AG Rugby Tests The Limits at Ascension Seton Sports Performance Center
This week, the AGs completed pre-season performance testing at the Ascension Seton Sports Performance Center. Players entered baseline figures on critical athletic measurements testing the athlete’s individual strength, mobility, and endurance. AG Rugby today announced Ascension Seton as the club’s founding and jersey partner.
“This level of sports performance testing is right up there with any team or league in the world, and it’s made entirely possible because of our partnership with Ascension Seton,” says AG Head Coach Sam Harris. “The depth and complexity of these baseline numbers have already provided us with critical information about our players individually; I can’t wait to see what’s uncovered when we test again.”
The AGs began day 1 of testing with a body composition scan, which provided a detailed picture of how the players are built. Then, players underwent mobility testing that gave our athletic trainers a better understanding of potential ‘at-risk for injury’ areas.
From there, each athlete completes several commonly prescribed weightlifting movements all while standing on force plates. The force plates testing is designed to create a profile of the athlete’s neuromuscular fitness to optimize their training in the weight room for developing explosiveness. In addition, the force plates were designed to pick up any asymmetry when these athletes lift, jump, or land to help prevent injuries.
Then, the athletes braved the fabled VO2 Max.
Each player put their aerobic capacity and recovery systems to the test. They wore masks purpose-built to measure the athletes’ maximum individual oxygen uptake during intense exercise. Essentially, they ran as long as they could on a treadmill that increased in speed and incline every minute. Then when they could carry on no longer, the mask apparatus measured how quickly they could recover.
After a short recovery period, players are put through a bevy of mental agility challenges to capture their reaction timing under fatigue.
Ascension Seton’s Lead Sports Scientist Jake Allen ran the players through the testing. As a former collegiate swimmer, Allen is well-versed in the difficulty of VO2 max test. “It was truly incredible to see the world-class combination of raw power; these guys had massive aerobic engines that rivaled that of Olympic caliber rowers,” says Allen. “Their ability to push themselves into what we call the “dark place”, beyond the pain threshold, is truly unmatched.”
Vice President of Orthopedics Sports and Rehabilitation at Ascension Seton Adam Bauman oversees the entire sports performance operation at Ascension Seton. “We’ve made significant investments in cutting edge technology that we’re able to, as we onboard new athletes, put them through various tests to identify potential weaknesses and to help the coaches not only develop training programs to ensure their strength but also avoid injury altogether.”
Ascension Seton’s sports performance testing provided unparalleled information about the physiological profile of each athlete, that can be used to hyper-individualize the strength and conditioning programs to create the optimized athlete. In addition, Ascension Seton will use the data to monitor the athlete’s progress, and dynamically adjust the training programming to ensure continued improvement in their performance.
We, the AGs, are incredibly fortunate to have Ascension Seton on our team.
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