loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

Josh Ross and Advanced Athletes Performance Athletes


Day after winning National 100m title, Josh is seen here with fellow Advanced Athletes Performance athletes, Marija Mirkovic,Dayne Kelly, Paul Cugnetto and James Parissis.

April 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Josh Ross wins 6th Australian 100m title as an AAP athlete

Josh Ross blitzed the field to win the OZ 100m title last night. Josh has been training at Advanced Athletes Performance in Preston since September last year. 2 years ago my business partner, Piero Sacchetta,  hatched a plan for Josh to become a wide receiver in the NFL.

They went to the US together and did trials. He wowed them with his athletic ability and was picking up the game rapidly. He had played Rugby League as a junior. Anyway the project didn’t proceed past  2010, but it was a great experience for Piero and Josh. Bit more time and he would definitely have got somewhere with American football.

Since September 2011, Josh has trained as an AAP athlete and Piero has been awesome at making sure everything stayed on track. In the last month Piero added masseur to his CV!

Josh’s  first run was a 49 secs 400m in Interclub in October 2011.Come April 2012 and he has run 10.23 into a slight headwind. With a bit of luck with wind he would have had a definite A Qualifier for London.The great thing is that his amazing career is back on track and that he and Piero got a reward for al the effort they put in for 2 years since heading off to the US. It was great for Josh to chat to Adam basil 6 weeks ago. Adam was a bronze medallist in the Athens 4*100 team and is Melbourne Victorys fitness guru and he came to the centre a few weeks ago to add something to Josh’s build up.

And it was great to see such a talented athlete train daily right here at Advanced Athletes Performance. Definitely a great learning experience for me.

Well done Josh.

April 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Jarrod Egan from GFC to Celtic to Redbacks to Crows to Port!

Article late 2011 about Jarrod Egan, my assistant at Geelong from 1999 to 2003


  • by: Jesper Fjeldstad. From: Sunday Mail (SA). November 05, 2011 10:00PM

And the Power has confirmed it will venture overseas for a training camp this summer, heading across to New Zealand for what is expected to be four or five days some time in late November.Port Adelaide, which has been able to boost its football spend after a $9 million assistance package from the SANFL and the AFL, signed Egan to complete its most resourced football department in years and say he has already made an impression.

Egan was known by Port Adelaide fitness coach Cam Falloon because of their joint mentor Loris Bertolacci, the ground-breaking fitness coach who played part in the Baby Bombers’ 1993 success at Essendon and AFL’s first full-time fitness coach.

Falloon and Egan met over coffees and for regular catch-ups last year and when Falloon was told there was room to expand his department he didn’t have to think long before knowing whom to target.

Egan came with impressive credentials, having previously worked with North Melbourne, Geelong and Scottish Premier League soccer club Celtic.

As the Power embarked on a early morning session in the parklands yesterday morning, Falloon said the Egan investment was already beginning to reap rewards.

“He’s been a really good pick-up and what we’re really looking forward to adding to the fitness department is some experience,” Falloon said. “We’ve got some really good staff here with Andrew Rondinelli and Ben Serpell but we’ve probably lacked some experience.

“While we didn’t know each other well, we knew about each other and we had a few meetings last year, a coffee and a catch-up, and when the opportunity came up for us to recruit an experienced person he was certainly high up on our list.

“In a very short space of time Jarrod had been able to already make a very significant impact.

“We’re rapt with him.”

Then, in a cheeky manner, Falloon couldn’t resist to rub it in:

“And it’s always good to get someone from the Adelaide Crows.”

Fallon was also chuffed about the trip to New Zealand, which was about team bonding through hard work rather than high-altitude training – the time they will be away won’t be long enough to get the benefits of being in thin air.

“There are some fairly significant plans in place and it’s a really good opportunity to get the group together, work on team bonding and leadership and help the guys who are coming into the system,” Falloon said.

“Brad Ebert from West Coast Eagles and Brent Renouf from Hawthorn … it’s just a good opportunity for the guys to get away, do some hard work together and get to know each other.

“But also have a change of scenery. I guess what we’ve been able to do in the past few years has been to get away for a few days locally so this is a fantastic opportunity to head overseas.

“It’ll be a great thing for us as a group. With the clubs in the past, it’s had a really good effect in bringing the group together.

“It’s been a trend that when clubs do that they tend to have a really good year.”

April 8, 2012 Posted by | AFL, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Term Physical Development of Geelong Football Club from 1998 to 2006

There is heaps of confusion now in AFL fitness practices. 2 main areas of confusion are how to interpret GPS Data and also how big and strong should players be. The GPS situation needs to steady a little. The evolution of the technoogy has meant more precise data with better GPS units and  more units. The rule changes have forced people to try and theorize about  major changes in fitness needs. The biggest impact in fitness and AFL games has been the rotations. I saw the trend quickly early in 2005 when other clubs rotated and pushed rotations up as quickly as I could. Is every player now doing a 17 beep test now? Or a 22 YO YO test? Or bench pressing 150kgs? Players are leaner and overall stronger and fitter but physiologies havent evolved as much as people think. More how people are used and the mix is the key.

The danger has been that people have reacted to the GPS data too quickly and said “more steady state running this year = more fitness needed.” But at the same time people have said “we have to play contact footy so need to smash bodies.” Very confusing. Some still fantazise about running teams off their legs. I reckon Bangsbo is pretty right. Good test  the YO YO . Add a repeat speed test, some power test and some basic weights data and then easy to profile players.


Now I was gone from geelong in April 2006 when they were 3rd i think on the ladder and after 2 years in the finals ( 04/05) with young players. From 2007 onwards the club didnt miss a beat with their preparation, development and management with a flag in 2007.. But the reality is that in 2004 and 2005 the players who underpinned their great era had heaps of experience in finals footy and a few wins and heartbreaks. All required in the journey.

When I got to Geelong in 1998, Scarlett,King for example were elready there. Kingy already had done a lot of hard work whilst Matty was very skinny but showed great promise with speed and decision making. Wojcinski was drafted in 98 . So really that year ( 1999)  in terms of specific physical preparation, it  was a bit insignificant because Gary Ayres team was ageing and I simply tried to keep them on the park. Interesting that my assistant in 1999 was Matt Hornsby who then went to Port Adelaide and now Richmond. Basically I did a lot of core stability work and low level unilateral weight training and lots of recovery. Alan McConnell did a lot of small sided games in pxmas 1998 and I also did lots of crosstraining. Simply the whole exercise in 1999 was keeping people playing and also not pushing the envelope in the gym and on the track. Mid 1999 saw the financial crisis at Geelong and I had almost no resources from then.

In 1999 many of the crew that formed the base of 2007 on were drafted. Ling,Corey,Chapman,Enright and so on. That year ( 1999 /2000) was a mix of development of very young players and maintaining an old base of players that got the club to one final versus Hawthorn. My assistant that year was Jarrod Egan. Jarrod is now at Port Adelaide but from 2003  worked at the Kangaroos, then Celtic in Scotland, the  Redbacks and Crows. He was a good track and field athlete and had worked under Vern McMillan at the VIS. Jarrod was great at showing technique both in the gym and on the track. We were very conservative with all the new draft boys and I also sent Jarrod to do his levels in Pilates. Thus we started slowly from the ground up in 99/2000. All the players were screened and the main focus was that any areas of imbalances or core stability/strength issues were addressed. Then all the young players were taught all the different running and agility drills plus technique development  in the gym was a critical part of the Program. By 2000 I was aware that the average age of a good team was 25 and nothing has changed. And all my experiences with players from Gary O’Donnell to all the Baby Bombers then the Lloyd/Lucas era had showed statistically that it would take time.Added to this was the fact that in the 90’s young players were a year or two behind the current draft kids. So 2000 was simply again keeping old players on the park and nurturing and not breaking young babies.

The next crop of players started coming in over the 2000/2001 drafts. All of a sudden by 2002 there was a lot of pressure to succeed. But reality was the club was almost broke and full of kids. I knew we were in for the long haul.  So preseasons 2000 to  2001 were a lot about building the base for the 1999 draftess and repeating the careful physical approach of preseason 1999 with newbies. One thing that I did with players in their second year was put running efficiency and speed developemnt at a premium. I also made the 2nd and 3rd year players do some hard work up the hills at Eastern Beach each pre season. Controlled and timed sessions such as 10*100m or 3 sets of 3 220m’s walk back. I did not rush their weights program in this phase. More important was a gradual build up of all athletic skills with strength and power and also a dedication to keeping players on the park so they could get lots of skill development & games played. The most important factor.

I repeated a camp I did with Essendon in 2000  and we went to the AIS for a week and exposed the players to elite training methods. Not Arizona but just as good.

So by the end of preeason 2002 all the young group had been privy to every conditioning technique and also exposed to some hard work. Not 5*1km stuff  or LSD  but repeated high intensity interval work and exposure to plyometrics and speed/change of direction and acceleration training. Stats in the gym were meaningless still at this stage. Technique was the aim and conditioning.

In preseason 2002 I employed Mark Spivey ( head lead ECB now) and Chris Dennis ( Paris Rugby Union Guru now). Also I got Tahi Reihana in from Rugby League and used John Minns in the gym. ( Ex OZ Shot Put record holder). My brother in law ( Gus Puopolo)  donated Power Racks and weights because still the club was not spending. I also bought second hand weights and scrounged bits and pieces. Mark Spivey added a dimension of Agility Training to the program and also introduced week in/week out sleds and contrast sprints training. Seeing Harley and Hunt ripping sleds and sprinting was great. We also did more bounding and started an aggressive Power Weights program that pre-season. Spives went to the Bulldogs the next year and Chris Dennis took over as my assistant. Chris had captained Vic in junior basketball ( I think!) and he also was great in the gym and on the track. John Minns stood at the Squat Rack every Saturday morning for 2 years and we carefully put 2 good years of hard yakke into their legs and bums. I used Tahi Reihana in the gym but moreso to transfer the weights work into contact work and change of direction. Tahi did a lot of unheraled work with many of the young players. I also used Mark Sayers ( ex All Blacks Biomechanist) to assist me with inclose agility work and screening players for running technique and contact work.

So in preason 2002 players like ling etc ( add Carazzo!) were doing high intensity repeat 150’s with a minutes break and looking ominous. Repeating speed and grunt was the focus n a base of stability and technique.  But there was always a commitement to making sure all the players had a great base to work off. Even players like Cameron Mooney had to spend a year getting problems like OP corrected after coming from the Kangas. And an Individual approach was taken as much as I could with the staffing I had.

So by preseason 2003 most of the players ( except the AblettG/Mackie) group were well on the way to be being powerful runners and inclose contact players. Gazza etc were again in a development situation due to age/low training age and simply not ready.I alsof the players after a few years of development. I tested every players MAX VO2 that year and had every player screened for core stability by Michael Dermansky. Thus I then knew the underlying physolgies. Enright and Ling were high 80 max vo2 adn even Ablett was above 60.Someone like Mooney was close to 50. Thus after years of testing speed and fitness plus wathing them play I had a better idea of what they could do on the park..

In the preseaon of 2003/2004 I changed training a lot. We prioritized Skills and tactical training and didn’t do specific running days as in the previous 2 preseaons. Running was done after Skills. One session was an aerobic bias , one was anaerobic and the Wednesday Run session was speed. But the push in the gym was still on and whilst being individualized, focussed on power and strength.I also employed Donna Rae Szalinzki to fine tune players with anaerboc needs on egros and had more funding and staff that year. Players were creeping up to 22/23/24 and starting to look like men. And play accordingly. Watching Ling. Steve Johnson and David Spriggs run that pre season was amazing. Unfortunately Johnson and Spriggs had accidents socially which meant their 2004 seasons were almost over. A pity because we went close in 2004. Awesome athletes.

The preseaon of 2005/2006 was a washout. A decision was made  to only train once daily ( not mine!)  and we crammed everything into one session and the review of 2006 demonstrated the inadequacies of that preparation. My hands were tied.

By that period and after a close call in the 2005 finals ( after a tough 2005) the players needed to be “topped” off. this happened in 2006/2007 pre-season and the finally the team got their reward.

So I started this bried history saying there is confusion in the fitness areas of AFL. Simply takes time to develop an athlete and AFL players have to run and jump and tackle repetitively. Pretty simple. They are not Sumo wrestlers or dustance runners.And if you rush development you can pay the price after. By 2004 or after 4 tears in teh system players were ready to win finals. Bot a flag.

Interesting that Decathlon in the 2000’s is really the trend that AFL fitness gurus whould examine. Add that to more  Sports Specific Training & fitness related work. What trend is that or more so, what has changed in Decathlon in the last 10 years  that leads me to that link?

Give me a buzz!

April 7, 2012 Posted by | AFL, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Strength and Conditioning for Fairy Freckles at Advanced Athletes Performance

Well looks like I have found a new market in Strength and Conditioning.  Training childrens party clowns to be able to have the fitness for  day in and day out parties. In the pic below we see Fairy Freckles jumping. Important part of the business. Jumping over fallen cakes and banana peels or simply doing a “TOYOTA COMMERCIAL”  type jump.

KIds are demanding and functional fitness is needed.  Bending/squatting/twisting etc.  Specific games require agility and change of direction. Big rooms mean you can cover up to 2km in intermittent walking/cutting and jumping moves.

Added to this are fairy games which are very anaerobic and simply dancing non stop which can be very aerobic. Strength is needed because kids have to be picked up.Then simply doing 4 parties a weekend requires hard nosed conditioning.

I trained Fairy Freckles at the Preston Park off St Georges Road.  Fairy worked hard and smart and for me I hope it leads to more work in this growth market. So all you Party Clowns out there. Come to Advanced Athletes Performance and enhance your Children Party specific fitness which in turns will mean more productive and energetic parties. And remember to look up Fairy Freckles for your next party!

Photo by Lilli Nonneman


April 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

VRDL All Stars Roller Derby do recovery at ADVANCED ATHLETES PERFORMANCE

The VRDL Roller Derby competition  was in action again at the Showgrounds last night. And the ALL STAR team is off to Arizona in a week to play an officially approved International Flat Track Series in Arizona. So the sport is growing rapidly and the word is it will be PRO in the US soon. The teams are training harder and smarter now and part of their preparation was a recovery session at the Preston centre for Advanced  Athletes Performance.

A few weeks ago I did a Heart Rate Analysis of Miss Chivas and certainly it is an imtermittent sport with high demands. Added to this is the load from cutting and body contact. Thus the girls have to recover properly. Like all sports, as performance improves, intensity improves and recovery becomes a critical factor in training.

So here are some pics of the girls doing their recovery session. Good luck to the team in the US.

April 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment