Whether your goal is to lose body fat, build muscle or become stronger or faster your focus should always be on one thing: improving your overall athletic performance. Athletes train in the weight room and on the field to enhance their talent and skill. Being the best lifter doesn’t necessarily make them a gold medalist, however, it increases their athletic potential which enhances skill acquisition. And while maintaining a certain aesthetic look isn’t an athletes top priority, it’s often a nice by-product of training with a purpose.
As we enter the 6th year of our coveted Athlete Development Program, we’ve arrived at a whole new ball game. We’ve upped the ante with programming, new testing protocols and competitiveness. As the name suggests: ‘Athletic Development Program’ is exactly that; you participate in a program based on what athletes perform ‘in-season.’ Ultimately, you will work on getting faster, more powerful, leaner and more importantly, maintaining strength, through a combination of field-based training and individual training events.
While the ADP is catered to supplement and improve our performance over the year to date, it is developed with competitiveness in mind in order to provide a kick in the pants post our winter hibernation. Like any of our specific programs, there will be a break-up at the end of the program and in-line with our local business focus, the lunch after the final challenge will be held at an establishment that sells copious amounts of alcohol.
It’s time for the bluff and bluster to be tested and with the coaches having a vested interest, never have the competitive fires been stoked so vigorously.
I’ve already been training. Why should I do this?
As you would have noticed, it is springtime and like every spring here in Queensland, it’s basically Summer. This means less clothing is mandatory thus the state of our rigs are exposed. If you have been a little off over the winter months than this is the time to get cracking for some serious gains as it becomes a little easier to get up in the morning and a little easier to get limber before your sessions. The work done now puts us in good stead for the silly season which is just around the corner whilst giving us a decent starting point for holidays at the end of the year (trust us Woolies and Coles will have Christmas Decorations up in no time). We cannot think of a better time for a Clinic to get us to the end of the year in a better state then we started the year.
We will execute a formidable exercise regime built around competition and having fun. So, enter our Athletic Development Program to fill the motivational vacuum.
What is it? What does it involve?
Like last year, the ADP will involve a team based challenge format. Participants will be allocated to a particular coach’s team. The difference this year no one will be issued a team until the day of the competition. A team will be chosen on a draft system mimicking the NBA/NFL and AFL competitions. Picks will be done in a lottery format and then teams will be formed once the order is established.
- Resistance programs that mimic in-season regimes of professional teams (with due regard to competency);
- Speed work – working on running technique, acceleration drills and top end speed work using a variety of equipment not usually seen in the gym;
- Agility and change of direction work – ladder work, cognitive change of direction drills, deceleration work;
- Power work – plyometrics (or jumping), hurdle work, repeated jumping work, landing mechanics work; and
- Conditioning – from repeated sprint work to wrestling (remarkably metabolically demanding), up and down movements and lateral movements, all coupled with complex task drills and games.
These training methods enable us to get faster, stronger, more efficient and most importantly, leaner. To increase any of these attributes, we are required to reduce our body fat, as it stands to reason that the more we carry, the harder it is to perform. The high metabolic cost of these particular methods, coupled with the variety of new movement patterns, provides for an incredibly efficient reduction of body fat over a short period; however, this will not be without some element of discomfort, so prepare to be sore.
Competition / Athletic Combine
The aim of this program is to train for a ‘combine’ (a feature of the NFL Draft), which essentially is a number of measurable challenges. These challenges will cover every aspect of fitness: agility, speed, power, strength, endurance, anaerobic capacity and lastly, somewhat fittingly, the will to compete.
The program will culminate on Saturday 27 October, where from 8:30am till roughly 10.30am, the Final Challenge events will take place and the champions will be crowned (based on points scoring system weighted across the respective events).
The Final Challenge events cover every aspect of fitness: from conditioning, strength, speed and change of direction. The day’s events include:
- Total skinfold % loss per team (skinfolds will be taken at the beginning and end of ADP)
- Shot put throw
- CMJ Vertec
- Squat 2min 80% bdwt
- Bench 2mins 60% bdwt
- Max pull ups under hand most reps groups
- SkiErg 1min max calories
- Rower 1km Time Trial
- Team Relay 40m
- Trainer challenge: Block run + 60 cal Airdyne + 80 cal Rower
The scoring system will consist of the following: 3 points for the win, 1 point for second and 0 points for the loss. Obviously, the team with most points at the end will be crowned the ADP Champions (a trophy will be provided and has to sit in our waiting room with the team’s name on it; the respect or hatred of your fellow competitors is added incentive to the victory).
A post-combine Celebration
As additional motivation, a lunch and drink at a TBA hotel or bar will follow with the champions being shouted by their vanquished foes.
Fines and Penalties
As is the custom each year, there will be a fine and penalty system, with the results of such placed into a kitty that will contribute to break-up at the Pub. This doesn’t go into the Hammer coffers as some elaborate Ponzi scheme; in fact, Hammer will match the kitty to provide drinks during the break up lunch.
Penalties and fines are to be imposed for the following:
- $1 fine, accumulated per minute of lateness, for anyone that attends late to a session (max $5);
- Non-attendance at a session without prior notice or adequate excuses – that’s a paddling. No wait, it’s a $10 penalty;
- The two losing teams will pay $10 each into the kitty in order for the winning team to eat and have drink for free at the Pub, post competition.