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Interview with Andrew Maclennan, World-Renowned Strength and Conditioning Coach

Andrew Maclennan is a highly respected trainer and coach, with over 25 years of experience training elite athletes at the highest level. Andrew founded 'Get Fast & Strong', a coaching consultancy designed to train speed and strength athletes - and much like the name suggests, Andrew is all about building the fastest and strongest athletes in New Zealand.

Andrew Maclennan’s passion for speed and performance stems from his personal experience in the elite sporting arena. At the age of 18, Maclennan won the New Zealand Junior Decathlon Championship title – the catalyst which spurred him to become increasingly involved in the athletics scene. However, after 10 years as an elite athlete, Andrew found himself craving the coaching aspect of elite sport. So at 26, he began his career as a strength and speed coach for New Zealand's top athletes.

Today, Andrew has become the go-to New Zealander for speed training and boasts an impressive coaching CV featuring world champions, Olympians, and elite New Zealand athletes. Andrew is constantly refining his recipe for success in the elite coaching scene and is always learning from the latest credible sports science and international experts. Working with the likes of Tom Walsh, the Crusaders Rugby team, and New Zealand Women’s netball and hockey teams, combined with his own extensive experience and proven results, Andrew has become a household name in New Zealand sports consulting and coaching.

It was Andrew’s obsession with speed that led him to Flywheel training - a key ingredient in his strength and speed coaching methods. Back in 2014, Andrew approached Exerfly founder Nick Bolton to discuss eccentric training and its translatable benefits to running performance. In turn, Nick created his own Flywheel training prototype for himself and Andrew, with the goal of increasing their own athletic advantage through eccentric training. Over the years, this evolved into Exerfly, the most user-friendly Flywheel equipment on the market, now used by professional athletes and sports teams all over the globe.

Why does New Zealand’s top sprint coach use Exerfly?

As well as being an elite product with a wide range of scientifically proven benefits for athletic training, there are many things that the Exerfly Platform can do that no other single piece of gym equipment is capable of.

In particular, Exerfly's motorised technology sets it apart from all other Flywheel training equipment. This optional motor allows the user to set an eccentric overload percentage via the Exerfly app, meaning that during the performed exercise, the motor will overload the eccentric phase with an added resistance of up to 80%. This advanced technology makes Exerfly a market leader in the Flywheel training industry, allowing for a diverse range of training methods that encompass anything from rehabilitation to elite-level strength and conditioning training.

As Andrew's main focus of athletic performance is speed, it makes sense that he uses equipment that promotes the growth of type IIX fast-twitch muscle fibres. The Exerfly’s eccentric overload abilities promote the growth of these type two muscle fibres, producing faster and more explosive athletes.

For Andrew, Exerfly is a critical element of his athlete’s training plan, as it is the only piece of gym equipment that both generates force and then requires the athlete to absorb it. Conventional weight training is focused on force output – such as how much you can lift or pull – but no traditional methods facilitate both force production and absorption. Therefore, Exerfly is a key part of any elite athletes' training program due to its unique ability to facilitate a 1:1 concentric:eccentric training ratio.

So why is force absorption a crucial aspect of not only athletes', but everyone’s training?

From a runner’s perspective, every stride offers the potential to gain distance on their opponent or shave seconds off the clock. As a runner lands, the more rigid strength through the hip, knee and ankle that they have will determine how quickly they can transition into the next stride. It is through Exerfly training that I can coach my athletes to better absorb this force through their joints.

Only eccentric training methods can facilitate this force production-absorption model, making Exerfly an extremely useful tool in mimicking the real-life race experience. Not only this, but Exerfly allows movements to be performed safely, minimising injury risk as the movements are more steady and less jarring on joints.

Force absorption training with Exerfly is not only useful for runners but for other sporting disciplines too. Increasing one’s ability to absorb force makes actions such as changing direction and jumping both faster and more agile. This is especially useful for team sports such as basketball and rugby. Even if people are only active once or twice per week, training with the Exerfly will enhance their performance and aid in injury prevention and management.

Although a typical day with Andrew involves elite athletes and high-performance targets, Andrew feels strongly that everyone, not just athletes, should train with Exerfly. Tendon injuries are a huge problem for many active people and are treated through isometric or slow eccentric training - which Exerfly provides.

“Everyone needs to maintain their elasticity and tendon health to prevent injury and collapsing into the ground. Therefore, anyone involved in any kind of activity from walking to running will benefit from the force production/absorption models that Exerfly allows.”

Andrew Maclennan is a founding supporter of Exerfly and is dedicated to training his athletes for peak performance and achieving quantifiable results through the eccentric training Exerfly provides. Andrew is also just as committed to helping other coaches around the world to learn and experience the same benefits of Exerfly that he experiences for himself.

We are excited to help Andrew on his coaching journey and look forward to bringing you more world-class training tips and techniques for Exerfly.

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