Strength & conditioning

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How do we coach strength & conditioning?

S&C is a very effective means of developing the physical attributes you need to excel at the sport you love. Whether you are after strength, speed or stamina, we are here for you!

At aps, we have a multi disciplinary approach:

    • Understanding how you move and how your sport influences this
    •  Strength training & conditioning to prepare for the specific demands of your sport
    • Movement skill challenges and exploring themes such as momentum, power and balance
    • Mobility exercises to improve range of motion
    • Managing overall training load to ensure you have enough energy to do both your sport and S&C
    • Programme design to optimise sports performance for your lifestyle

We are huge proponents of the performance benefits of holistic health and will help you to explore 

    • Everyday movement habits
    • Sleep and recovery
    • Nutrition and hydration
    • Mindset and support networks
    • Injury & pain management

We’re not about giving you lots of training to do and making you work hard. We believe that S&C done right frees up time and gives you more energy to enjoy and excel at the sport you love!

How is this different from personal training?

To us, personal training is counting reps and repeating generic workouts.

Coaching puts you at the centre. It is about working out your individual needs, looking at the whole picture and finding the best path for you to get the improvements you’re looking for. 

We want to help you develop the skills to better manage your own approach to S&C. We want you to understand what goes into your programme and why. Ultimately we would like you to be confident in being your own coach!

How is this different from sports coaching?

Sports coaching is about developing sport-specific skills and techniques. This you’ll usually get from your head coach. At aps we provide a comprehensive coaching service for climbing (sports coaching + S&C). For all other sports our support comes in the way of our S&C coaching. 

We love collaborating and are always happy to coordinate what we’re doing with your other coaches.

What does the coaching process look like?

The first step is consultation and assessment. This always starts with a conversation, so we can get to know you, your sport and understand what your aspirations are. We will then do the relevant assessments such as movement and strength tests, range of movement screening and lifestyle questionnaires.

From here we will develop an action plan, which usually includes exercises, movement challenges, exploring new habits and perspectives. This is the beginning of the process of us working collaboratively. Every step of the way, we discuss and decide together the what, how and why.

We provide various coaching options. Based on the assessment, we will discuss what would be a good fit for you. 

How much does it cost?

The first session is £60 and will be about 1 hour. Following on from this, we have various options to suit different people’s needs.

I don’t live near your gym. Do you do coaching anywhere else?

We provide remote coaching. This typically involves a combination of video calls, video analysis, tailor-made online content and email support.

What makes you great at strength & conditioning for sport?

We’ve learnt about coaching through multi channels:

Professional qualifications from world class professionals Jarred Powell, Greg Lehman, The Chek Institute, Eric Cressey, Precision Nutrition and Kelly Starett. These cover a wide range of subjects including strength training, natural movement, mobility, nutrition, corrective exercise and holistic health. 

Self-study and keeping up to date with current literature across multiple disciplines.

Coaching experience Over a collective 33 years of coaching, we’ve worked with many different clients, with many different aspirations and discovered by lots of trial and error some of the best practical applications of the things we’ve learnt. We’re still coaching and learning every day!

Personal experience Each of us have been involved in various sports to various degrees pretty much all our lives, and we’re all involved in sport now! We have a huge amount of experience in managing sessions, adding in supplemental training, competing and all the various aspects that come with playing a sport. 

What sports do you have experience with?

We have worked with many sports, and are especially confident with:

    • Climbing 
    • Jiu-jitsu / MMA
    • Skiing
    • Running (5km to marathons)
    • Golf
    • Team sports 

If your sport isn’t on the list please get in touch with us so we can get some more details and work out if we can help you.

What levels are the athletes you work with?

We work with people of all levels and abilities! 

The best starting point is for us to get to know you a bit better and what you’re trying to achieve. Once we’ve got a bit more info we can decide together if coaching would be a good fit for you.

I want to train but I don’t know if I have enough time / the right kit to do it.

When you’re involved in a sport, finding time for everything and access to equipment can be a real pain. We completely understand and always aim to make S&C appropriate for you and your lifestyle. We’ll individualise everything to you including how long everything takes and what kit you need. You may be surprised at how little you need to do to make improvements!

I want to be healthier, exercise more and lose weight.

Our main areas of focus – sports training and injury rehab – are all about health. We can apply the same principles to support you with your health goals. 

By focusing on improving health, we often find that a person’s weight will adjust (either losing or gaining) to an appropriate level. We aren’t weight loss specialists, so if this is a major aspiration for you it might be worth finding a specialist coach.

I don’t feel I can participate in my sport to the same extent as before my injury. Can you help?

Sorry to hear that you’re struggling to get back to where you want to be. Injury rehab can be a draining process, physically, mentally and emotionally. 

The first place we’d look is understanding where you currently are in terms of pain, performance and establish where you’d like to be. Then it’s a case of working out which areas we could make improvements and deciding on the best place to begin. 

Through the whole process we will fully support you and do our absolute best to get you back doing what you love, and to the level you aspire to. We’re big believers in the body’s ability to bounce back. With a holistic and individualised approach there’s a good chance you’ll get there and who knows, maybe you can come back even better than before!

I feel like my sport is beating me up. I frequently have pain that limits my performance. 

Feeling a bit beaten up by sport is a common and normal feeling. If we’re going to do things like climb rocks, grapple with other humans or race hard it’s likely we’ll feel a bit sore every now and then.

But when it feels like a constant battle to be pain free, that can be the sign that there’s room for improvement. An obvious place to start is to check that your body is capable of coping with the demands of your sport. In other words do you have the necessary mobility, strength, speed etc. 

Another approach is to look at the bigger picture. Sleep, nutrition and hydration can have a huge influence on how our body recovers. Load management and mindset can also radically change how we approach our training and sport. 

We will support you to explore your options and how to  blend it together in a way that best suits you.

Click here to learn more about how we approach injury rehab & pain management.

testimonials

“I have my confidence and self-belief back”
I had got to a point in my life where something had to change, my lifestyle was terrible – I was extremely unfit and hated the person I was looking at in the mirror… Matt develops challenging routines that are fun and varied using weights, cardio circuits, boxing and many other great routines that I never could of imagined myself doing… he has helped me transition into a complete lifestyle change focusing on my diet, getting enough sleep and managing stress. Over the last year, my body shape has changed and fitness has improved beyond recognition! I have become a healthier, fitter, happier person and what is more, I have my confidence and self-belief back, which I cannot thank Matt enough for!
Emily + Matt
“I felt strong and enjoyed the extra stamina”
I’ve been a keen skier for decades, but with a niggly lower back and a sore shoulder holding me back not to mention a couple of ACL surgeries from my past… within 6 months I was moving better than in decades previously, feeling looser in my neck and shoulders and continuing to get ever stronger lifting weights I wouldn’t have dreamt of picking up. The ski season was great, I felt strong and enjoyed the extra stamina even, though tentatively, going off piste in heavy snow. Lugging skis around has become so much easier and I’ve got rid of my big clunky knee support and now wear just my foam Velcro strapping!
Jane + Ross
“I beat my personal goal”
I started training with Ross in June 2009 with the goal of running 5km for Cancer Research in 25 minutes in July. The best time I had achieved was 31 minutes. I began training with Ross once a week where we focussed on increasing my fitness, core and importantly for me, motivation. The personal plan he developed was fun, varied, challenging and delivered results in a short time. That isn’t to say I didn’t find it hard but. I beat my personal goal and ran the 5km race in 23.32 mins, and finished in the top 12 places, which I felt, was an amazing achievement. The improvement in my core, fitness, confidence and self belief has grown so much, that I will continue to have sessions regularly to enhance the personal challenges I set. The biggest plus is his enthusiasm and passion which really rubs off on me – I would say my lifestyle has certainly improved since being one of Ross’ clients.
Heather + Ross
“I’ve never climbed so strong!”
I came to Ross 6 weeks before a climbing trip to Kalymnos, with a shoulder that hurt and pinched when I lifted my arm above 30 degrees, often called a shoulder impingement and was ready to give up on climbing at all during the trip. Thanks to Ross’s positive attitude, holistic approach and a movement training programme designed specifically for me, I was climbing again within 5 weeks, had an epic trip, and was able to push my onsight grade. He analyses your movement, finds the source of injuries and creates a programme that focusses on weaknesses to align and strengthen the whole body, to solve the injury and make it less likely to reoccur. Even if you’re not currently injured, pay him a visit before an imbalance turns into an injury, I’ve never climbed so strong!”
Selina + Ross
“I am now pain free, fit and healthy.”
I had excruciating hip, shoulder and back pain. Because of the pain, I had given up exercise and put on 2 stone… Through the right exercises and stretches I am now pain free, fit and healthy. Ross is the complete package. He advises you on food, sleep patterns, breathing and de-stressing. Ross goes beyond the hour of training and supports you every step of the way, mentally and physically.
Anne + Ross
“I can touch my toes!"
I can touch my toes! That hasn’t been possible for years and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Training with Ross has left me fitter than I have ever been, more flexible than I ever imagined and so mentally and physically strong that my performance in every area of my life has improved. I can sit on the floor and play with my kids for hours with no pain, something I either avoided previously or put up with. Can’t ask for more than that.
James + Ross
"I ticked my first and second f7A plus a handful of 6Cs”
My time climbing was characterised by sore shoulders and a recurrent shoulder impingement type niggle.  This meant weeks off climbing at times and certain moves I would totally avoid due to pain… When I went to see Ross, we looked deeper into my injuries and tested my whole body to discover patterns of weakness and strength. The initial phases were about building solid foundations. The exercises were fun and for the most part could be done at home or down the wall with minimal kit. I could finally train well, we added a tonne of strength, like going from 0 pull ups to doing 4 solid, and as a result, during a recent bouldering trip to Switzerland, I ticked my first and second f7A plus a handful of 6Cs, the hardest grade boulders I’ve ever sent so far.
Gabby + Ross
"allow me to push past my perceived limits"
Having had hip surgery immediately turned previous trainers off working with me, which had quite an impact on my self confidence and outlook on training as a whole. From day 1 I knew working with Matt was going to be different. I straight away felt completely at ease in his presence, his openness and honesty let me know I could put my trust in him 100%. Matt’s patience and encouragement allow me to push past my perceived limits and achieve results I never thought I would get. Within 6 months of working with Matt my balance, flexibility, and hip pain had improved immensely along with managing to lose weight.
Rosemary + Matt
“I’m now pushing through harder climbing moves without worrying”
“My shoulder had been bugging me for some time. It was getting progressively worse the more I was pulling on… It took a few months to really start being strong enough to take on the higher grades I had in mind, but incredibly I noticed improvements in my shoulder by the end of the first month, less pain and feeling way more solid! The added bonus was my achy back, which I had thought was just the way it is, was way less achy too! The best thing is I’m now pushing through harder climbing moves without worrying about my shoulder anymore.…I was blown away at how much variety and more enjoyable training can be.
Caroline + Ross
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