Leicester City academy gym session

FourFourTwo visits the Foxes’ academy to watch their youngsters go through a power development session 

What is power development?

Power development involves increasing the amount of force a player can produce as well as the speed at which they do it. The more power a player can produce, the higher he'll be able to jump and faster he'll be able to run.

More after the break

Fatigue monitoring jumps

Kevin Paxton [Head of academy sports science]: “The jumps are part of our readiness to train strategy. The players jump off the box, land on the floor and bounce back up as quickly as possible. If they’re a little bit more fatigued and their muscles are tired then they won’t be able to jump as high off the floor. They do three jumps as soon as they come in every day and they give us a good idea how ready they are to train.”

Watt bike 

Matthew Willmott [Lead academy strength and conditioning coach]: “The watt bike gives us an opportunity to monitor their power and see how it’s improving throughout the season. We’ll never compare players, it’s very individual. It tells us how they’re feeling – if they’re fresh they’ll get good scores, if not then we might need to adjust their training and ease their workload. The players will cycle for six seconds as fast as possible and then rest for 54 seconds."

Split squats

MW: "The purpose of the split jerk is to improve the rate of force development through extension of the knees and hip muscles, mainly the glutes and quads. They will lift 30% of their one rep max [the maximum amount of weight a player can lift for one repetition] for the back squat, which will be highly individual to them - they won't all lift the same weight. The bar starts in a front squat position; you then go into a quarter squat and immediately countermove that straight up in the air, splitting the legs forwards and backwards, with the bar finishing overhead. We do 3-5 sets of 2-4 reps."

Squat jumps

MW: "Squat jumps improve a player’s hip and knee extension. Again, the player will use a weight that is equivalent to 30% of their one rep max. As they go down, they need to keep the bar stable, squatting down to a quarter squat position and then driving up as fast as possible, fully extending the hips and knees and landing nice and strong."

Sled runs

Adam Burton [Professional development phase sports scientist]: "The purpose of a sled run is to improve force development and movement velocity – how quickly they do it. In basic terms it will improve speed and acceleration and help them to move horizontally. It’s important to keep a low drive for as long as possible. Typically they'll do 4-5 sets of 2-3 runs each."

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