rows look a little weak relative to his other scores. Peter on the other hand has a lot of strength work that he still needs to do in comparison to the other two lads. If you look at Peter’s scores though you’ll see that he’s quite balanced…just too weak. So while PC needs to work on his power and conditioning and Paul needs to look at his back issues and bring his results up to par Peter needs to work on his general upper body strength and muscular endurance generally.
A lot of players and athletes get carried away with their gym work to the point that it actually hinders more than helps their performance. You can’t be a powerful and explosive athlete and hence the player that you want to be without a decent level of maximal strength. Too many players and athletes try to do too much strength endurance type work in the gym…it’s not the place for it. Get ‘strong enough’ in the gym…then go out and get fit to play on the pitch.
What I’ll do when I get time later is to come back and discuss the differing program approach I’d take with these three lads because I think the thing that you might find interesting is the fact that they’ll all be using exactly the same weight training template.