Ashley Jones started training in 1979 and has coached athletes and general population alike. Forty-four years later, he shares some of his most poignant takeaways.
“Train movements, not muscles.” This philosophy isn’t completely wrong, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Learn how to build a program that does both.
Anyone, regardless of experience, should be able to program workouts for themselves. Once you understand your goals, use these easy tips to build a program that delivers results.
Building periodized programs is a big investment. It requires time, patience, and thought.
The three-day-a-week full body program is the most productive in team sports preparation. Here’s what we’re doing for 2023!
It’s up to us as coaches to stay relevant and be open to changing methods to meet the demands of the changing generations.
Here’s the blueprint that’s simple, yet most don’t follow. It’s hard but it’ll yield great results for performance, strength, and size.
I like to program from a metabolic, strength, or power focus. The three-day-a-week program allows more stimulation for each major area.
Here’s the simple plan with a four-day-a-week training split of upper and lower body. Each session has four exercises that’ll take an hour to complete.
Here are my ideas for a rotating weekly plan that I’ve been trialing this month with my exact exercises and training loads. I’m sore!
Bigger players often suffer from a lack of condition—they need size to execute their skill set yet run the risk of overuse-related injuries.
I like using the bell-shaped curve when considering where a player fits into a type of training session: reviving, surviving, or thriving.
The key to the program is to never accommodate to movements and exercises. Change some aspects of your training every time you train.
What do you do when you wake up one morning and realize that your best years are behind you? Retirement is a double-edged sword.
What is the eternal triangle shape of sports weight training? Considering speed, strength, and size, is it a scalene, isosceles, or equilateral?
For whatever reason, there’s a constant need to reframe what we do by a change in job title. Our job description has yet to change.
Here’s a Major League Rugby (MLR) perspective on how to set up programming after the last game of the season.
As strength and conditioning coaches, before you buy the gym equipment and create an exercise selection chart, answer these questions.
Unless you’re here to make friends, your workout should last no longer than sixty minutes. Strategize for strength and size gains!
There are six pillars of excellence that every player and staff member should live by. It’ll breed character, culture, and success.
This article presents a few of my favorite programming variations to achieve the desired outcome this off-season.
To expand upon the exercise selection chart discussion from last month, these training options form the basis of my decision-making and conversations with players as to what they need to focus on over the next four to six weeks in their gym sessions.
Poliquin, Thibadeau, and Schoenfeld, among many other writers and researchers, have popularized this method—performing multiple training sessions within a day. Here’s how I set this up for my players within a three-day split program.
Let me walk you through a new weight room and share my processes for creating an exercise selection chart to best meet the needs of your athletes.
Westside Barbell, 5/3/1, 5thSet, and Juggernaut Training Systems all play a role in the creation of this program. Let me know how you advance using it.
In my fifties, I started to experience knee pain during and after Olympic lifts, squats, and deadlifts. After a career full of lifting and contact sports, my options were anti-inflammatory medication and gels, surgery, braces, ABI, and PRP. Here’s what helped me.
This is the first-week break-in program that I will put in place. I will also keep some players on this three-day-a-week programming based on needs-based discussions with the playing group upon their return and what other work-ons they have from a physical and skills perspective.
Why do strength coaches persist in using the traditional bar now that there are many excellent alternative bars available?
The program within is called One Big, One Small—there is one major movement, and a secondary movement supports this major movement. It can be used by anyone irrespective of sport or training goal to improve performance or get bigger and stronger.
Here are several programs that were used during our last rugby season. Take special notice of the variety that you can achieve but also the range and breadth of programming in a team sport.
I believe that the individualization of programming in team sports is the real holy grail of strength and conditioning. The application of the 3×3 programming matrix will ensure that each player will have the best opportunity to improve in the areas of dire need.
I write this after fielding many questions during this COVID-19 lockdown period from young strength and conditioning coaches who have either lost their jobs or are at a crossroads of confidence. In some 30 years, I’ve had 17 strength and conditioning jobs…
As most of us come out of COVID-19 lockdown and back into the gym, here’s a program that can be used as a three- or a six-day-a-week program with emphasis on simplicity and variability.
Where do all of the football players go when they are unable to reach their playing goals in college or the National Football League?
Here’s the standard week-long plan with a seven-day turnaround between games, optimizing a balance between recovery both physiologically and psychologically.
In designing programs for my players, I discuss with the player, the medical staff, and the coaching staff the areas they see as major ones to work on. All 10 programs are based on the emphasis given to each of the three key areas of weight room programming: neural, mechanical, and metabolic.
It is the one chance each year that sports practices do not take priority or leave players fatigued that they cannot give 100 percent to the physical development program.
Running sports are tangential in nature, so in order to optimize transfer from the weight room to the field, both vertical and horizontal movements need to be considered. To this end, the program I am going to outline will look at elements of training to ensure all bases are covered.
A third-year sports coaching strength and conditioning major told me he had learned more about exercise technique in two 10-minute sessions under my instruction than he had over the entirety of his degree to that point. How can we ensure these students are getting the best education?
I firmly believe you have to start at the simplest movement that someone can master correctly, and then, over time, progress from that simple movement to the more complex movements. The process is one of progressive skill acquisition.
I am seeing that the specific injuries that are inherent in rugby need a modified program that’s not using traditional training equipment to get results, so here are 7 of my non-traditional tools of the trade.
I am currently working as a consultant for a pro rugby team, and I was asked about the type of player I would require moving into a pro team. Fair warning: What I wrote here may be considered heretical in the strength and conditioning world…
In January 2017, Marc Keys and I embarked upon a labor of love to develop a questionnaire investigating what the various groups of people who make up the rugby industry think are the key elements of the physical preparation of the rugby player. Here are the results.
A few years ago, I attempted to bring 4 strength sports together into a training plan for rugby. This time, I want to delve deeper into the framework that makes up the programming of these sports and how we can program them into a usable athletic development plan.
For Ashley Jones, being at the S5 Compound is like being a kid in a candy store, meaning he needs some moderation. Rather than use all of the equipment, Ashley shows off his top-5 pieces of equipment that should be in every strength and conditioning program for rugby.
After resigning from my last position, I thought it was an opportune time to reflect on the situation and hopefully, a time for me to assist you in the process of finding your next gig. Best of luck in your job hunt!
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of results come from 20% of your time. Ocham’s Razor states the simplest solution tends to be the best one. Simplicity is the missing ingredient in most training programs. Hence why I return to the famous paradigm of the pull-push-squat.
I believe the most important role of a strength and conditioning coach is to create programs that minimize the risk of injury. Armed with knowledge from a study on rugby injuries, I wrote a program that focuses on strengthening injury-prone areas. Here’s what I came up with.
I started my career as a strength and conditioning coach nearly 40 years ago. Throughout those 40 or so years, I picked up and learned a lot from other people. I tried to name as many of these people and their ideas as possible, so here it is, in an easy-to-read ABCs format.
The people have spoken, and I have answered. After receiving plenty of emails and comments about my last article, I decided to create and share a complete program based on The Simplicity Programming Project.
By simplicity, I am referring to a minimalist approach to the programming of weight training by getting a maximum effect for the fewest number of exercises by utilizing a full body program performed three days a week. I want to challenge you all to give this a try for a period of no less than six weeks.
To paraphrase Ronnie Coleman, “Everybody wanna be strong but nobody wanna lift heavy weights.” Ain’t that the truth. News flash: This is what you need.
Since I am a strength and conditioning coach, I placed Hard Work first on the list, but in reality, they should all be given equal ranking.
I firmly believe you have to start at the simplest movement that you can master correctly and then over time progress from the simple to the more complex movements. Download my basic outline with notes included here.
The program I am currently running features the CARE program in a new format that I feel better allows the player to get a workout in without going too deep in the RPE continuum, especially if he or she is coming from a unit or a team session.
What I outline in this article is the third generation of this style of programming, taken through the furnace of professional rugby and modified accordingly to fit specific needs of the playing group I now work with.
Doing an extraordinary job in your present position does not guarantee you immunity to the inevitable changes that take place with funding cuts, administration changes, or coaches moving on. Are you prepared to find a new position?
Neck training can be done with isometric or range of motion exercises, performed self-administered, working with a partner, or with equipment. I’ve recently begun to trial a new device to take this training even further.
When I interview someone and consider letting them join my team, these are the things I consider.