loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness


Personal Details

Married to Pamela
Two children: Michael  who has recently completed a PhD in Computational Statistics and Lauren , who represented Australia in volleyball for 100 plus games and now is Senior Coach of NUC Volleyball Pro team in Switzerland.
I can speak two languages: English and Italian


Victoria University Graduate Diploma in Sports Science 1993

ESSA Sports Scientist, ESSA High Performance Manager, ESSA Exercise Physiologist

ASCA Strength and Conditioning Level 2


Varied junior titles in Athletics from 1967 onwards. Represented schools in many sports such as sprinting, cross country , football and the throws.
Australian Hammer Throw Champion 1980
Victorian Shot Put Champion, 1977
Competed overseas at club and international level in athletics at various times for Atletica Livorno and Padova (Finalist in Italian Championships in 1978)
Attended AIS in 1981 for 12 months


Played East Brunswick Marist Brothers and we beat Parade College in 1973! Played back pocket in Toscano Social Club with Lorenzo Serafini umpiring in 1975. Marcellin fitness adviser 1981,Western Bulldogs 2006-2007, Geelong 1999-2006, Essendon 1995-1998,Collingwood, 1994,Essendon, 1987-1993, VCFL fitness adviser 2006 and 2007.

Track and Field

I started track and field in 1967 and won many junior titles. After training with various coaches in the mid 70’s ( Franz Stampfl/Gus Puopolo/Ron Carlton/Mike Edwards ) I travelled to Europe in 1978 to learn and improve. I was lucky to train in environments where many of the people who fashioned modern sports training were active. In Italy I trained with many of the best coaches in the world from Russia and Germany and stayed for months in training camps with national squads. I also travelled to the Eastern Bloc and was privy to many so called secrets.

Between 1983-1986, coaching sprinters and jumpers to national junior titles and also to national and state level, including George Andrea 10.3s 100m. Between 1977 and 1990, co-coached with my father a large squad of junior track and field athletes and led them to national and state titles. This group included discus thrower Paul Nandapi, with six Australian titles and two Commonwealth medals. I wrote strength and conditioning programmes and rehabilitation programmes for many elite runners and jumpers in this block. Whilst at Essendon FC I assisted athletes such as Adam Basil ( 100m sprinter) and Simon Mollica ( Triple Jump) with conditioning programmes and always fostered many track and field athletes in the club gym. I had fun in my early 40’s running track for 2 years and had the luck to train with the famous Barney Oak and Phil Chiodo at Royal Park who helped me run 11.6 a few times, which was a lot of fun. Employment at Collingwood Football Club stopped a stunning career in sprinter. HA!

Other key sports and associations:


From the late 1980’s to 1994, assisted Michael Baroch with the physical preparation of all his squads, and other tennis players he directed to me. I worked in various clubs over that period assisting groups and individuals with tennis specific training. In 2006 I worked with Maria Mirkovic ( Junior OZ tennis) developing her speed and power and her rankings fell almost 300 in that time resulting in being the no 1 ranked junior in OZ in Jan 07. She then went into the Tennis Australia Program after the Australian Open. I also assisted Emily Fanning from New Zealand in tennis with her fitness and she was in top 50 Junior ITF. After that block I was fortunate to have extensive experience with other tennis players on the ATP/ITF/WTA circuit such as Dayne Kelly and Alison Bai and many others.

Basketball: Assisted Brendan Joyce with his S&C before his OZ debut and other Westside basketballers.

Varied Sports: Assisted many players and athletes from many sports with their conditioning programmes -Boxers/Wrestlers/Water Skiers/Swimmers and so on.

Weight Lifting and Power Lifting: I competed successfully in weightlifting with best lifts of 115kgs in the snatch and 152.5 in the clean and jerk. At the St. Albans Leisure centre and Fawkner Council facility when I was a Gym Manager I trained many good young lifters.

Bodybuilding: I entered 2 bodybuilding competitions in the late 80’s for the experience. My arms were too small and I cramped on stage. The great Lee Haney was backstage at one contest.

Netball: Was a consultant with North East Blazes Championship team and also Ariels in the Victorian Championship League. I have done a consultancy for Netball Victoria on Development. I have assisted many elite players at National level with programs.

Soccer: Fitness Cordinator with Green Gully Soccer Club. August 2006-2007. Also did some work in the NSL with the Knights in 2002 and assisted many individual players over the years some making international status. Also working closely with the Brunswick Zebras team and their junior Development. I am involved with Ivan Jolic’s Soccer Academy in Melbourne. After 2010 I worked extensively with many NPL players in Melbourne and many teams with sports science delivery, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and speed. I also provided Melbourne City in the A League with a consultancy with GPS and educating and mentoring staff.

Rugby Union: I liaised closely with the ACT Brumbies and Eddie Jones in the late 90’s and spent considerable time with the their coaching staff analyzing their methods and also allowing them to study AFL. In 2002 I was considered for the Wallabies position in the interview process but whilst unsuccessful I was able to observe training at Coffs Harbour and other sessions over a period of years. Also working with Dr Mark Sayers in the AFL meant I learnt a lot about the game given his links with rugby union and sports science. These associations gave me a valuable insight into the game.


I have assisted my daughter Lauren with strength and conditioning advice and she has represented Australia as a setter. Also I created “home” programs for the junior OZ squad. Recently I did a screening program for the Uni Blues and helped develop some strength and conditioning programs for them. I was a consultant for the Australian Womens Volleybal Program and I have fitness tested all their junior programs.


Shanghai Institute of Sport: 2019- Providing strength and conditioning for sports such as Handball, Baseball, Softball and Cycling. Also providing education and mentoring.

Coach and Athlete Development Consultant: 2017-2018 with the Northern Territory Institute of Sport in Darwin.

Advanced Athletes Performance: 2011-2107– Exercise Physiologist at a High Performance Centre in Preston Melbourne. An array of elite and developmental athletes used my services during this period. I provided sports science, GPS, testing, rehabilitation and group club sessions.

Sessional Lecturing-Victoria University 2012-2016 Sports Coaching Undergrad. course

Soccer-Assisting various groups, clubs and individuals  with testing and fitness,

Tennis-Since December 2009 I have assisted Chris Guccione and Dayne Kelly with their fitness and rehabilitation programs for tennis. Assisting players from MITS ( Michael Baroch) and also VIDA ( Vince Datoli) witht heir fitness needs. Also assisting players from overseas.

Netball-Fitness consultant to North East Blazes Netball Team ( Nov 2008-) and also fitness testing for Ariels in Chanpionship

Volleyball-Conducted pre season for HeidlebergVolleyball Club mens and womens teams in 2009. Advanced Athletes Performance is provider of Strength and Conditioning for Volleyball Victoria.

Track and Field Coaching-July 07 Lauriston College ( jumps & throws) and also other athletes.

Exercise Physiologist July 06 to Dec 08- MD Health ( Pilates based exercise and rehabilitation programming).

Moreland Council Feb 07– Gym Consultant

Brunswick Zebras Soccer Club Feb 07– Fitness consutlant to the junior programs specializing in long term development. Fitness testing and all aspects of soccer fitness.

Fitness Adviser Tennis; Marija Mirkovic who won National Junior Title in 2008  and Emily Fanning ( 13yo NZ player).

Strength and Conditioning Consultant: Australian Womens Volleyball Program July 07- Fitness tested junior camp in Bendigo with speed and power tests and core screening and provided a report. Developing a strategy to get strength and conditioning programs to all levels of the elite program from junior to International. Ongoing strength and conditioning consultancy.

Northern Knights TAC 2007: Providing Speed and Agility sessions to their development group.

Fit2b : June 2006– Lecturing in their Certificate 3 and 4 Fitness courses. I have done a number of courses for them since 2006.

Green Gully Soccer Club, Aug 2006-Sept 2007 I was responsible for all fitness and rehabilitation processes at the club. This involved planning the pre-season training and also a camp to the AIS in Feb 07. Inseason I worked on maintaining their fitness, speed and change of direction and covered all recovery and rehabilitation needs. They made the finals both years but moreso it gave me a valuable insight into the world of soccer in Australia.

Western Bulldogs: Consultant for Western Bulldogs, July 2006-Sept 2007
Consultancy on their 5 ACL injuries in 2006 and also reports on their speed and strength programs. This involved analyzing current research on ACL problems and then assessing training methods and protocols in the past. I also supervised their speed sessions in pre-season. I was also on the Victoria University/Western Bulldogs Sports Science Committee.

Consultant for MD Health Physiotherapy, May 2006- Main focus here was developing programmes to enhance male participation in a Pilates based clinic. Whilst working at MD Health I also learnt a lot about the Pilates Industry and the use of ultra sound for core stability assessments.

Consultant for Health Club 101, St Albans, May 2006- Main focus was to develop a computer based system for programming.

Fitness Coordinator for VCFL Victorian Country Football Team, May 2006–July 2008 The team won the National Championships in 2006 and in 2007 had a close victory over the VAFA. A key element in winning the championships in 2006 was strict adherence to fluid intake and heat prevention strategies given the final was played on a hot day. I have assisted the VCFL over 3 years and again at Shepparton for the National Titles.

Fitness Coordinator at Geelong Football Club, 1998- April 2006

I was employed by Gary Ayres in 1998 with a brief to reduce soft tissue injury which I did. We just missed the finals. With an ageing team in 2000 we made the finals. Then the club took the course of recruiting a whole new squad over a few years and this required a long term conditioning strategy . I analyzed the developmental stages for the clubs young players relative to elite sport needs and developmental dogma and used my experience and expertise to enhance their training for the future. I presented on the subject of “Optimal Age for Elite Sports Performance” at the AFL Grand FInal Symposium in 2002. Geelong won the VFL Grand Final in 2002 and just missed the finals in 2003. Their development continued with Geelong making the NAB Cup final in 2004, Preliminary Finals in 2004 and the second Semi-Final in 2005. Geelong won the NAB cup in 2006 . Thus by 2006 they had played 5 finals and 2 NAB Cup finals and some players had 6 to 7 pre-seasons under their belt. During my time at the club, Geelong had a very low “preventable injury rate.” with hamstring rates being below half the rate in the AFL. After leaving Geelong in April 2006 for the rest of 2006 I worked with the Western Bulldogs doing an ACL injury review and also with the VCFL who won the country championships. I was not involved with the Geelong FC from April 2006.

Key Achievements

1998-99: Narrowly missed finals. Significantly lowered soft tissue injury at the club and managed an ageing list with an individualized approach and emphasis on recovery. Introduced a range of procedures from screening to core stability and proprioception programs. Also developed load monitoring programmes.
1999/2000: Made finals and lost to Hawthorn in RD 1 finals. Encouraged and supported the recruitment of Mark Thompson at Geelong given I highly regarded his skills and ability with technology and sports science and modern coaching principles after working with him at Essendon from 1996 to 1998 . Again had to manage an ageing list whilst starting the development of players such as Corey / Ling / Enright / Chapman / Wojicnski etc. Organised an elite athlete camp at the AIS given the changeover of coaches and the new players. This AIS camp exposed players to elite athlete training methods and recovery procedures which was my aim. When I arrived at Geelong in 98 there was only one computer in the football department. Jenny Chatt and I spent many hours developing ACCESS databases to monitor training and I encouraged the use of IT ( and technology) given its use was pivotal in my work.
2000/2001: More recruits so the major achievement was teaching and developing all the new young players. Strict attention to their training age and specific needs characterized this process. Developed a new massage system at the club with Jeff Oxley which was comprehensive and underpinned future growth and employed the best in Geelong. Trained and developed staff so that there was a structure in conditioning. Created liaisons with groups such as the Geelong Aquatic Centre and the Recreation Gym to underpin a comprehensive conditioning programme. Used Mark Sayers ongoing every preseason to screen the players for biomechanics. Thus players were screened every year by a biomechanist which gave us valuable information for their development. Employed Tahi Reihana who assisted the development of players tackling and evasive skills over the next few years.
2001-2002: Started to see some results from recruiting with the VFL flag. Maintained a development stance on the program given the different age groups. Players such as Spriggs were ready ASAP due to their backgrounds whilst others like Corey would need years of development . Trained Jarrod Egan in Pilates at Dance Medicine Australia and together we made sure that all the young players had developed good core strength and stability before loading them. With the help of Mandy Denham in marketing developed a 50m 2 lane running track in the Brownlow stand. Initiated load monitoring systems using RPE data and consulted with Aaron Coutts. Operated Sports Science Programs on a shoestring given lack of budgets. With screening and specific work developed individualized programs.
2002-2003: Narrowly missed making the finals and had a very low injury rate. Employed Donna Rae Szalinski ( Cycle Edge) to underpin cross training/cycling procedures using scientific methods and she uses the same methods that Neil Craig got so many plaudits for later. Had all the players fitness tested for MAX VO 2 with Melissa Arkinstall (ERA) and all players screened by ultrasound ( Michael Dermansky MD Health) to develop a database for core control. Emphasis shifted to performance enhancement in this phase and more power and load was added to program. Coaching staff wanted a huge focus on weights given the young group ( and Brisbanes dominance) and this was prioritized slightly over running to fast track their physical development. Very few player ran over 3 secs for the 20m. The coaches wanted a strong, aggressive inclose team and this was delivered. After this block the list had a solid base of weight training and power training to underpin future performance enhancements.
2003-2004: NAB Cup Grand Final. Preliminary Final loss to Brisbane. Used intermittent running programmes developed from soccer specific training. Thus given the players improved physical development the shift was to high level anaerobic intermittent training to ensure results. Training philosophy was changed to total emphasis on performance enhancement and players were encouraged to take supplements especially inseason. GPS Units were purchased and we started monitoring training and collating this with times and RPE data.
2004-2005: Beat Melbourne in first final and then narrow Semi Final Loss to Sydney. Had to run prexmas in a work site given delays in the development of facilities. This created a huge workload and we achieved excellent results. Developed new staff structures where more staff were present with specific abilites on training sessions. Large unavoidable injury rate midyear and increase in preventable injuries ( but still average AFL) meant Chris Dennis and I had to do a massive program to get players back on the field by the end of the year. The increase in injuries was due in part to a shift to Friday games in the first half of the year and 3 sets of Sun to Sat to Fri schedules. Chris Dennis and I were responsible for all the hands on rehabilitation and fitness and we instituted programs midyear and implemented them with hard work that had players leaner and stronger and more powerful entering the finals in a competitive mode. Developed a system to increase and monitor rotations.
2006– NAB Cup Grand Final win in Adelaide and 2 big wins in RD 1 and 2 against Brisbane and Kangaroos at Skilled Stadium and loss to Hawthorn.

Fitness Coordinator at Essendon Football Club, 1995-1998
EFC contested the finals in 1995/96 and 1998. In 1995 the team lost to Richmond in the semi and then in 1996 to Sydney in the Preliminary Final. In 1997 we revamped our conditioning/rehab/prehab and administration, and this bore fruit in 1998 with a narrow loss in the finals and future successes. A critical development at Essendon was organizing a coaching camp at the AIS in 1997 after the season. The whole coaching, medical and management staff spent a week at the AIS on a fact finding tour and this was pivotal in revamping procedures at the club. Essendon also had an elite training camp in late 1997 at the AIS which I organized and was the first of its kind in the AFL and served as a prototype for the AFL. The team had a poor year in 1997 but recovered in 1998 and contested the finals.

1994-1995: Finals with a loss to Richmond in semi final. Huge emphasis on rehabiltation and recovery this preseason due to the injury rate and operations after the 94 season. Started the long term development programs of Lloyd, Lucas, Caracella, Blumfield with continued development of Hird and many others.
1995-96: Finals with a close loss to Sydney in Sydney in Preliminary when Locket kicked a point. Shifted emphasis to the running track and speed and interval work and also increased power work in the gym. Recruits such as the Johnsons commenced their development.
1996-97: Heavily involved in refit of the training facilities at Windy Hill. Transition which meant that at the end of 97 I organised a trip to the AIS for the coaching and administration with the aim being to create an elite training environment. Employed staff such as Paul Ford, Adam Larcom and Andrew Russell who all developed into key AFL S&C people.
1997-98: Organised an elite training camp at the AIS and also at Thredbo to assist players developing an elite mentality and also exposing the club and coaches to elite training methods. I developed an elite athlete program over preseason where players had, for example a ‘Herb Elliott” day at Portsea , so as to learn what elite sport is all about. The club played an elimination final in 1998 but changes to massage and physiotherapy and development of IT facilities and databases underpinned future improvements. We shifted to training twice a day and also paid strict attention to core strength, stability and proprioception circuits.

Fitness Coordinator at Collingwood Football Club, 1993-1994
By the finals we had a full list, and lost to WCE in Perth in a final. With the help of Tim O’Shaugnessy ( elite distance running coach) we had a comprehensive pre season and focused on all elements of preparation. The club was keen to do well in the pre season cup and we made the semis and then had an excellent start to the season. We were one of the first full time staff sructures in the AFL and this was a challenge. Strict attention to planning and loads in the last 6 weeks saw the club nearly sneak past West Coast Eagles in Perth who went on to win the Grand Final. I was lucky to work with Leigh Matthews and players like Gavin Brown and Nathan Buckley and Saverio Rocca who had been coached by my father in athletics.

Achievements: Semi Final in Pre-Season Cup. Made finals in Perth where we lost to West Coast Eagles. As above my main achievement was in convincing coaching staff to streamline the loads late in the year which meant we nealry won the final in Perth.

Strength and Conditioning at Essendon Football Club, 1987-1993
I introduced power weights and plyometrics in 1987-90. In 1990, EFC made it to the Grand Final. EFC also made the finals in 1991, and 1992 saw the end of an era for many players. In 1991 I was involved in the very quick development of players strength and power levels—such as Hird and Mercuri—and help lay the ground work for the GrandFinal in 1993. In terms of conditioning this involved a comprehensive power training and Olympic Weights programme that fast tracked physical development. Players regularly power cleaned over 100kgs and did a lot of fast running and jumping as well as varied running programmes under the guidance of Danny Corcoran and Oscar Kenda. The focus was more on Athletic Development. In this period I did most of the hands on rehabilitation and because of this I developed many contacts in Australia in the area of sports medicine.


1987: Didn’t get the sack at the end of the year. Did an inseason strength program with John Barnes hat saw him play late in the season.
1988: Started comprehensive circuit training. Redeveloped the gymnasium with sponsorship deal. Worked closely with Ann Quinn in developing fitness testing protocols. Introduced plyometrics and periodization to the coaching staff. Assisted the development of players such as Pual Hamilton and Gary O’Donnell.
1989: Team played in finals.
1990: Team won the pre-season flag and made the Grand Final. Started using Lotus programs to develop individualized programs for conditioning. Went to the AIS on a fact finding tour and met Ron Smith from soccer. He was heavily into decision making with varied game scenarios and I took this back to Kevin Sheedy. In the pre-season of 1990 ( Jan.Feb) we played a lot more varied practice matches and then dominated the competition until losing the Grand Final. I co-ordinated a unique circuit trainign program in pre-season that involved a lot of plyometrics.
1991: Team made the elimination final. Started comprehensive power and strength development of all the players that would be involved in the 93 flag.With the support of the coaches we embarked on a base strength program for all the players.
1992: Team won the VFL Grand Final. Continued comprehensive power and strength development of all the players.
1993: Team won the Grand Final. With Danny Corcoran we developed a periodised plan over preseason that had players working hard on power and speed and specific running needs for football. I co-ordinated a comprehensive power and speed program in pre-season and in-season.

Gym Manager, Broadmeadows and Keilor Council, 1983-1993
I was actively involved in all areas of administration at Council level. This taught me a lot about health and fitness and also I continued my association with many sportspeople and teams in these environments. I was actively involved in major redevelopments and union issues at both councils and also employed and developed many staff members.

Other relevant employment

Physical Education teacher, Preston Marist Brother, 1977/78

Storeman Brunettis April 2006 to July 2006 !


  1. Hi Loris, good to hear you are well and making it work since those early days at melbourne uni.. Cheers Jex

    Comment by Dr Peter Martin (Jex) | August 31, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi Peter

    Thanks for the message
    Look forward to catching up.

    Comment by Loris Bertolacci | August 31, 2007 | Reply

  3. Loris,

    Comment by Paul Scorpo | September 17, 2007 | Reply

  4. Loris,
    I met you a long time ago through Jarrod Egan whilst he was working for GFC under yourself. I used to own the pasta restaurant called Lipari. Anyhow, over the years, I have lost touch with Jarrod since he left North Melbourne and was wondering if you had an email contact for him in his new role? And also if you have his mobile number. I am unsure as to where he is working but i do know that he is overseas. It would be great if you could help me with these details as I would really love to get in touch with Jarrod again. I have tried every means of trying to find him…. hopefully you can shed some light on his whereabouts for me. Thanks for your time Loris. Hope to hear back from you. Take care.

    Comment by Paul Scorpo | September 17, 2007 | Reply

  5. Jarrod was with Celtic for a little while and form what I know is in england working with the Tennis Association in their sports science area.

    I will look for his number but certainly searching through the tennis association might be the go.

    Comment by Loris Bertolacci | September 17, 2007 | Reply

  6. Hi Loris,

    I have been working in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years after studying sports science at RMIT, bundoora. Most of my jobs have been in Asia creating fitness programs for pro athletes in Baseball, Basketball and soccer, as well as health programs for diplomats. To get straight to the point, my passion is AFL football and i would like to move back to Australia. I know i could be benificial to any sporting team at the pro level, but need some guidance on how to get my foot in the door. After reading about your success is this area i would really appreciate any recommendations you might have.



    Comment by Brett Taylor | October 25, 2007 | Reply

  7. Hi Loris

    Great cv, being following your prosgression of the past couple of years. Your an excellent ambassador for the health and fitness industy.

    Take Care

    Phillip Chiodo

    Comment by Phillip Chiodo | January 4, 2008 | Reply

  8. We were looking for Bertolacci’s and found you. We too are Bertolacci’s in Canada, interested in knowing more about you.

    Comment by paul | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  9. Good Day Loris,

    How are you ? good to see such an informative and analytical blog.

    More power to you mate!

    Rodney Wenceslao B.Sc. PT, Dip Sport

    Comment by Rodney Wenceslao | June 3, 2009 | Reply

  10. Hi Loris,

    we met long time ago (in the seventies !!) in Italy during a trip with your parents close to Milano, and some years after in France. I was a child at that time. But I still remember… I was looking for members of the family and found your site. It would be very nice to keep in touch and take some news from the family abroad.
    Hope to read you soon ! Cheers,

    Comment by Thierry | August 27, 2009 | Reply

  11. […] he is…If you want to know more about him and his experiences, check out his blog. This is his CV and here is the rest of his blog: Loris […]

    Pingback by Hamstring Exercises From A Guru | laurensfitness.com | April 3, 2010 | Reply

  12. Привет!

    Comment by coolfriend | September 11, 2010 | Reply

  13. There’s definately a great deal to learn about this topic. I love all the points you have made.

    Comment by chanteksihat.com/ | April 17, 2013 | Reply

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