Rugby training

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by imported_henk8, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Any ideas on training for rugby, specifically pre-season and in-season?
  2. Dianabol

    Dianabol Guest

    Dear henk8,

    I can well understand your concern for a stronger, more muscular body. The increase in strength is a good thing, and the increased muscular bulk can also be a good thing.

    In the scrum, trunk and lower-limb strength is of essence. Neck strength is vital in terms of safety. Shoulder strength is important too, since I've seen far too many shoulder dislocations from tackles gone awry.

    As such, a rugby-specific strength protocol should include the following exercises:

    1. The Big 3 - Squats, Deadlifts (SL and conventional), Bench Presses
    2. Auxillary exercises - Neck exercises, rotator cuff exercises.
    3. Extra exercises if you have the time - barbell curls, shrugs, calf raises, chins.

    Lift 3 times per week HST style. I'd pretty much have the same program pre-season or in-season, and if weight is an issue, I'd adjust calories and/or throw in extra sprint sessions. Your training for rugby itself should be quite demanding, so make sure your food intake is adequate if you wish to see good progress in and out of the gym.

    Godspeed, and happy HSTing :)
  3. JMB131

    JMB131 New Member

    Henk8, what position do you play? i played second row and always found it difficult balancing the need for great endurance, strength and power. i agree a program centered on squats, deadlifts and benches is the best way to go but i think heavy weghted chins gave me the ability to rip balls away during mauls and hang on to it during loose play.
  4. dianabol, thanks alot for the reply, a few questions:
    -Should I still use submaximal weights with progressive loading?
    -I've seen some recommendations for rugby training to include some olympic lifts (power cleans etc), any need for these?
    -Any speed work in the gym? Or should I concentrate more on speed work on the field?
    JMB131, I'm a second rower too :) , and I will add some moves that simulate specific game situations.
  5. Dianabol

    Dianabol Guest

    Dear henk8,

    Replying in specific:

    -Should I still use submaximal weights with progressive loading?

    Yes. In fact, plan your weights as per HST.

    -I've seen some recommendations for rugby training to include some olympic lifts (power cleans etc), any need for these?

    Well, these lifts require more co-ordination of the whole body for their proper execution. They can have more functional value, to a certain degree. You can substitute one exercise for several others. Power cleans are modified deadlifts perhaps, and if you did a clean and press, you'd be blasting your delts too. If time is of essence, find those olympic lifts that hit as many muscles as possible. If possible, perform these lifts non-plyometrically, since we want muscle bearing the brunt of the weight.

    -Any speed work in the gym? Or should I concentrate more on speed work on the field?

    Speed work - keep it sport specific. Don't be tempted to do hopping squats with a barbell and all such risky plyometric propositions. Cheating a little on the positive to execute a good negative rep is fine. In this case, if speed work is about grabbing a ball and running for your life to make a touchdown, practice it as such - this would be out of the gym and on the field. If speed work is meant to be reflex training, again, make this sport specific - practice throwing, catching, running and intercepting balls with your team-mates.

    If the athlete's body was a car, the gym is akin to the engine development room - a small muscle is a 1000cc engine while a bigger muscle is 5000cc V8 - we want to develop our 1000cc muscles into the big V8. We then decide what to do with this bigger engine - whack it into a truck (e.g. become a discus thrower) or whack it into a sportscar (e.g. a sprinter). Honing of the sport-specific skills is then akin to tuning the car after whacking in the big engine.

    Godspeed, and happy HSTing :)
  6. thedrivethruguy

    thedrivethruguy New Member

    Good analogy, and I agree
  7. Thanks alot for the great reply dianabol [​IMG] .
    I'll check in later with a workout plan for you guys to critique.
  8. Forgot to ask, any need for SD?
  9. Dianabol

    Dianabol Guest

    You're most welcome :)

    Need for SD - After establishing your Rep Maxes, there is SD for usually two weeks, so yes, there is need for SD unless you already know your RMs and have not been doing anything too strenous for two weeks or so.
  10. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    If training for maximal strength, I dont think there is a need for SD, but there is definately a need for planned down weeks where the training load is reduced, volume reduced or both.
    OL can be useful, but they are generally quite technical and you can spend a long time learning them before the loading can be maximal. Lifts off blocks/hang would be a better option for a non-competitive athlete.

    It can be more useful to do various speed related strength movements, like speed squats, ballistic benches, adding bands or chains, plyometrics and improving absolute strength via progressive overloads. Of course most rugby players will need strong posterior chain, but they need to be strong everywhere, for safety and power in some movments.
    Dont worry too much about specific movments for the training like woblle boards and all that garbage, as getting stronger will transfer over and play will improve with practice

    In-season is a completely different deal, as you need to maximise recovery from sometimes heavy games, and just try to limit stregth loss, but still beable to train weekly (if you do that sorta thing) which basically needs to be finely balanced.
  11. Thanks Aaron_F,

    What should the frequency of the lifts for these speed related moves be? And should i alternate heavy, progressive overloading days with the speed days? Lastly, on what days and how frequently should I do plyometrics?

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