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Simplifying a Training Method To Improve Your AFL Performance

In this post we are going to go over a training phenomenon known as Post-Activation Potentiation or PAP that has been shown to increase:

  • Jumping

  • Sprinting

  • Change of Direction &

  • Kicking


While this is an advanced level training method that many professional athletes do, I am going break it down so you can apply it to your training and reap the rewards.


What is Post-Activation Potentiation & How Does it Help for AFL Performance?


PAP is a theory where more muscle force is exerted following a previous contraction. For example, you can jump higher following a heavy back squat because your body has just recruited more muscle fibres.


By increasing your ability to exert more force in the short-term you may be able to exert more force in the long-term, meaning you can jump higher, sprint faster, & kick farther.


Considerations for Using PAP for AFL Performance.

It's important that the two exercises being performed follow a similar movement pattern, such as the back squat and jump. But a back squat and sprint should not be paired together as the movements are different.


There is different research surrounding how heavy to go for the first movement. With some studies suggesting 60-90% of your 1 Rep Max (1RM) produces the best effects for experienced athletes (Post-Activation Potentiation in Strength Training: A Systematic Review of the Scientific Literature). However, lighter loads can be used for beginner to intermediate athletes to introduce them to this method (as show in the video below).


The rest period between the two movements will vary depending on the load lifted and the experience of the athlete. Longer rest periods of 7-8 minutes are better for experienced athletes lifting heavier loads (85-90% 1RM) to avoid the effects of fatigue. However, resting until you "feel good" can be fine, which may be 1-8 minutes for lighter loads.


Examples & Demonstrations of PAP to increase Your Performance


Check out the video below for exercise demonstrations and more insights into this training method:




Conclusion


There is not a 1-size fits all approach with the PAP method and that's why it is up to High Performance & Strength Coaches like me to cater to the individual.


Keeping these key points in mind you can begin to apply this method into your training:

  1. Choose a load for the first movement that fits your experience level (light for beginners, heavier for experienced).

  2. Rest for up to 8 minutes if needed to avoid the effects of fatigue.

  3. Ensure the second movement replicates the first.


If you would like to improve your performance for Punting or AFL Kicking then check out my elite-level resources with 4.9 star ratings from local to elite athletes like you!


Or if you are 18+ and want my guidance then apply here for elite-level coaching




 

The Kicking Consultant aka Josh Growden is a High Performance Manager & expert kicking coach, making elite-level coaching accessible and affordable to all - not just the professionals. He holds a Masters degree in High Performance Sport from the University of Technology Sydney, and a Bachelors degree in Sports Science from Louisiana State University. He played for the GWS Giants when they first entered the AFL and then became a punter for American Football where he played in front of 100,000 people weekly! When he is not making content or coaching, you can find him travelling, doing Braziliian Jui-Jitsu or practicing Spanish.


References

Garbisu-Hualde A, Santos-Concejero J. Post-Activation Potentiation in Strength Training: A Systematic Review of the Scientific Literature. J Hum Kinet. 2021 Mar 31;78:141-150. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2021-0034. PMID: 34025872; PMCID: PMC8120977.

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