Football specific Training

With the football Euros 2024 almost upon us football fever is well and truly underway. Whether you play semi-pro or Sunday league there are a few crucial elements you should be incorporating into your training helping improve for the sport. Paul Roberts, Strength and conditioning coach based at Zone 10 outlines these key skills below…


Strength is the key to help building a strong foundation for improving overall performance on a football pitch. The starting point to increase an athlete’s strength would be to follow a progressive overload program. This is where an athlete gradually, incrementally increases resistance (weight lifted) over a set period of time. A key exercise to add to your plan would be the squat, be that with a barbell or kettlebell goblet squats. As football isn’t just played in a bilateral plane incorporating some unilateral movements such as split squats, step ups and Bulgarian splits squats will help improve single leg strength when pushing off to accelerate or decelerate.


An absolute must to include into your training plan is Plyometrics. This allows the body to learn to exert maximum force in the shortest possible time. With the game becoming more and more dynamic and explosive the ability for a player to generate more power will help to improve acceleration, deceleration, jumping, change of direction and top speed.

Exercises to include are drop jumps, depth jumps, box jumps, Pogos and broad jumps. These focus on developing maximum jump height.

Plyometrics are also great for helping to improve the athletes agility, an athletes ability to change direction quickly. You should be looking to include lateral jumps, bounding and hop and stick drills to develop this skill.

Repeat sprint ability

Rather than training with long slow runs (although that’s still has value) football players will derive much greater benefits training in a way which is more specific to the demands of the game. Working at a high intensity (70-90%) for shorter bouts (30-60s) is essential to improve performance for football. This is also in part due to the fact that the athletes have the ability to recover quickly while maintaining maximal effort during subsequent sprints. When in the gym a great way to train for this is repeated sprint efforts on the treadmill.

Below are a few of examples of how you would incorporate these into your gym workouts:


75-85% of 1RPM
Split Squats
75-85% of 1RPM
SL Step Up
75-85% of 1RPM
75-85% of 1RPM


1 min
Drop jumps
1 min
Box jumps
1 min
Broad jumps
1 min

Repeat sprint ability

Warm up
8-10 mins
30 sec effort
40 sec
Cool down
8-10 minutes

If you would like any further information on this or to speak to Paul about developing your own personal football specific program please feel free to speak to us in club or drop us an email on

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts

Zone 10 - Personal Trainer

Empowering Women: The Role of Exercise in Managing Menopause

Written by Michelle Kenny

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the unique experiences and challenges women face throughout their lives. One significant aspect that has often been shrouded in silence but is now gaining recognition and discussion is menopause.

It’s never too early to start thinking about menopause and its potential effects on your body. In fact, introducing exercise into your routine long before you reach perimenopause—the transitional stage leading to menopause—can have a transformative impact on how you experience these later years of life.

Exercise isn’t just about looking good; it’s about feeling good from the inside out. And when it comes to menopause, the benefits of regular physical activity are manifold:

Managing Menopausal Symptoms: Exercise has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue. By releasing endorphins and regulating hormone levels, exercise can help women feel more balanced and in control of their bodies during this tumultuous time.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight: As metabolism tends to slow down during menopause, weight gain can become a common concern. However, regular exercise can counteract this by boosting metabolism and helping women maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of obesity-related health issues.

Building Muscle Mass: Strength training exercises, such as resistance training, are particularly beneficial during menopause. Not only do they help build and maintain muscle mass, but they also strengthen bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis—a common concern for postmenopausal women.

Reducing Stress and Improving Mental Wellbeing: Exercise is a powerful stress reliever, promoting the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that boost mood and alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Incorporating activities like yoga and Pilates into your routine can also enhance relaxation and mindfulness, further improving mental wellbeing.

Improving Sleep Patterns: Many women experience disruptions in their sleep patterns during menopause, often due to night sweats and hormonal fluctuations. Regular exercise can help regulate sleep cycles, leading to more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

Enhancing Mobility with Age: As we age, maintaining flexibility and mobility becomes increasingly important for overall health and independence. By incorporating cardio and flexibility exercises into your routine, you can improve balance, coordination, and range of motion, allowing you to stay active and engaged in life’s activities.

The beauty of exercise is that it’s never too late to start reaping its benefits. Whether you’re in your 20s or your 60s, making positive changes to your lifestyle can have a profound impact on your health and wellbeing. So, if you haven’t already, why not take this International Women’s Day as an opportunity to prioritise your health and introduce exercise into your daily routine?

Remember, as women, we have the power to shape our own experiences and rewrite the narrative surrounding menopause. By embracing exercise as a tool for empowerment and self-care, we can navigate this transition with strength, resilience, and vitality. Your body—and your future self—will thank you for it.

Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Protein Smoothie

frosted gingerbread smoothie feature

Ingredients (Single Serving)

  • 1-2 cups ice I like to use 2 cups for a very thick shake
  • ½ – 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk of choice
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger or use ½ teaspoon for a spicier shake, but start with ¼ teaspoon for a more mild flavor
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional toppings: crushed gingersnap cookie, whipped cream, sprinkles
frosted ginger 1

Start by adding a scoop of protein, milk and warm spices.

Fill your blender with the ice and then add your protein powder and seasonings.

Pour a small amount of milk (you can always add more). The key to getting the smoothie nice and thick is to use a lot of ice and very little liquid.

And “le voilà” you have your “Frosted Gingerbread Cookie Protein Smoothie”

For a real gingerbread look, add whipped cream and crushed ginger biscuits as your garnish (to crush your biscuit, place it in a Ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin).

frosted ginger 2


Serving: 1smoothie

Protein: 22.5g

Monounsaturated Fat: 0.8g

Potassium: 160mg

Iron: 0.5mg

Calories: 115kcal

Fat: 1.3g

Cholesterol: 15mg

Fiber: 0.5g

Carbohydrates: 3.5g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g

Sodium: 235mg

Calcium: 150mg

Mick Bagnall

Mick Bagnall

Zone 10 - Gym Manager

How to stay on track over Christmas

stay on track over christmas feature

T’is the season to be jolly!

When in the festive season, our daily routines go out the window. With much of our time made up of work parties, shopping, social events, and school nativities; one day rolls into another and before we know it, we attend the gym less and start to indulge more.

Christmas is ALL about celebrating with friends and family through a united joy for devouring delish food and festive drinks – it’s time to cut yourself a break, relax and indulge guilt-free.

What we all must realise is that indulging does not have to equate to no exercise – it does not need to grind to a halt. You don’t have to let one party evening wipe out the next day or a whole week that leads into a month.

The secret to allowing yourself to enjoy Christmas festivities whilst remaining on track is by setting yourself fewer expectations.

Planning is key; if you cannot make the gym, why not set out on a walk or light run? This is a great way to reap the benefits of the fresh winter air and if you have family, encourage those around you to join in too – you can socialise and spend quality time whilst simultaneously improving your health.

Being outdoors creates the most amazing space to walk and talk whilst still being active, benefitting your mental and physical health as a result.

On days when you feel as though you want to set yourself more of a challenge – you don’t need a gym to achieve this!

Here is my gift to you this Christmas, a home workout:

  • 15 minutes run or walk 60 seconds – recovery 15 minutes
  • X 3 rounds
  • 12 squats, 10 lunges, 8 burpees

If you want to increase the volume, run 30 mins out and 30 minutes back, then into 6 rounds of the body weight movements, and don’t forget that all-important stretch at the end.

Let’s talk food!

The best bit I enjoy Christmas dinner my plate is full to the brim, but I don’t slip into overindulging because of one or two days; on the days you are socialising enjoy them and the days you are in routine stay on track.

If you are someone who enjoys a celebratory alcoholic drink over Christmas, you might encounter the odd tipple. Alcohol can reduce the amount of quality sleep we should get which then will decrease our energy and mood.

The key here is balance: eat a good meal before heading out, ensure you stay hydrated, consider the type of alcohol and if it works well with your body, and blow the cobwebs away the next day with a good old fashion walk and some wholesome food with friends.

Michelle Kenny

Michelle Kenny

Zone 10 - Personal Trainer

Olympic Weightlifting

olympic weightlifting feature

There are multiple reasons why you should start to incorporate Olympic weightlifting into you regular programme, whether its to improve that explosive power output, increase your muscle density or to enhance your overall strength.

Olympic Lifting (OL) is a key part of any profession athlete’s training programme as it’s known to increase muscle mass without having a negative effect on the athletes speed or performance. It is also proven to help build bone density. Those who train with OL have also been known top demonstrate enhanced body awareness, mobility and a higher standard of technique in other exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

Increased maximal strength and power output is also associated with OL as it increases the force and power production at a much higher rate than traditional weightlifting. Finally the cardiovascular response to OL is much greater than traditional weightlifting, meaning that consistent training will result in more efficient workouts.

Rather than replacing your current programme with a strict OL only workout, be sure to incorporate a couple of Olympic lifting workouts into your normal programme.

Olympic weight lifting can be broken down into 3 separate movement, the snatch, the clean and the jerk. In this write up I’ll talk you through the key components for each of these lifts.

Clean and Jerk

Step 1: Set Up

Set up with your feet set at hip width and slightly turned out and shoelaces under the bar. Your shoulder should be over the bar and hips lower than your shoulders but higher than your knees.

clean and jerk - step 1

Step 2: First Pull

The first pull is when the barbell is lifted from the floor, this ends when the barbell comes to your knees, at which point the second pull begins. The initial pull is basically a deadlift. Be sure to keep your spine natural and your core engaged.
clean and jerk - step 2

Step 3: Second Pull and Turn the Bar Over

Once the barbell passes the knees, you need to drive your hips out and up while pulling the barbell up towards your upper body. Be sure to stay balanced with your shoulders over the bar.

clean and jerk - step 3

Step 4: Catch the Barbell

As the barbell rises, forcefully rotate your elbows underneath the bar, you will need to quickly squat down and catch the bar across your shoulders in a front squat. Your elbows should be pointing forward.
clean and jerk - step 4

Step 5: Dip Down

From the front squat position, dip your knees a few inches down. This creates a slight countermovement which will help drive the weight overhead for the next step.
clean and jerk - step 5

Step 6: Jerk the Bar Overhead

This is very similar to a push press. From your dip down, drive upwards pushing the barbell overhead. Drop into a half squat position as the bar goes overhead.
clean and jerk - step 6

Step 7: Receive and Recover

Lock out your arms and pause at the bottom of the jerk to stabilize the weight. Hold the position until you are ready, once the weight feels balanced, stand upright.


Step 1: Set up

Grab the barbell with a wide grip and aim for your shoelaces to be under the bar. Your hips should be about the same level as your knees, and your knees should be leaning forward over the bar. Ensure your back is in a natural position.
snatch - step 1

Step 2: Push From your Legs

Lift the bar off the floor by push upwards through your legs (similarly to a leg press). Your knees will extend out of the way of the bar as its lifted. You should glide the barbell along your thighs but be careful not to drag against them.
snatch - step 2

Step 3: Explode Up

Keep press against the floor through your legs as you raise the bar to your hips. As you arrive to a standing position, forcefully extend your lower body, pushing the bar up and out from just below your hips. Your heels should feel like they are lifting off the floor as if you are jumping. Relax your arms and allow the barbell to travel upwards.

snatch - step 3

Step 4: Drop and Catch

Once you have fully extended your lower body, quickly drop down into an overhead squat. Through the power of this movement, let your feet leave the ground and then replant them in a wider position. Make sure to lock your arms in a strong overhead position.
snatch - step 4

Step 5: Reach and Stand

Remain at the bottom of your overhead squat for as long as you need to stabilize. Once you feel secure, push through your heels to a standing position.
snatch - step 5

Sets and Reps

Learning: 8-10 sets of 2-4 reps (unloaded bar)

Power development 3-6 sets of 2-3 reps with loaded bar

If you would like any further information on this or to speak to Mick about developing your own personal Olympic weightlifting program please feel free to speak to us in club or drop us an email on
Mick Bagnall

Mick Bagnall

Zone 10 - Gym Manager

Move Better and Feel Better

Do you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle? You should do! A healthy lifestyle is essential if you truly want to take the best possible care of your health.

Yet very few people really know what is meant by a healthy lifestyle. Most believe its incorporating four things: eating healthily (although most don’t know how to do this), exercise regularly, don’t smoke and limit alcohol consumption or best still eliminate it totally. In truth that would indeed make a good start but there is far more to it than that.

Here are some other tips of how to better you life-style which will help you move better and most importantly feel better.

Get enough sleep

Sleep has the ability to optimise mental and physical energy, and optimal levels of sleep (about eight hours a night) are linked with reduced risk of chronic disease and improved longevity. Your body and mind work so hard during the day, they need sleep for repairing. Studies have shown that 8 hours of sleep per 24-hour period is the average requirement for adults.

Eat well

First of all, healthy eating doesn’t mean extreme diets! That’s why the secret is to have a balanced diet with foods that are low in unnecessary fats and sugars and high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Exercise regularly.

Being active should be a priority. Experts say that people should have at least 150 hours of exercise per week. Achieving these hours of exercise will combat health conditions and diseases, enhances mood and well-being, boosts one’s energy, and promotes better and quality sleep. A great starting point is simply walking, aim for your 10,000 steps a day.

Drink Water

Drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day is good for your health. Roughly 2 litres for women and 3 litres for men should be consumed in a day. Maintaining hydration can have a profound influence on our vitality and energy levels, including mental alertness. Water helps to clear our system, bring on metabolism rate and flush out the toxins.

Start meditating

Sound mind, sound body! Meditation will help you set a tranquil tone for a more peace-filled life! This process of training your mind will promote emotional health and develop a positive mood, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increase pain tolerance.

Listen to your favourite songs

Make every day count and only listen to your favourite songs. Music can increase your happiness and improve our health! Did you know that if you listen to 25 minutes of music every day for at least 10 days it will help you to prevent back pain and to sleep better?

All of these tips above will not only improve your lifestyle but are all a great way to de stress and burn some of that energy in a positive and healthy way.

If you would like any further information on this or to speak to Layla about developing your own personal football specific program please feel free to speak to us in club or drop us an email on

Layla Clark

Layla Clark

Zone 10 - Personal Trainer