Just to put things in perspective

I got the following mail from Colm this evening and although it might not be of interest to everyone I know it will be of interest to everyone that trains with me. I’d be interested in know what the lads think?

Colm said
hi Will

heres the links to the aussie league

Sydney Morning Herald Article

League HQ Article

 

what you reckon?

This is the first article from the Sydney Morning Herald

CHRIS Beattie is on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t played a game in Australia for two years but can now claim to be the strongest man in the NRL.
With the first match of the season just 43 days away, The Sun-Herald contacted all 16 clubs to determine the strongest, fastest and fittest men in the game.

Nine clubs tested the maximum bench press of their players during the pre-season, and veteran prop Beattie came out on top with a one-repetition lift of 180 kilograms.

The stunning effort puts him above Melbourne forward Antonio Kaufusi, Manly premier league forward Sione Finefeuiaki and Eels trio Fuifui Moimoi, Richard Fa’aoso and Weller Hauraki, who can all bench 170kg.

New Zealand Warriors back-rower Sonny Fai registered a bench press of 185kg but is yet to make his debut in the NRL.

Their numbers are impressive, but they are well short of the mark set last season by former Manly colossus Kylie Leuluai, who benched 220kg – and did three repetitions.

Former Queensland prop Beattie, who returns to the NRL with the Sydney Roosters after a two-year stint with French Super League team Catalans Dragons, credited “good habits” and an injury-free run for his superb physical condition.

“From a weights point of view, as an older player you just program yourself ,” he said.

“After you’ve been doing it for a number of years you reach a certain strength. I believe I have got stronger at the end of my career.”

The 31-year-old, when told his lift was the highest in the league, played down the result.

“We primed ourselves for that lift,” he said. “It’s not a weight I throw around every week.

“It’s only one lift – I’m sure there are a lot of guys who do more chin-ups or push-ups.

“I don’t get too carried away with that sort of stuff.”

While Beattie’s lift is the heaviest, Sea Eagles halfback Matt Orford is, pound for pound, the strongest man in the league. Aptly nicknamed Ox, Orford can bench 160kg – twice his body weight.

Rather than measuring a one-repetition maximum (1rm) lift, several clubs tested how many times a player could bench his body weight.

St George Illawarra’s 101kg back-rower Sam Isemonger can do it 25 times, ahead of Kangaroos centre Matt Cooper (21).

Utility Luke MacDougall has also impressed teammates since joining from South Sydney, particularly after squatting his body weight 85 times on a one-legged press machine.

Several Dragons have added size to their frames in the off-season while decreasing their skinfold readings, most notably outside back Josh Morris (6kg), Cooper (4.5kg) and former Shark Beau Scott (4kg).

At the Roosters, 85 per cent of the squad are benching more this season than at any other time of their career.

Craig Wing and Anthony Minichiello are pressing 145kg and 150kg respectively.

Former Dragons hooker George Ndaira can squat 250kg and has been clocked at under five seconds during 40-metre sprints on grass.

Halfback Josh Lewis, the quickest man at the club, completed 31 chin-ups at a recent session.

Emerging forward Frank-Paul Nuuausala has trimmed from 125kg to 108kg and Willie Brown is 110kg, a far cry from the 130kg he weighed a couple of years ago.

Penrith winger Luke Rooney has knuckled down in the pre-season in an attempt to return to representative football and strength and conditioning coach Carl Jennings has rated him the club’s “best all-round athlete”.

The former Kangaroo’s figures are impressive. He can bench his own weight of 100kg 15 times, squat three times his body weight 65 times and shoulder press half his weight an amazing 49 times.

In an endurance assessment – in which Jennings tested how far the Panthers can run in one minute – Rooney recorded the best distance of 440m.

Those figures are expected to improve when the Panthers complete a round of testing this weekend.

In all, the Panthers’ skinfold levels have come down 30 per cent as part of new coach Matt Elliott’s focus on fitness and mobility.

“We’re a lot leaner and people will recognise that when we start playing,” Jennings said. “There’s no point looking like Tarzan if you play like Jane.”

Manly have gone through protein supplements worth $12,500 in the past three months in an attempt to bulk up their squad. The investment has paid off, with the players adding an average of 2.5kg of muscle during that period.

Tongan powerhouse Finefeuiaki won the Sea Eagles “strongman” contest although he does weights only once a week.

The real surprise packet has been Chris Hicks. The underrated outside back can bench his bodyweight of 90kg 27 times. He holds the club record for backs, benching 110kg 18 times and still being able to post sub-five-second 40m times.

At only 80kg, pint-sized half Travis Burns also trains above his weight – squeezing out a 150kg press.

Parramatta strength and conditioning coach Hayden Knowles believes he has one of league’s strongest men in former Rooster Richard Fa’aoso.

The Tongan international is also just behind Eric Grothe in 40m sprint testing.

“He’s the most powerful thing I’ve come across … and the quickest I’ve seen in a big guy,” Knowles said.

Benji Marshall has posted promising results in a series of “related power” assessments. Wests Tigers’ Kiwi playmaker averaged a vertical jump of 49.67cm over five jumps, pipping John Morris.

In Canberra, the average player weight has increased to 98.9kg, with 3.5kg less fat.

Leading the way in the strength department is prop Jason Williams, who benches 160kg and is able to squat 180kg for three repetitions.

Raiders strength and conditioning coach Sean Edwards, who worked with Wallabies stars during his time in rugby, described Williams as one of the strongest athletes he’s seen.

Only Souths, Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Bulldogs – who have not yet completed strength and speed testing – did not provide results or player rankings, but Brisbane’s performance director Dean Benton said the premiers were physically a month ahead of where they were at this stage last season.

This is the second article from League HQ
The men of league aren’t robots, but they train like machines – with this youngster showing he has horsepower to spare, writes Adrian Proszenko.

When Tim Mannah runs out to make his NRL debut, opponents will have plenty of ammunition.

The Parramatta prop is a former milkman who is abstaining from sex until he gets married.

In rugby league, that combination is tantamount to putting a dartboard on your head and begging to be sledged. However, his opponents might not want to get too cheeky, as Mannah can claim to be one of the strongest men in rugby league.

With the first match of the season just 25 days away, The Sun-Herald contacted all 16 clubs to determine the strongest, fastest and fittest men in the game.

Most of the clubs tested the maximum bench press of their players during the pre-season, and Mannah shares top spot with a one-repetition lift of 180 kilograms.

The feat was equalled only by promising Penrith prop Sam McKendry and Bulldogs counterpart Sione “John” Kite.

The Eels copped a flogging on the field last year and they have been flogged mercilessly in pre-season to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Under the watchful eye of new coach Daniel Anderson, the Eels have been pushed to their limits.

Mannah, who turns 21 today, has responded to the challenge.

“He’s a machine when it comes to throwing weights around, he’s training the house down,” said Parramatta strength and conditioning coach Hayden Knowles.

Mannah is fit, too. No one had ever cracked the 400-metre barrier since the club measured the distance a player could travel on their rowing machine in 60 seconds.

Mannah jumped on the ergometer and clocked 401m. Meanwhile, Bulldogs skipper Andrew Ryan also excelled with 380m.

To put the figures in perspective, rugby sensation Ratu Nasiganiyavi had Waratahs trainers in a lather when he pulled 713m in two minutes.

Australian Schoolboys star Mannah, a candidate for a front row spot after Junior Paulo suffered a pectoral injury, hopes the hard work translates into an NRL debut.

“With the new coach coming in, everyone’s on a level playing field and we’re all trying to impress,” Mannah said. “Ando [Anderson] has really pushed us. Compared to last year, we’re that much tougher. Physical preparation won’t be an issue this year, that won’t be an excuse.”

Eric Grothe jnr is also thriving under the new regime. The Eels winger generates the most power on a non-motorised treadmill, which simulates game-day exertions, and can complete 28 chin-ups.

Bulldogs tyro Ben Barba notched 30, followed by teammate Brett Kimmorley with 27. But the king of the “chins” is Wests Tigers winger Peni Tagive with 36. After a seven-minute break, the Fijian youngster can also manage 49 dips.

McKendry also boasts impressive figures. The 20-year-old deadlifts 230kg and back squats 220kg to go with his impressive bench press. He is one of several Panthers to impress strength and conditioning coach Carl Jennings. Another is diminutive half Jarrod Sammut, who has added 7kg of muscle to his frame during the off-season.

Trent Waterhouse is up 5kg and Frank Pritchard 4kg. The latter runs an average of 26km during a typical week of training, consisting of four field sessions, a kilometre more than the club average.

Hooker Paul Aiton is the big improver and is considered the club’s best athlete, pound for pound. Last year he was ranked 10th in that category.

“With Luke Priddis not being around, he’s decided ‘this is my year’,” Carl Jennings said.

“He’s been sensational.”

The Bulldogs have a new team and a new attitude in 2009 if training results are any indication.

Kiwi international Matt Utai completed a 5km bike ride in just seven minutes and 24 seconds. Kite lost 10kg while maintaining his strength, while Yileen Gordon has shed 8kg. Several players are benching more than 150kg.

At the Titans, former Australian prop Luke Bailey has added 6kg to his frame and Ben Jeffries 5kg. However, the Titans still have some of the leanest bodies, with dual international Mat Rogers (43ml of body fat) leading ahead of hooker Nathan Friend (44ml), William Zillman and Mark Minichiello (both 45).

The trend is the same at Manly, although not everyone has bulked up. Giant prop George Rose has lost 8kg, reducing skinfold readings at the same time. Jason King is considered the strongest man in the club, although his bench pressing pales in comparison to Kylie Leuluai. The former Sea Eagle used to bench 220kg – and regularly pushed out three repetitions.

Matt Orford, aptly nicknamed Ox, is rated the club’s strongest, pound for pound. The Sea Eagles were one of the first clubs to use GPS technology to track player exertions.

“The Ox runs and moves so hard that his change of direction comes up as a G-force,” said strength and conditioning coach Don Singe.

Testing results are generally a closely guarded secret among NRL clubs. While some were generous with the amount of information they provided, others were more cautious, fearing they could tip off rivals to their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Singe revealed that hooker Matt Balin, a qualified personal trainer, is fittest man at Brookvale Oval, but did not want to reveal specifics.

“I’ll just say his [aerobic capacity] is well above a normal human being,” he said. “Instead of lungs, he has two hot-air balloons.”

One of the most revered – and feared – trainers in the NRL is Billy Johnstone. The intensity of his workouts are legendary and little has changed after returning to North Queensland, even if wet weather prevented him from completing his full raft of tests.

One man to impress the fitness guru is Australian halfback Johnathan Thurston, who has won a series of club challenges.

“He’s a freak, Johnny,” Johnstone said. “He had an operation and was away for two months. He came back and won everything.”

But an NRL off-season can’t be quantified simply by numbers, says Eels trainer Knowles. “The one thing which can’t be measured on any test is a massive adjustment in attitude from the boys. They look ready for a big year.”

My Impressions

I’m just going to go through the articles, pick out excerpts and tell you what I think:

Nine clubs tested the maximum bench press of their players during the pre-season, and veteran prop Beattie came out on top with a one-repetition lift of 180 kilograms.

I’ve benched more than that…so there’s no way that can be any good…in all seriousness…as I’ve said before…I think a 1.5 time bodyweight bench is a good athletic standard and I’d say that is probably what this was…probably a little more than that in fairness. I’d take a guess that as a prop in rugby league he’s most likely weighing in at 100-110kg.

The stunning effort puts him above Melbourne forward Antonio Kaufusi, Manly premier league forward Sione Finefeuiaki and Eels trio Fuifui Moimoi, Richard Fa’aoso and Weller Hauraki, who can all bench 170kg.

Here’s Jonny Molloy at 20 year old prop banging out 4 easy reps at 150kg in the middle of a training session…he’s also done 170kg in testing plenty of times now.

Sea Eagles halfback Matt Orford is, pound for pound, the strongest man in the league. Aptly nicknamed Ox, Orford can bench 160kg – twice his body weight.

This on the other hand is just all kinds of awesome.

Rather than measuring a one-repetition maximum (1rm) lift, several clubs tested how many times a player could bench his body weight. St George Illawarra’s 101kg back-rower Sam Isemonger can do it 25 times, ahead of Kangaroos centre Matt Cooper (21).

This is a test that we do as well. This is me at the end of a bench session doing 20 reps at 100kgs just for a laugh. I was weighing in at 110kgs at this time though.

Former Dragons hooker George Ndaira can squat 250kg and has been clocked at under five seconds during 40-metre sprints on grass.

Conor McPhillips is technically a borderline midget and there are videos up of him box squatting 200kg in the middle of a session. I’ve also seen 250kg done for more than a single rep in the gym.

The 40 metre on grass under 5 seconds is something that I want to see…I’d also want to see it timed with gates. I’m not saying it didn’t happen…just saying I’d love to see it.

Halfback Josh Lewis, the quickest man at the club, completed 31 chin-ups at a recent session.

 

This reinforces my point. The reason I think pull ups and chin ups are so important is that it tells you a lot about an athlete. If you can’t do a decent number of pull ups or chin ups it’s usually because you are too bloody fat. In shape…as seldom as that is…I’ve gotten 18 in testing…fat as a whale…as I am most of the time…I get about 8. Pull Ups and Chin Ups give you an indication of an athletes mastery of their body weight. Athletes with the best number of pull ups and chin ups will be your fastest and those with the worst scores will be your slowest generally. I also love to see the technique and form used for Josh Lewis’s 31 reps…was it like Traps here doing 24 reps…

…or was it like this…

Mannah is fit, too. No one had ever cracked the 400-metre barrier since the club measured the distance a player could travel on their rowing machine in 60 seconds. Mannah jumped on the ergometer and clocked 401m. Meanwhile, Bulldogs skipper Andrew Ryan also excelled with 380m. To put the figures in perspective, rugby sensation Ratu Nasiganiyavi had Waratahs trainers in a lather when he pulled 713m in two minutes.

I have a good few guys that I think would have a good crack at this…even having not trained on a rower for a couple of months I think I could throw down a comparable time. We might have to have a bit of a go at this in the next month or so an see how we get on. Fanj pulled 211m or 217m in a single 30 second effort a while back. He’s not a player that rows regularly at all either. I know for sure that Damian will want to have a crack at this test.

Now I am not having a go at the Rugby League guys because as I’ve said before I actually think that these guys on the whole a probably the best all round athletes on the planet. Combining power, strength, muscular endurance, speed and conditioning. I’ve argued their case before with US citizens who are so ignorant that they can’t comprehend any other country producing athletes comparable to their own. I’m just trying to provide some perspective. I can bench 180kg but if you gave me 10 minutes I probably still couldn’t run out of site. These guys manage to post great testing scores in ALL areas of strength and conditioning and post them all at the same time. That’s what is most impressive.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Just to put things in perspective

  1. Dan Baker (Brisbane Broncos Strength coach) once said to me “Don’t believe everything you read in the paper”. That said, these number seem to be consistent with what has been published over the last few years.

    Unfortunately they still shit all over the Aussie S14 rugby players.

  2. Maybe offtopic, but I was wondering what type of strength numbers you aim for regarding your female athletes. Is it still 1.5 bw bench and 2 bw squat/DL? Also, what types of test do you use on your clients that are not athletes and have little training experience? (like a 40-50 year old female) I feel that doing 1 RM-testing for those is somewhat of an injury risk, especially in the bench/DL/squat tests. I test them in pushups, horisontal rows, split squat from bench, planks, side planks and sorensens back test. Id like to find a better legtest than the split squat since it demands quite some mobility and also when they get really tired its their balance that “fails” first. Any ideas?

  3. I’ve included my impressions of the article above.

    Cal,
    I agree…I’ve seen a lot of testing that didn’t match what I’d heard.

    Joel,
    I have the same ‘goals’ for girls…just few that make it. I think a girl benching their body weight is an awesome accomplishment but haven’t had a huge number of female athletes I coach do that.

    With clients…I usually get them ‘fit to test’ before testing them…not much point testing before there is anything there to test.

  4. Pingback: Testing « James Santi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s