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  1. #1
    Registered User ElWilson's Avatar
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    Post Ultimate Rugby Training Thread

    Hi there,

    I've been rummaging around this forum for a while now, and there's hardly any really decent threads about training in pre-season rugby training.
    So i'd like to just have a go at helping you with some info which I learned at county and regional level. This workout below is from Welsh Rugby Academy.

    Firstly, some basics of strength training.
    There are two ways which strength improvement can occur in the body:

    ? Hypertrophy - this simply means to increase the size of a muscle. The
    force a muscle can produce is directly related to its cross sectional area
    so any improvement in cross sectional area will result in an increase in
    force output. Each muscle in your body is composed of muscle fibres
    which can increase in size - hypertrophy training aims to augment the
    protein content of these filaments improving their ability to produce force.
    When performing hypertrophy it must be remembered that all increases
    in strength are accompanied by increase in weight. This can be
    advantageous for some players - but any weight gain which results in a
    decrease in relative strength is likely to be detrimental to player
    performance. The most effective way to hypertrophy a muscle is to
    subject it to high volumes of work - this is generally achieved with
    relatively high reps ranges (8 to 12) and an intensity of between 65 and
    75% of the maximum weight you can lift. The work effort at this level
    must be close to or at failure and recoveries should be strictly adhered to
    - between 1 to 1.5 minutes.

    ? Neural - you train the body to become more efficient at performing
    tasks, the coordination between muscle groups improves and the
    coordination and recruitment of muscle fibres within muscles improves.
    In this way strength can be improved with minimum weight gain giving
    gains in both relative and gross strength levels. The heavier the weight
    you handle in a set the less likely you are to get hypertrophy and the
    greater impact you will have on your neural system. Weights at or
    greater than 90% of your maximum will result in the greatest neural
    gains. Most athletes would only have the ability to handle these
    intensities for 1 to 3 reps. Recovery for this type of work must be high -
    from 3 to 5 minutes, without this recovery you will not have sufficient
    neural recovery and will be unable to maintain lifting intensity. Weights
    at around 75-85% of your maximum can impact on both neural and
    hypertrophic strength gains - rep ranges would be from 8 to 4 and
    recoveries need to be set at around 3 min.

    Which is why, on the workout below - the strength training intergrates both neural and hypertrophy into a 12 week workout of periodization, which is set to make sure that you are at your peek of strength as the season starts.

    Week 1-4 (4sets, 10-12 reps - except Clean pulls 20 x 2)

    Monday

    Squat
    Bench press
    Bent over row
    Standing shoulder press

    Wedensday

    Clean pull (20 x 2)
    Rom deadlift
    Upright row
    Hamtring curls

    Friday

    Squat
    Bench
    Bent row
    Standing Military Press

    Week 5-8 (4sets, 5 reps)

    Monday

    Power clean
    Squat
    Bench
    Bent row

    Wedensday

    Clean pull
    Rom Deadlift
    Push press
    Hamstring curls

    Friday

    Power clean
    Squat
    Bench
    Bent row

    Week 9-12 (4 sets, 3 reps - work on explosiveness)

    Monday

    Power clean
    Squat
    Bench
    Bent row

    Wednesday

    Clean pull
    Rom Deadlift
    Push press
    Hamstring curls

    Friday

    Power clean
    Squat
    Bench
    Bent row

    Week 1-4 = Hypertrophy (90secs recovery)
    Week 5-8 = Strength (3min recovery)
    Week 9-12 = Power (3-5min recovery)

    Week 1-4


    Week Sets Reps
    1 4 12
    2 4 10
    3 4 10
    4 3 12

    Week Monday Wednesday Friday
    1 65% 65% 65% (of 1RM)
    2 70% 70% 65%
    3 75% 75% 70%
    4 70% 70% 65%

    Weeks 5-9

    Week Sets Reps
    5 4 5
    6 4 5
    7 4 5
    8 4 5

    Week Monday Wednesday Friday
    5 80% 80% 75%
    6 82.5% 82.5% 77.5%
    7 85% 85% 80%
    8 82.5% 82.5% 77.5%

    Weeks 9-12

    Week Sets Reps
    9 4 3
    10 3 3
    11 3 2
    12 1 1

    Week Monday Wednesday Friday
    9 87.5% 87.5% 82.5%
    10 90% 90% 85%
    11 92.5% 92.5% 87.5%
    12 New max New max No train



    Speed Training

    Sport loading

    This involves sprinting whilst being resisted in some manner. This can be
    achieved in a variety of ways. These include using harnesses, weighted jackets, parachutes and running uphill. It should be noted, that although these exercises make the specific running muscles stronger, they don?t necessarily make them faster. The resistance you place on a muscle causes it to work harder and may make it recruit more muscle fibres, this increase in power output, through progressive training, will eventually be transferred to your un-resisted running.

    e.g:
    ? Distances 5 - 30m
    ? Repetition 4 to 8
    ? Recovery 1 to 3min

    Over-speed

    This involves a neurological adaptation to training. This means that you adapt
    the muscles you have to make them move more quickly. This may be done either by being pulled along using an elastic harness, whereby the body must get used to moving more quickly than it has previously, or achieved by running down gentle slopes. YOU MUST PERFORM THIS WITH CORRECT POSTURE. Over speed training needs to be perfomed only when you're not feeling sore from prior training. So there is no residual fatigue.

    e.g:

    Tie a bungee to an immovable object. You should then back up 30-35m to create the necessary tension in the bungee.

    Agility

    Agility involves being able to move over short distances quickly, change
    direction well and training the body to be able to manage its own weight when
    changing direction.
    Agility can be developed by trying to replicate the movements that occur on a
    pitch. This can be achieved by using equipment such as speed ladders, cones,
    mini hurdles and poles. It should always be remembered that being able to
    decelerate is as an important part of agility training as being able to accelerate.

    Improvement towards agility and general speed can be performed using SAQ (Speed, Agility, Quickness):

    http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/agility.htm#ladder

    INTERVAL TRAINING - Endurance

    Farleck training is a common form of interval training as it usually replicates the suddent pace changes applied on the pitch.

    e.g:

    10 minutes warm up jog.
    Repeat 3 times - Stride hard for 30 seconds, jog 90 seconds. Repeat with 15 second decreases in recovery jog e.g. 30-90, 30-75, 30-60, 30-45, 30-30, 30-15 and 30-15-30.
    10 minute cool down jog

    Circuit training

    Circuit training is an excellent way to improve mobility, strength and stamina.
    E.g:

    8 Exercises to do in Circuit

    Treadmills, Press ups, Squat Jumps (forward astride), Sit ups (bent knees feet on the ground), Squat Thrusts, Bench Dips, Shuttle runs, Back extension chest raise (supermans)

    Duration:

    20 to 30 seconds work on each exercise with a 30 second recovery between each exercise.
    3 to 5 sets with a 3 minute recovery between each set.



    I'll try to write more when I get some more time.
    Good luck!
    Last edited by ElWilson; 06-29-2007 at 04:32 AM.
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  2. #2
    fokken laanie monatu's Avatar
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    Thanks, some great stuff.

    Ill contribute something.

    Fitness wise:

    Grids - running laps around the field. Start with jogging the touch lines and sprinting the try lines, when you get fitter sprint the touch lines and jog the try lines. 3 continuous laps, rest for 3 mins, 3 more laps is a very good workout.

    Work on exercises that build explosiveness - Power Cleans, Box Squats etc.

    Make sure you have GOOD core strength, a must to make sure you dont get chucked around like a rag doll.

    Ill post my Workout here, for anyone that wants to use it or modify it as they will.

    Its a strength based workout, with all the main lifts (Power Clean, Bench Press, Box Squats, Deadlifts) in the 5-6 rep range and Accessory Lifts (Bicep Curls, Hamstring Curls, Lat Pulldown, Upright Row, Barbell Shrugs, Dumbbell Overhead Press) in the 8-12 rep range.

    2 workouts, I alternate them, workout 3 times a week.

    Workout A
    Flat Bb Bench Press 4 x 6
    Box Squats 4 x 6
    Deadlifts 3 x 6
    Barbell Shrugs 1 x 8, 1 x Max reps
    Db Overhead Press 1 x 8, 1 x Max Reps
    Upright Row 1 x 8, 1 x Max Reps

    Core Work in there as well, such as crunches and Planks.

    Workout B
    Flat Bb Bench Press 4 x 6
    Box Squats 4 x 6
    Power Clean 3 x 5
    Db Bicep Curls 1 x 8, 1 x Max Reps
    Lying Hamstring Curl 1 x 8, 1 x Max Reps
    Lat Pulldown 1 x 8, 1 x Max Reps

    Core Work in there as well, such as crunches and Planks.

    On the Accessory lifts, once I can do 12 reps on the Max reps set I increase the weight for the next workout.


    So yeh, thats my workout. Take from it what you will.

    Its recomended to do 3 days of weights and then 3 days of some sort of Cardio (maybe, 3 days of interval sprints for fitness, or 1 day of Fitness/1 day of Pylometrics and Speed training and then another day of fitness)


    Some good fitness sites: http://www.utmb.edu/rugby/rtrain.htm
    http://www.athletes.com/fun/rugby1.htm
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  3. #3
    Registered User Benji Snap's Avatar
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    Ahhh great a rugby union workout.... Will this teach me to look like Matt Dunning ?

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  4. #4
    Sleepy moderator scott_donald's Avatar
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    hmmm why 20x2 on cleans???

    and the power section is really strength unless you are using reduced intensities...
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    Wink

    Actually, someone began a thread on programs:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=3396031

    so it might be better to only have one!

    Some good stuff on both, just need to be put together!
    Last edited by koda86; 06-29-2007 at 06:50 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User ElWilson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by scott_donald View Post
    hmmm why 20x2 on cleans???

    and the power section is really strength unless you are using reduced intensities...
    As cleans are purely meant to be done explosively - the reps have been cut per set so you can work on form. As after about 6 reps - you start losing form and explosivety.
    Yet as you still do 40 reps in the excercise, the muscles are still built well.
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  7. #7
    Sleepy moderator scott_donald's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElWilson View Post
    As cleans are purely meant to be done explosively - the reps have been cut per set so you can work on form. As after about 6 reps - you start losing form and explosivety.
    Yet as you still do 40 reps in the excercise, the muscles are still built well.
    after 20 sets you will have no explosiveness...
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