2017 Athlete Development Program

Whether your goal is to lose body fat, build muscle or become stronger or faster your focus should always be on one thing: improving your overall athletic performance. Athletes train in the weight room and on the field to enhance their talent and skill. Being the best lifter doesn’t necessarily make them a gold medalist however, it increases their athletic potential which enhances skill acquisition. And while maintaining a certain aesthetic look isn’t an athletes top priority, it’s often a nice by-product of training with a purpose.

As we enter the 5th year of our coveted Athlete Development Program, we’ve arrived at a whole new ball game. We’ve upped the ante with programming, velocity-based testing and competitiveness. As the name suggests: ‘Athletic Development Program’ is exactly that; you participate in a program based on what athletes perform ‘in-season.’ Ultimately, you will work on getting faster, more powerful, leaner and more importantly, maintaining strength, throug
h a combination of field based training and individual training events.

While the ADP is catered to supplement and improve our performance over the year to date, it is developed with competitiveness in mind in order to provide the requisite motivation during the challenging winter months. Like any of our specific programs, there will be a break-up at the end of the program and in-line with our local business focus, the lunch after the final challenge will be held at the Shafston Hotel.

It’s time for the bluff and bluster to be tested and with the coaches having a vested interest, never have the competitive fires been stoked so vigorously. So prepare yourself because…WINTER IS COMING!

I’ve already been training. Why should I do this?

As you would have noticed, it is getting darker and cooler and traditionally it is the time of year that motivation starts to become a real challenge. Any improvements that you have made to date are at threat as they may erode through a lack of motivation; such an erosion would be a travesty, considering the amount of work we have put in so far this year (including our efforts with painful programs like German volume). It is important to bear in mind that loss of participation will severely hamper the capacities we have worked so bloody hard to build – it only takes between 7 – 10 days to lose 20-50% of gains achieved from a particular stimulus.

We all need something to commit to over these autumn/winter months in order to keep on track so that come summertime, we aren’t playing catch up. We will execute a formidable exercise regime built around competition and having fun. So, enter our Athletic Development Program to fill the motivational vacuum.

What is it? What does it involve?

Team based format

Like last year, the ADP will involve a team based challenge format. Participants will be allocated to a particular coach’s team, allowing the assigned coaches complete control of your weight sessions and training periodisation.


  1. Resistance programs that mimic in-season regimes of professional teams (with due regard to competency);
  2. Speed work – working on running technique, acceleration drills and top end speed work using a variety of equipment not usually seen in the gym;
  3. Agility and change of direction work – ladder work, cognitive change of direction drills, deceleration work;
  4. Power work – plyometrics (or jumping), hurdle work, repeated jumping work, landing mechanics work; and
  5. Conditioning – from repeated sprint work, to wrestling (remarkably metabolically demanding), up and down movements and lateral movements, all coupled with complex task drills and games.

These training methods enable us to get faster, stronger, more efficient and most importantly, leaner. To increase any of these attributes, we are required to reduce our body fat, as it stands to reason that the more we carry, the harder it is to perform. The high metabolic cost of these particular methods, coupled with the variety of new movement patterns, provides for an incredibly efficient reduction of body fat over a short period; however, this will not be without some element of discomfort, so prepare to be sore.

Competition / Athletic Combine

The aim of this program is to train for a ‘combine’ (a feature of the NFL Draft), which essentially is number of measurable challenges. These challenges will cover every aspect of fitness: agility, speed, power, strength, endurance, anaerobic capacity and lastly, somewhat fittingly, the will to compete.

The program will culminate on Saturday 24 June, where from 8:30am till roughly 10.30am, the Final Challenge events will take place and the champions will be crowned (based on points scoring system weighted across the respective events).

The Final Challenge events cover every aspect of fitness: from conditioning, strength, speed and change of direction. The day’s events include:

  • Total skinfold % loss per team (skinfolds will be taken at the beginning and end of ADP)
  • Horizontal broad jump for distance
  • Fixed arm vertical jump
  • 1RM Squat Total wt lifted per group (relative load = total wt lifted / total body weight of group)
  • 1RM Bench Total wt lifted per group ((relative load = total wt lifted / total body weight of group)
  • Max pull ups under hand most reps groups
  • 30 sec Airdyne
  • Agility test to be determined on week of combine
  • 3 sports test: Free throw challenge, Penalty shoot out, Rugby passing challenge
  • 30-15 test
  • Trainer challenge: 1RM clean

The scoring system will consist of the following: 3 points for the win, 1 point for second and 0 points for the loss. Obviously, the team with most points at the end will be crowned the ADP Champions (a trophy will be provided and has to sit in our waiting room with the team’s name on it; the respect or hatred of your fellow competitors is added incentive to the victory).

A post-combine Celebration

As additional motivation, a lunch and drink at our local, the Shaftson Hotel, will follow with the champions being shouted by their vanquished foes.

Team Selection

Will we allocate the teams as follows:

  • If you already train with a coach, you are automatically on that coaches’ team;
  • If you train with more than one coach, it will be decided on numbers (and overall fairness) as to which team you will be allocated;
  • Interestingly, the coach to which you are allocated has complete control of what resistance program (weights) you perform. It is completely up to your coach on how you train, how many times a week and the type of training. With every coach adopting a different approach, there are sure to be some interesting results.

Fines and Penalties

As is the custom each year, there will be a fine and penalty system, with the results of such placed into a kitty that will contribute to break-up at the Shaftson. This doesn’t go into the Hammer coffers as some elaborate Ponzi scheme; in fact, Hammer will match the kitty to provide drinks during the break up lunch.

Penalties and fines are to be imposed for the following:

  • $1 fine, accumulated per minute of lateness, for anyone that attends late to a session (max $5);
  • Non-attendance at a session without prior notice or adequate excuses – that’s a paddling. No wait, it’s a $5 penalty;
  • The two losing teams will pay $10 each into the kitty in order for the winning team to eat and have drink for free at the Shaftson, post competition.


Inclusions, dates and cost

The program runs for 4 weeks commencing Monday the 29th of May.

The combine will be held on Saturday 24th June. You will receive:

  • Two group strength sessions a week (performed with your fellow team members);
  • One all-rounder group session per week focusing on agility, speed and conditioning work, (held at a time decided best by your team and trainer);
  • Membership to Hammer Athletic and access to all classes and open gym times (if you aren’t already a member); and
  • The coach of your team has the freedom to add extra sessions during the week at no cost to you (to attempt to get that competitive edge).

$143 per week

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