Sports Strength : The Ultimate Training Guide for Improving Strength and Flexibility in Contact Sports  - Paul Collins

Sports Strength

The Ultimate Training Guide for Improving Strength and Flexibility in Contact Sports

By: Paul Collins, Ron Palmer

Paperback | 26 June 2019

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For any athlete looking to optimise their athletic potential, Sports Strength is the perfect training guide for you. We say this with confidence, as together, we combine over 100 years’ playing and practical coaching experience in sports from physically preparing athletes and sporting teams from the grass roots level right through to state and national teams in multiple sporting codes.

Best of all, we have developed a user-friendly training solution aimed at making you fitter, stronger and faster whilst supporting the skills of your sport and aiming to preventing injury. And that’s just part of the story! Our goal in developing Sports Strength focuses around helping bridge any educational gap that often exists in physical preparation and recovery related to contact sports between the amateur and professional level athlete and sporting teams. What your about to learn also takes into account that a typical day for many aspiring athletes involves working around a daily schedule of study or employment – thus the development of a daily training template for you to help take all the guess work away. For ease of understanding and application of the essential training elements required we demonstrate how to combine and implement 5-Key Components of Physical Conditioning into a series of 4-week Training Blocks – over a 16-week pre-season training period.

The 4-Week Training Block™ is introduced as a starting point from which future training practices can be adapted and applied by providing you with a clearer understanding of the training processes in play, collectively as a group, in terms of: General Strength Preparation (GSP); Hypertrophy, Max Strength and Power combined with fitness, speed, core, suppleness (flexibility/mobility/stability) and recovery applications. The main objective is to familiarise yourself with each 4-Week Training Block™ and the daily and weekly training and recovery practices and methods to be applied over a set period – as part of a regular routine. Then, as you start to progress as an athlete in terms of developing better strength, speed, power and flexibility, primarily in the pre-season, you will find training itself can be programmed into shorter or longer training blocks with varying intensities and additional recovery periods applied in between training days and training blocks themselves.

The innovative 4-Week Training Block™ approach also teaches you that for any physiological improvement to occur, through the systematic application of any training load, that a series of proactive Recovery and Regeneration (R&R) practices also need to be applied on a regular daily basis over a period of time in order to renew and restore the body and ultimately reach one’s optimal athletic potential. R&R is recognised as the secret ingredient to the success in any training program – one that needs to be applied as an action orientated process before and after training (or playing) and everywhere in-between. If you’re lifting weights or performing fitness or speed training drills over an extended period of time you need to match this timeframe by applying specific practical R&R strategies such as warming up and cooling down, stretching, foam roller drills, trigger point releases, Posturefit® Body re-alignment, massage and more in order to avoid muscle stiffness, maintain efficient joint range of motion, good body posture, muscle length and pliability and higher energy levels.

You will also need to apply sound nutritional practices, regular postural tune-ups with a physiotherapist, chiropractor osteopath and plenty of rest and sleep in between in order for appropriate recovery and regeneration to occur. Through this approach, you will begin to understand how your body reacts to the training stimulus at hand and be able to adjust the loading or training variables from this template accordingly along with appropriate recovery and regeneration your body requires. This is important to understand so you avoid overtraining and can stay fresh and injury free. To assist with the application of this daily body management process, we have summarised the key R&R elements into an Ongoing Daily Body Management Cycle – Daily Activities Sheet where you can record and monitor yourself and your energy levels. Most importantly, Sports Strength is just one example of many training approaches that can be applied understanding that for it to be successful that you need to take personal responsibility and be held accountable for your own actions.

This involves recording your training and recovery methods so you can assess, modify, adapt and improve accordingly. What we present in the following chapters aims to provide you with a successful pathway for helping install good training and recovery habits. This includes an introduction to various Posturefit® joint range of motion assessments to help identify any limitations or imbalances in movement mechanics in running or squatting for example and take the necessary steps for improvements to occur. The major payoff for you in taking regular consistent action in terms of improving the skills required for your chosen sport combined with the physical preparation template provided within Sports Strength is that over an extended period of time you will develop an athletic body and an athletic mindset that will allow you to reach your full potential.

As your level of training knowledge, understanding and experience develops a new training model adapting shorter or longer training blocks and methods and adjustments in recovery periods can be applied in the future under the guidance of a professional strength and conditioning coach or as part of a team. This is an exciting journey and we want to hear about your growth, development and success along the way by sending across pictures and stories to us about your progression. We look forward to working with you!

About the Author

Paul Collins is an athlete and team physical preparation, injury prevention and recovery specialist. A former track and field athlete, state squash player and national Budokan Karate Champion, Paul was also part of the Parramatta SG Ball Premiership winning rugby league team and went onto play grade for North Sydney, Manly-Warringah and Western Suburbs in the national rugby league competition – before his sporting career was cut short from a chronic low back injury. Some 20 years later, Collins, a qualified Physical Education Teacher, Award-Winning Personal Trainer, Level 2 ASCA Strength & Conditioning Coach, Qualified Massage Therapist and train the trainer, Paul has combined his vision, knowledge and extensive athletic and coaching experience to work across multiple sports in helping athletes reach their optimal athletic potential including - four seasons with the North Sydney Bears, five seasons with Manly Rugby Union, 9 years with the Australian AKF Karate Team as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach including 15 years with Elite Swimmers.

Founder of the Fastfeet® Speed for Sport Coaching Program and the Posturefit® Body Assessment, Stretching and Realignment Program – Paul’s goal is helping keep athletes’ fast, strong, powerful whilst ensuring their body maintains good postural alignment for optimal performance delivery whilst staying injury free. Australia’s leading internationally published fitness author with more than 15 books sold in multiple languages around the world on core-strength, speed, power and flexibility including his latest book title: Sports Strength, Paul has now blended his skill-set across fitness, sports and martial arts to lead UFC GYM Australia as the National Fitness Manager. Sydney, NSW.
Industry Reviews
"Sports Strength provides the platform and guidance from which appropriate physical conditioning can be enhanced whilst developing one's playing skills and good character - making it an essential read for players, coaches, teachers and parents."  Brad Fittler - NSW State of Origin Head Coach

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