Sean Van Staden
Columnist
3 minute read
18 Jan 2014
12:00 pm

Building a bigger, stronger and faster you

Sean Van Staden

The begining of the year is always daunting for all athletes for two reasons. Firstly you are unfit, and to get back to your peak levels of performance is going to be met with some blood, sweat and tears.

Sean van Staden

The second reason is that there is so much to do in a short space of time that you don’t know where to start.

The analogy I use for my athletes is that you are trying to build a beautiful Hollywood mansion. Before you can start building, you need a solid foundation, or when you build, cracks will begin to show. Cracks being injuries, strains or tears in the muscle.

In understanding this concept, this is the first and most important part you need to concentrate on to help prevent injuries. Once you have your core exercises written down, we move onto strength development training. It does not matter what age you are, you need to make sure your strength is sufficient for the demands of your sport.

If your sport demands that you have a high-performance engine with all the bells and whistles, you are not going to dare rock up with a Fiat Uno. You are asking for trouble, plain and simple.

In sports like rugby, size does matter and you need to train your strength to handle the demands of the impact tackles place on your body. He who has the greater strength will dominate the collision.

Focus on all your Olympic lifting movement such as squats, deadlifts, snatch and the clean and jerk. These movements require precision technique and are incredibly taxing on your entire body. Because these movements mimic function movement according to the Lou Schroder and Alwyn Cosgrove book New Rules of Training, you are going to get bigger, stronger and faster results than any other “climb in, lie down or sit on machine” in your local gym.

No one on the planet will argue how strong an athlete you are yet many will debate whether Christiano Ronaldo is a more skilled player than Lionel Messi. Skill can be considered the décor to your mansion, individual tastes might differ, but this is what makes your house become a home.

Start by waking up an extra 30 minutes earlier each morning, stop whining that you are already getting up so early and dedicate this “me” time to making you the Ronaldo or Messi of your sport.

Once you have successfully built your mansion and decorated it, the work is never done. There will always be something to improve or something that needs changing, this is the nature of the beast. Accept it and start looking for another highly sought-after piece of skill that everyone is dying to get their hands on.

You are finally handed the keys to your new home and you are about to step into a masterpiece that has taken ages to build, but you have forgotten an important part of the house and a hint, it does not run on fresh air. Your house runs on electricity and gas.Without this vital necessity your house just won’t function the way it was built to.

Electricity is your nutrition, if you forgot to pay your bill, then expect to be running a house on empty and your sport will be no different. Your breakfast and other meals should be dominated by proteins and good fats and stay away from sugar cereals and treats.

Make this small adjustment and you will be running on the latest solar power and have all the energy your sport requires on tap.

No one said building and running a mansion would be easy. If you are prepared to dream big and work at it, dreams have a way of coming true.