loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

Karmichael Hunt and AFL fitness requirements

I watched the ABC with interest. Obviously the Gold Coast simply had to throw him in ASAP to get things going. Not ideal. Coming off Rugby Union and not even League and after finals and mixed in with hype and haste. He probably even is a little fatigued from training and especially kicking more. That can cause hammies grief. So there are so many factors to consider.

All the press and pundits have spoken about the fitness needs. Really in the end it will be more about whether he can play or has some specific skills suited to AFL. Looked okish until he got stuffed.

We hear stuff about GPS ( AFL vs League) and AEROBIC FITNESS and bodyshape and so on. I even listened to Craig Harper on SEN a few weeks sayng the same things and was bemused given his credentials and obvious knowledge. Our bodies are in a state of flux always. Depending on Hunts fast twtich/slow twitch profile he will have a certain percentage of interchangeable fibers. If his genetic profile sits somewhere in the middle for speed and endurance then the appropiate training over time will cause that change. Just depends on his potential for change and adaptation and the training method used and how many games he plays.

His 2km time was just passable which suggests he has some capacity for switching a few fibers around. I once watched a bodybuilder  train for a marathon and run 2 hours 55 after totally changing his training well into his late 30’s. He also won the C Grade Zatopek 10,000 at an advanced age so we can change anything in our bodies.

Now there is this silly belief that all AFL players are aerobically gifted or have Lance Armstrong tanks. That is laughable. I have tested 100’s of players in LABS since 1987 to 2007. Ranges from 48ml/kg/min to 70 plus. Dustin Fletcher was a great APS sprinter/jumper etc and I can assure you his tank is not a Range Rover. Players like Paul Chapman have moderate engine capacities but over time develop their speed repeatability and maximize the correct mix of fibres and fitness by specifically training and playing AFL. Just playing causes the correct adaptive response. Even inseason players adapt a lot despite different adaptations to pre-seasons. Was their pre-season biased to speed ot strength or endurance. By mid year physiologies tend to become very AFL ish.

If Paul Chapman played Union and lived under a squat rack pumping 200kg plus full squats his legs would be bigger than Hunts.

James Hird had that perfect mix of adequate tank and fast twitch fibres. But once when injured he decided to bulk up and benched huge amounts and then tried to run and realized he had to drop weight. He was massive and didnt last one km. So instead of benching 150 plus he still was strong but benched 130ish. Just got to get the right mix for every sport , individual and position.

So what is KHunt’s tank? Who knows. But for sure bigger than some AFL guys.

Ever seen Josh Hunts legs. If Josh played Union or did Olympic Lifting he would make Dean Lukin’s legs  look like Twiggy.

So if KHunt squats reps on 200 plus for example then maybe reps on 130 or even less might suffice for AFL. Then he can alter the distribution of muscle between quads and hams over time given the huge need for hip extensors in AFL. So much running at sub maximal 6 to 7m sec range in AFL.

So have the GOLD COAST run a Genetic test on Hunt? That would be a good idea. They should contact MYGENE. Have they done a MAX VO2 test.  Cameron Ling is simply a genetic freak with a massive engine. Tested him years ago and he was massive. Gazza had an excellent tank and good speed and awesome change of direction. Perfect mix of genetics it seems for AFL added to strong legs.  Buckley had to work hard on his capacity and speed repeatability.

I remember at Collingwood in 1994/95. Bucks had amazing power but could not repeat 150m strides. So he busted his arse and adapted. He drastically changed his body.

Ever played squash after years, Sore arse! Yep every sport is totally specific. We just adapt. Often we have seen huge men bowled over by skinnie miniies in AFL when tired. That is just fatigue. In a pub brawl that skinnie minnie would be thrown into the stratosphere but in an AFL game with rules and fatigue one little push can bowl over a behemoth.

So if  Hunt wants to take centimetres off his legs thats easy. Do extra running and slightly less volume under squat rack. Maximize his aerobic capacity without compromising speed. Can be done. Improve speed repeatability. Can be done. Change power/weigh ratio. Improve lactate tolerance.  Can be done. Again what is his genetic endowment. That will tell us a bit. Which way will training changes push him and how much.

Can he play? That is the question. Can he develop Game Sense? Has he got unique perceptual skills? Whatever. One can alter bodyshape dramatically in 3 months but Game Sense etc takes longer. Thats the focus. Seems to take AFL players 50 games on average and approximately be 21 or 22 on average to really make an imprint in AFL despite years playing. One part of this is simply their bodies but also they need to learn the game at high speed.

So lets not crap on about GPS etc  and obvious blah blah. He simply needs to play games and train and then in a year or two we will know.

Given his sporting ability he should adapt.

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June 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Josh Ross and Dallas Combine tryout

Piero Sacchetta and Josh Ross are at a combine in North Texas assessing Josh’s ability to play American Football. Piero has assisted Josh since before Xmas with training and backup. This is being done at their own expense and is a very gutsy effort. Josh has trained very hard at his skills and specific tests with Piero so they are as prepared as you can be coming from Australia. Josh is an awesome athlete and has lots of runs on the board. We did a genetic test with MYGENE recently and the amazing fact is that he is more suited to hybrid sports than sprinting which underlines his sporting ability. Great story already that they have had the guts to go there. I met Josh at Health Club 101 in St Albans Melbourne in October 2009 and the owner, Paul Galea helped him with training and accomodation. Then Piero Sacchetta took over with Josh and the dream to play American Football was hatched. Piero was an Australian Javelin Champ, teacher and is a businessman now, so is an astute sports person.

June 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment