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In Season - Loading/Periodisation: Put your conjecture here.



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I'm in the camp that we load throughout the season at different times, and that it directly influences performance. I am not saying it is the ONLY thing influencing.

Anyway, it appears it's a polarising topic.

Here is something I just googled, which confirms my view (and what I have been told from someone who would know0 that the wider AFL system (particularly those in finals contention, ramp up their training). I happily accept that I search for info that confirms my beliefs, and refute anything that disproves it on this particular topic.

Maybe semantics are important - loading (up training), volume vs intensity,  development blocks, etc etc...

Whatever we call it, and however we interpret what we call it, nonetheless, there are still fluctuations in the intensity and volume of training during the season.

 

This is on a Brisbane Lions thread in 2020.

This last 3-4 weeks have been pure magic for our teams development because it is an almost perfectly designed training block. All training improvements come from progressive overload. Start with x load, increase by 10% for a number of sessions then pull back and rest to allow the muscles/aerobic/ to develop. This diagram shows the process. Overload can be by intensity or volume (eg gym = increase weight or reps) and applies across weeks, months, seasons...

During a season it looks different - it's maintenance and recovery, but finals teams include additional development block prior to September. Playing finals with their increased intensity also acts as a overload training block.

Up until the giants game we were cruising in normal season recovery/maintenance mode, then the dramatic increase the volume acts as progressive overload. Other teams have also had the increase in volume but longer breaks, byes and swapping more players means the overload is not as effective for some teams.

It is one of the reason we need a strong seconds competition and why our seconds players are struggling once they get a game - they have been left behind.

This week rest is supercritical, then we will see a big uplift in our performance. As long as injuries don't escalate this season is only going to get better for u
s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2022-06-07 at 08.33.59.png

Edited by Engorged Onion
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Players and coaches from teams that lock in finals early have openly talked about heavy training periods done in season for many, many years.  Sometimes they directly call it "loading", other times they call it "heavy training blocks".  It's definitely no secret.

 

It is a luxury that teams that bank wins early have and is why teams that have some poor performancess in the middle stages of the year come out and smash teams in finals that have had to fight all the way just to make finals.  Flirting with form comes with risk, as does the increased risk of injury, but if you are in it to win the major prize, not just make up the numbers in September, it is well worth the risk.

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6 minutes ago, Vipercrunch said:

 

It is a luxury that teams that bank wins early have and is why teams that have some poor performancess in the middle stages of the year come out and smash teams in finals that have had to fight all the way just to make finals.  

It is also a factor (not the only one obviously, talent being thesin one) why so many teams who finish 5-8 hit the wall in finals and if they make it through the first week (when they play teams with similar preparations) get smashed the following week, like esendon ladt year, who were level at half time before completed running out of gas in the second half and barely scoring).

 

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This is all well and good - and encouragingly, to this point in the season, our form line is largely mirroring 2021.

But we have been beaten by fellow top 4 contenders the last 2 weeks - surely they would be following a similar training regime?

Clearly, form and fitness are intrinsically linked, but for a number of key players - namely Brown, Jackson, Lever, ANB and Tomlinson - the eye test says their lack of impact is more due to the former than the latter. 

No cause for alarm at this stage IMO - but we no longer have the luxury of margin for error. With Freo and Brisbane breathing down our necks, falling out of the top 2 could well cost us a shot at a flag.

 

 

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Going on what you posted in the other thread about our form slump in 2021 @binman - do you or anyone else have an idea behind the mechanics/philosophy of bringing the 'potential' ramped up training block, in what appears to be around a month earlier than last year.

Is that due to

  • playing our last game (GF) a month and a bit after most other clubs, thus, limited rehab/recovery?
  • what does that late match(es) mean for the preseason block of training and how it informs our training for the rest of the year?
  • our younger players (u23's? (arbitrary age)) still acclimating their bodies to the demands of training and game loads /increase in fatigue comparably to exposed training loads over 5+ seasons.

any other thoughts are welcomed.

Edited by Engorged Onion
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The holy grail of fitness and form coming together at the same time is not sustainable for long periods of time.

Absolutely no doubt that AFL clubs mix up loads depending on periods of the season.

Fitness and motivation roll along in peaks and troughs throughout a season, we have been 'up' for a long time, a lull was inevitable.

 

What matters is that the players are getting the work done now to make sure that magical form/fitness period is late September.

I'll also add, we have had a very disrupted start to 2022. Continuity has been a real problem with lots of injuries

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4 minutes ago, Engorged Onion said:

Going on what you posted in the other thread about our form slump in 2021 @binman - do you or anyone else have an idea behind the mechanics/philosophy of bringing the 'potential' ramped up training block, in what appears to be around a month earlier than last year.

Is that due to

  • playing our last game (GF) a month and a bit after most other clubs, thus, limited rehab/recovery?
  • what does that late match(es) mean for the preseason block of training and how it informs our training for the rest of the year?

any other thoughts are welcomed.

Perhaps because of our shortened preseason this time round and because we started 10-0, the fitness staff are squeezing in an extra 4-5 week loading block in?

The conjecture is fun, but hopefully one day we get to read all about what's actually going on in 5 time premiership coach, Simon Goodwins memoirs. 

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10 minutes ago, Engorged Onion said:

Going on what you posted in the other thread about our form slump in 2021 @binman - do you or anyone else have an idea behind the mechanics/philosophy of bringing the 'potential' ramped up training block, in what appears to be around a month earlier than last year.

Is that due to

  • playing our last game (GF) a month and a bit after most other clubs, thus, limited rehab/recovery?
  • what does that late match(es) mean for the preseason block of training and how it informs our training for the rest of the year?
  • our younger players (u23) still acclimating their bodies to the demands of training and game loads.

any other thoughts are welcomed.

I think the shorter pre-season would have played a huge role in where we are currently at.

Started the year fitter (higher up the peak) due to less rest, dropping off a month earlier and starting the progression again, a month earlier. Will be fascinating to see whether we can time this year as well as last year. I would expect maybe a heavy load now and possibly another period a few weeks out from finals - provided we are in the right position with games won

 

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I don't think we are loading yet. I don't think we started loading last year until the bye, and as I've said before, this time last year we were knocking off Brisbane and the Dogs, not slumping. We slumped post-bye.

I think it's as simple as I juries and illness taking a toll, which we didn't have last year. We had a dream run, with no injuries to key players. This year, Salem, Lever, Tmac and to an extent Gawn have all had injuries, while Trac and others have been sick, whether they missed games or not.

Combine that with teams coming at us as the Champs, and teams always looking slow when they lose, and I think it's the simpler explanation. 

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8 minutes ago, Mickey said:

I don't think we are loading yet. I don't think we started loading last year until the bye, and as I've said before, this time last year we were knocking off Brisbane and the Dogs, not slumping. We slumped post-bye.

I think it's as simple as I juries and illness taking a toll, which we didn't have last year. We had a dream run, with no injuries to key players. This year, Salem, Lever, Tmac and to an extent Gawn have all had injuries, while Trac and others have been sick, whether they missed games or not.

Combine that with teams coming at us as the Champs, and teams always looking slow when they lose, and I think it's the simpler explanation. 

Either side of our wins against the Dogs and the Lions were losses to Adelaide and Collingwood though which are very hard to explain.

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2 minutes ago, Vipercrunch said:

Either side of our wins against the Dogs and the Lions were losses to Adelaide and Collingwood though which are very hard to explain.

Not really. Adelaide was 100% kicking inefficiency. 14.11 to 15.6 and we lost by a point. And Collingwood got up for Bucks' last game.

Plus it was QB. It's their GF after all 😂

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Binman's theory is just that. 

I'm not sure anyone with a background in exercise science would agree with it. 

I have a little knowledge but to me it's far too early for any form of loading. To this point we'd be managing all levels of fitness. We have a bye coming up and then another 10 weeks of games before finals so any form of tapering/loading now doesn't make sense to me. 

Edited by JimmyGadson
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5 minutes ago, Lord Nev said:

Our skills have been noticeably poor the last couple of weeks, that happens when players are fatigued.

It also happens when players have been in and out of the team through injury/illness. And when other teams ramp up the pressure.

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4 minutes ago, Vipercrunch said:

Either side of our wins against the Dogs and the Lions were losses to Adelaide and Collingwood though which are very hard to explain.

Adelaide:  umpire made a mistake in the dying seconds of the game, admitted to by the AFL.

Collingwood:  Buckley's last game as coache so they were up and about. 

Every chance that in 2021 we started a 3 week training block pre the Coll game ie round 12 (where we are now in 2021)  through the bye and to round 15.  Partly in lieu of no game in the bye week.  That would be consistent with what Max said post bye last year.

I think it of it as a mini-preseason rather than something mysterious like 'loading'.

 

Not directly related to your post but whether it is called 'loading', 'extra blocks of training, mini preseason or whatever no one has so far shown why that should or does cause losses.

fwiw we did extra training during the first finals bye. 

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2 minutes ago, Mickey said:

It also happens when players have been in and out of the team through injury/illness. And when other teams ramp up the pressure.

For sure, but I was making the comment in the context of your comment that we weren't loading when we lost to Adelaide last year because we lost due to kicking inefficiency.

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2 minutes ago, JimmyGadson said:

Binman's theory is just that. 

I'm not sure anyone with a background in exercise science would agree with it. 

I have a little knowledge but to me it's far too early for any form of loading. To this point we'd be managing all levels of fitness. We have a bye coming up and then another 10 weeks of games before finals so any form of tapering/loading now doesn't make sense to me. 

As per the graphs above though, it's not just one load up then taper.  It works so much better if there can be several cycles.  I'm just a hack runner, but I do use training programs and the longer ones all have multiple load then taper cycles that slowly build you up to race day.

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7 minutes ago, Lord Nev said:

Our skills have been noticeably poor the last couple of weeks, that happens when players are fatigued.

Fatigue could be due to illness, injury, post covid, step up to AFL when players missing.  5 players coming back from injury.

Poor skills could be due to opp pressure and replacement players not having the skills or knowing the system as well as those replaced.

For the fatigue of rounds 11 and 12 we would have had to start loading around weeks 9 and 10 which would be bizarre given that is when players had covid . 

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Just now, Lucifers Hero said:

Fatigue could be due to illness, injury, post covid, step up to AFL when players missing.  5 players coming back from injury.

100%, which is why this thread will go round and round in circles as no one at this stage knows the factual answer.

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12 minutes ago, Lucifers Hero said:

Not directly related to your post but whether it is called 'loading', 'extra blocks of training, mini preseason or whatever no one has so far shown why that should or does cause losses.

 

Loading causes the players to fatigue quicker and fatigue causes skill errors and the loss of ability to cover the ground which drastically affects our defensive structure and our ability to score on the turnover.

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8 minutes ago, Lord Nev said:

For sure, but I was making the comment in the context of your comment that we weren't loading when we lost to Adelaide last year because we lost due to kicking inefficiency.

Sure, I was thinking the last few weeks where our skills have seemingly been poor.

I also think, checking the stats again, that the Adelaide game was actually a classic melbourne goal kicking performance. It's always been an issue, and our kicking efficiency in general was ok (70%). This year we average 73%, while our goal kicking is 50% (and was last year for the whole year).

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6 minutes ago, Vipercrunch said:

Loading causes the players to fatigue quicker and fatigue causes skill errors and the loss of ability to cover the ground which drastically affects our defensive structure and our ability to score on the turnover.

That is probably true but there are so many other facts staring us in the face, that we know have affected our players over the last month that I find attributing the losses to 'loading' a tenuous link. 

And what no-one has explained yet is why 'loading', at any time should lead to losses at all. 

Edited by Lucifers Hero
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