On Sunday the 17th/11/2019, I was lucky enough to attend the Australian Powerlifting Summit, held at JPS health and Fitness in Airport West. This conference brought together some of the leading coaches and athletes, mainly involved in the Word Powerlifting Federation (Powerlifting Australia)

On day 2, there were three presenters and a question and answer to follow. Jamie Smith (Melbourne Strength Culture) presented on a framework for injury management in strength sports, John Paul Cauchi (The Strength Fortress) presented on getting the most out of the athlete on the powerlifting platform and Matthew Bartholemew (Paragon Strength) presented on athlete psychology.

As an Osteopath, with a major interest in strength athletes, I found Jamie’s presentation the most relevant to me as a practitioner. The focus of Jamie’s presentation was integrating the Biopsychosocial (BPS) model into injury management.  Jamie opened by touching upon the differences between tissue injury (tissue load exceeds tissue capacity), and pain (an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience) which can be influenced by biological, psychological and social factors (even independent of tissue damage).

Jamie spoke about looking at the broader picture when managing athletes, and looking beyond just biomechanics in isolation. Metrics that Jamie uses when managing athletes include total volume undertaken week to week (number of difficult sets), sleep, nutrition, and other factors such as the athlete’s beliefs, thoughts and behaviours towards their training, all fitting with the BPS model.

Concluding this presentation, I’m under the impression that my approach as an Osteopath is somewhat similar to Jamie’s in terms of managing athletes. Factors in isolation are rarely of significance, which highlights the importance of a detailed clinical history and examination in the clinic/ gym, both in the allied health fields, and strength and conditioning fields.

Whilst I don’t manage powerlifters on the platform at this stage, John Paul had some major take always that can apply to clinical practice. This involved the importance of adapting the approach taken between client to client (or patient to patient), in order for the best result possible for that person.

Matthew also had some great take aways which can translate to my own training, and communication to my patients. This was that- it’s okay to be selfish when you are training, which is sometimes something I have felt guilty about. Turn off your emails, put your phone on aeroplane mode, and don’t feel guilty about wanting to have some time to yourself to focus on the task at hand whilst you are training. Because at the end of the day, half assed intensity leads to half assed results. Whilst life gets in the way at times, its completely fine to have periods of time where training is your priority, so make it one.

Whilst I wasn’t able to attend day one of the conference, I’m sure it was just as great as the second day, and I’m looking forward to reviewing the slides, and attending next year’s seminar. I’d recommend attending this seminar if you are a strength coach or allied health practitioner who works with athletes, a strength athlete or a powerlifter, wanting to gain a deeper understanding into factors influencing competition performance.

72735444 10157988334967174 7331392093463511040 N Australian Powerlifting Summit - Review By P4O Jarrod Testa - Osteopath/Powerlifter

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