Weights and training for ultimate

Something from camdisc:

Kia ora,

I was asked by JT to supply a few thoughts on lifting heavy weights. I’m gonna try (and fail… sigh) and keep this short and sweet, but there will be (a load of) links to the resources I’ve used at the end, so go ahead and figure out what works for you.

0. Why on earth lift weights? (Or do any other fitness, for that matter?)

The answers include the obvious ones: you get faster, stronger, jump higher, more jacked+tanned, more (insert appropriate gender)s. But it also helps prevent injury, because you’re making the muscles you use for ulti stronger; with the right program, you’ll train all those little stabiliser/core muscles that will help you not turn an ankle, for example.

1. Condition – strength – power.

The generally agreed progression of a training program is as follows: (i) condition – low weight, high reps – get your body used to the exercise you’re doing (weights/sprints/plyos/WHATEVER), so when you do it with heavy weights/plant and run at full speed for half an hour/explosively jump for 5 minutes, you don’t get injured from doing it wrong. (ii) strength – decrease reps, increase weight – build muscle. Obvs. (iii) power – change to explosive exercises – make all that strength you’ve built up into the white, twitch-muscle that you need for ulti.

2. Form is ultra important, so do your homework

This is especially true of weights, but applies to any potentially injurious exercises. If you’re trying to squat your bodyweight and your form is bad, you’re gonna do damage – for example, if you round your back, you’re in a world of hurt. The same applies to plyos where you may be trying to explosively jump and land on an ankle – if you screw that one up, you’re in a world of hurt. So ‘condition’ – get your body used to what you’re doing.

3. Have a plan

Not just for every workout, but for the season. If you’re training for students you don’t need to be working on power now, given we don’t play regionals for another 4 months; you want to be at the peak of your power when we’re hitting that tournament period (and power is one of those things that is hard to maintain for months on end). Similarly, knowing what you’re doing every time you hit the gym/track/whatever means you don’t overtrain or lift the wrong weight (it hurts, trust me) or similar.

4. Recovery

Your recovery time is as important as your workouts. For example, I’ve read that it takes 3 minutes for the creatine, etc. that act as energy stores for your muscle to replenish after a single sprint. So why run 50m sprint intervals every 1’10”? (It’s to get your muscles used to producing power while tired. But anyway.) It’s the same with your training programme in general: after a heavy weight or plyo session, you want to give your body time to recover before next training – at least a day off between really heavy sessions. It’ll make your next session more effective and you’ll get stronger quicker.

And now the links:

The Huddle Feature – Training for Ultimate – general training thoughts, really useful, tis a shame USAU’s not bothered putting any new issues out for a while.

Mackey’s Thoughts – Mackey’s written a lot on fitness in general, but he’s especially good on weight training for ulti (e.g. this). Plus he played for a team called Ballometrics.

Ultitraining – seemingly dead, but very thorough and technical overview of the ideas behind training. Gives off slightly weird vibes of “gym head”.

Melissa’s UF – her gig is selling ulti training programmes, but the site’s an excellent resource in terms of workout ideas and seeing how someone structures their own training.

Skyd – definitely the most active ulti site on the net. There’s a series called “ask the experts” which has a lot of fitness-related stuff.

PoNY Fitness – wanna see how a SERIOUS team trains? This is kinda terrifying. They made Robo feel like less of a man. And if you know anything about Robo, you should realise just how hardcore these people are.

Hope that helps – if you’ve got any questions feel free.


– Mike

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2 Responses to Weights and training for ultimate

  1. Pingback: Student Captains’ Michaelmas Roundup. | Strange Blue.

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