Whether it you refer to it as Soccer, Football, Futebol, Fútbol, Fußball, Voetbal, Calcio or in any other language, ‘the Renegade’ protocols are a cornerstone in training circles of the Beautiful Game across the world. Though my work is seen from junior development programs to the highest levels in Europe and South America, general conditioning approaches in the sport are lagging far behind skill development and often, even at very high ranking clubs, is remarkably poor.
While there a multitude of reasons for this problem, typically the issues is centred with the lack of direct playing knowledge on the pitch by said conditioning coaches, limited educational services and of-course a commercial side that has distorted training procedures in order to sell a product.
From the start, training for the pitch is an exhausting measure and unlike any other major team sport given the extraordinary skill demands combined with physical requirements. The intricacies of the sport skill are so extraordinary that is near impossible to explain and appreciate unless you are dedicated to the sport as player, fan and of-course coach. The failing of many is thinking training for the pitch is akin to an algebraic solution and the summation of improved physical traits, as defined by testing day accomplishments, will result in a better player. Nothing can be further from the truth and the error of many who do not understand the technical, tactical and artistry of the game.
Football is unique sport where its artistry is timeless and the ‘language’ of the beautiful game is without borders. Whether you are reminiscing of luminaries, Pelé, Eusébio, Diego Maradona or Roberto Baggio or the present day enganche mastermind Juan Román Riquelme, their abilities will resonate in every era but equally come from a developmental system that understood how preparation must directly target production on the pitch. This is important to understand given the amount of time that is often wasted within areas of little consequence and merely satisfies ‘exercise tests’. However along with the building of tactical genius and sporting skills, there equally must be sufficient time focused upon building explosive power, extraordinary fitness levels, pace and the ability to resist injury through exhausting season. Each of these ideas must be married at all times but once again, within the framework of knowing the finite subtle skills of sport.
This duality of coaching goals is unique as no other team sport needs to intricate weave technical, tactical and performance conditioning work as tightly as football. Quite frankly it is easy how the sport sits at the cornerstone of my theories on sport conditioning as it will be governed by the ‘Renegade Concepts of Training™’:
- Movements trained, not musculature
- Efficiencies of movement reinforced
- Motor patterning and grafting of movement
- Postural alignment is emphasised and perfected
- Stabilisation in the most destabilized training environments
- Adopt chaotic, rapidly changing conditions within daily training environments.
- Force developed such that it can be projected, accepted and redirected at maximal levels
These tenets are applied within a framework of the ‘Wheel of Conditioning™’ which a well prepared athlete will divide training between
- Sport Skill
- Range of Motion, Static
- Range of Motion, Dynamic
- Linear Speed
- Work Threshold
This will be propelled around the hub of the love of the game and sufficient drive, determination and dedication. Each of these physical traits must be tempered with coaching leadership possessing extreme knowledge of sport specific skill which includes tactical development and ensuring they are implemented within the training regime. This is very important to understand as football is not a juggling contest or an endless series of set-pieces and crossovers as much of the present-day online marketing insinuates. Of tactical knowledge development, this is tremendously important to understand as work off the pitch, well outside of the gymnasium, will stress development of problem solving skills that require mathematical functioning and creativity.
Within much of the football ranks, looking from the higher levels of professional sport down to the academy programs, the greatest direct physical problems are within the following areas:
- Movement generation
- Range of motion development
- The lack of training that emphasises the ability to maintain proper postural alignment under duress
- Recovery from exhausting training and playing schedule.
These four major concerns, while they will be detailed in much greater length in the future are greatly limited with the correct daily use of RED2, DMC™, Hurdle mobility drills, STS™ and tumbling as well as Modern which I direct all my clubs to utilise.
Cossack Squats: performed following RED2,i.e. 5 minutes continuous movement
‘STS’ model from the Renegade FIX™
How to perform the ‘STS’ model from the Renegade FIX™
Introductory Sample Routine
Please note: ensure you make use of a weight you can ‘manage’ and not one that ‘manages you’. Please be patient and learn how to execute the movements correctly first. This is merely an introductory routine of GENERAL training but crucial for each user to be PATIENT and perform correctly.
Hurdle mobility drills, #4 & #5
Tumbling (somersaults, tripod to stand, spider lunge x 10 each)
Four sets of thirty-seconds each of the following movements, continuous motion, for eight minutes total duration
• Jumping jacks
• Shuffle splits
• Vertical hopping
• Slalom (side to side) jumping
Renegade Sprint Sequence A (Please note the following sprint section would be normally found in 'recovery training' day but given this is many readers first experience with my volume of work it is likely best to start with something more manageable.
o 100. x 3, (*)
o 100., 100 x 2, 100, (*)
o 100. x 2, 100, 100 x 2, (*)
o 100., 100 x 2, 100 (*)
o 100. x 3 (*)
* accelerate to 75%, walk 20 between intervals - 90 sec rest between repeat
Bounding 20 yards / metres, jog back to start and repeat 5 times each
- Flutter kicks
- Forward bound
- Backward Bound
Medicine Ball Routine A and B (medium weight): 10 throws each
Resistance training is broken into three basic complexes (1, 2 and 3), performed for sixty total seconds. Perform the first part of the complex for thirty seconds before moving to the second to complete the set. Once completed ‘complex one’, rest sixty seconds and move to ‘complex two’ and then ‘complex three’. Repeat six total circuits.
1a) Dumbbell Split Snatch
1b) Medicine Ball Wood Chopper with Jump
2a) Squat (medium stance, heels elevated)
2b) Russian Split
3a) Dumbbell Deadlift (heels elevated)
3b) Medicine Ball Scoop Throw Forward (height and distance)
Pull-Ups 3 x 12
Static Range of Motion – ‘Pink’
Prepared by John Davies
Top photo Tammy Bravomalo
The information provided in ‘Instant Training Improvement Tips’, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.