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Australian Rules Football
AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL
Few other sports require the vast array of physical attributes necessary to excel at Australia’s own game. Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance is the first thing that separates the contenders from the pretenders. Couple that with bursts of all-out effort required when going in for the pill, making a tackle or leaping for a mark and you have one serious test of fitness. Strength, speed and power all need to be maximised, with all three attributes having a varying impact on different key positions. Skills and coordination can only really be garnered through repetition. However, when fatigue sets in, skills drop dramatically, thus endurance and skill are closely linked. Given the demanding aspect of Australian Footy, proper nutrition and supplementation can have a huge impact on both getting the most out of training and maximising match-day performance. .
Skills come from living with a ball in your hands. Aerobic and anaerobic endurance are perhaps the most key physical requirements. A mixture of long duration running, cycling and swimming mixed with sprints and circuit training can improve this. Lower and upper body power is crucial, for sprinting, jumping, bumping and tackling. Focus on big compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press and Olympic lifting. Plyometric exercises such as push press and box jumps can be extremely beneficial too.
A diet rich in complex carbohydrates and adequate protein is essential in order to fuel training, muscle recovery and growth. Ensure a moderate intake of essential fats, as well as plenty of water and colourful fruits and vegetables. Steer clear of heavy meals, high in fat and protein prior to training and games.
Power and speed are crucial so creatine is a must for all positions. Look to consume a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates, along with electrolytes during quarter and half time breaks. Opt for a post-workout drink high in carbohydrates and protein to drive recovery. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are crucial during the season in order to preserve muscle mass. Lastly, don’t forget to look after your joints, so you can stay off the physio table and play as much footy as possible.
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