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  1. Default In Season Rugby Training

    #1
    MP Junior

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    Morning all, long time reader first time poster!

    I have just finished the pre-season block of rugby training and am now moving into the in-season period of twice a week training and a game on Saturday.

    How would people suggest that I trained in the gym 2 further days a week. In the past I have always just carried on doing failry low rep weight training but I am now 27 and am starting to become aware that more of a conditioning element would be more beneficial to my play!

    I enjoy using kb's, concept 2 and olympic lifts but am unsure how to incorporate them into a routine that would allow me to maintain strength and power built up in pre-season and also allow me to build on my fitness base/ keep my weight in check.

    Would 1 session of power and one other session be appropriate and also what set/rep ranges would be the optimum for in season work.

    Thanks in advance
  2.  
    #2
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    As an idea mate there is a good link about in season training on Joe Defrancos website. its pretty comprehensive. Cardio wise when we are in season we train 3 times a week and play 2 times a week, days off we just do something light like go for a walk/swim
    Position: Prop Caps:1 Clubs: Spalding RFC & Cyprus
    Bench 100kg/5, Squat 250kg/5, Deadlift 210kg/3 = Total 560kg
    Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς
  3.  
    #3
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    Here is the information from his website:

    Quote Quote
    Most athletes will work diligently to improve their strength during the off-season, only to lose all their hard-earned gains when they need them most: during the season! Think about what I’m saying here. What good is it for a football player to be as strong as hell in April, yet weak as a schoolgirl in November?

    I believe most athletes lose their off-season gains during the season because they’ve not been properly educated on the correct way to perform their in-season training. Many athletes try to perform their off-season workouts during the season. Those who do this quickly realize that their off-season program is too demanding to maintain. As a result, they eventually become frustrated and stop training altogether! This, obviously, is the worst thing an athlete can possibly do!
    Athletes need to understand that they can maintain their strength during the season on very little volume - IF they’re doing the right exercises at the proper intensity. Speaking of proper intensity, it’s important to get a true max on your “indicator” lifts before the season starts. This will enable you to make proper weight selections for your main lifts during the season. For example, two weeks before all of our high school football players started training camp, we tested their box squat and bench press. Our training weights and percentages for our in-season programs are based on those max lifts.

    Another point I need to make about in-season training is that it’s extremely unpredictable! Athletes constantly contact me in search of the magic in-season program and, as usual, such a program simply doesn’t exist. There’s no way to predict how an athlete will make it through an entire season. There are just too many variables involved – injuries, school schedule, practice time, easy games, hard games, etc…

    The key is to listen to your body! If you’ve just had an easy game – a blowout, let’s say - in which you were taken out at halftime, you can hit the weights a little harder during the week. If you’re coming off a tough game in which you suffered an injury and you have another tough game the following week, your best bet is to go easy in the weight room that week and just perform some restoration exercises. Taking all this into account, I’ll now give you some guidance by providing you with one (of many) sample in-season programs that I’ve used with my football clients.

    WORKOUT #1
    *This workout was performed on Monday. (Their game was on Saturday.)
    1. A. Max-Effort Upper Body liftwork up to 5RM week 1 & work up to 3RM week 2. *Be somewhat conservative with your weight selections. I don’t advocate forced reps during the season. The goal is to work up to a heavy weight, but you want to get all reps on your own.
      *I also like performing 2-week mini-cycles during the season in which you alternate between full-range max-effort lifts and partial range lifts for the upper body. For example: Weeks 1&2 = bench press; Weeks 3&4 = 3-board press; Weeks 5&6 = incline bench press; Weeks 7&8 = floor press; Weeks 9&10 = close grip bench press; Weeks 11&12 = 4-board press
    2. “Blackburns”Perform 2 sets of the 4 exercises that are shown in the video link. Hold each position for 10-20 seconds. Rest 1 minute between sets.
    3. Unilateral lower body movement – perform 3 sets of 8 reps
    D1. Rowing variation – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
    D2. DB Shrugs – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
    1. High rep abdominal circuit – perform 3-4 exercises and go through circuit 2X
    WORKOUT #2
    *This workout was performed on Wednesday, but it can also be performed on Thursday.
    1. Box Jumps – perform 3 sets of 3
    2. Box squats – perform 3-week mini-cycles with the following percentages: Week 1 = 60% of 1RM for 6 sets of 2 w/ 1 minute rest between sets; Week 2 = 70% of 1RM for 5 sets of 2 w/ 1 minute rest between sets; Week 3 = work up to 3 singles w/ 80-85% of your 1RM. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets. After 3 weeks, start the cycle over. You may increase or decrease the percentages depending on how you feel. Alternate between a regular barbell & safety squat bar every 3 weeks if you can.
    C1. DB bench variation – perform 3 sets of 8-12reps
    C2. Rear Delt/Upper Back exercise – choose one of the following exercises & perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    • Rear delt flyes
    • Scarecrows
    • Face pulls
    • Seated DB “power cleans”
    • Band pull-aparts
    1. DB or cable lateral raises – perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps
    1. Abs/Low back superset – perform 2-3 supersets of your favorite ab exercise with either 45-degree back raises or reverse hyperextensions. Perform 10-20 reps of each exercise.
    Although I’ve now officially published a sample in-season template, I know I’m bound to receive a thousand emails asking me, “What should I do if I can only train once a week during the in-season?”

    I’m well aware that sports such as basketball, baseball and soccer – among others - have multiple games per week. This certainly makes in-season training a little more complicated. One way to combat this is to simply alternate between the two in-season templates provided above. For example, perform Workout #1 on one of your off days during the first week of your season. During an off day on week 2, perform Workout #2. Go back to Workout #1 again during week 3, and so on. If a light week comes up in which you only have one or two games, you can perform both workouts that week. As I’ve stated before, you must use your best judgment.
    *If you know in advance that you’re definitely not going to be able to train more than once a week during the season, I suggest designing one full-body workout that incorporates a squat variation, bench press variation and a row variation. This workout should also cover any weak points that you need to address during the season.
    Westside for Skinny *******s, Part III - DeFranco's Training
    Useful Links:
  4.  
    #4
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    Any other details you could give - position, height, weight, lifts, body fat?

    I am currently an understudy to a Strength + Conditioning coach at Exeter University who writes plans for the high performance sports here. I am also a keen rugby player, although taking a couple years out. What we (or should I say he) does is cycle certain aspects of "fitness" for the guys to do in the gym.
    So pre-season will be based around strength + power leading up to the first game of the season. Power will be the main focus of the program until end of November, then cycles back to hypertrophy for 2 months, then strength Feb till April and then lots of high rep, endurance exercises ready for 7s in May/June.

    Would you be keen on something like this? I can share the info on it if you think it would be beneficial?

    The 'elite' athletes in the high performance group have weights Monday AM/Friday AM/Sunday, games on Wednesdays. Recovery sessions on Thursday and skills/team training on Monday and Friday PM. But obviously you could tailor it to yourself so it's suitable.
    "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."
    Steve's IFing & Strength Log ---- My Home Gym
    Use code MP15581919 for 5% off your first order!
  5.  
    #5
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    Yeah should have given that info at the start....

    Age 27
    Height 6'2
    Weight 112 kg (not sure about body fat but feel that I am carrying a bit of excess)
    Position prop

    Bench x 5 110
    Squat x 5 175
    DL x 5 175
    Power Clean x 5 85
    OH Press x 5 85

    I play in Scotland for a Prem 1 club side. Training is the usual Tues and Thurs with a game Sat. I am looking to do extra Mon, Wed and maybe Friday depending on the week and the upcoming game.

    Thanks for the info, the article addressed a lot of the questions I had.

    Stavrog1,

    That sounds pretty interesting, my time would be slightly more limited than the guys at uni though! If you could share some info on how you guys maintain strength and improve fitness (keep body fat in check!) that would be great.

    Needless to say that the tapering off for 7's would not be a condieration!!
    Last edited by oscar 2009; 03-08-2011 at 05:54 PM.
  6.  
    #6
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    Forgot to say we have just got a company called Nutrition X sponsoring us....they appear to sponsor Munster as well. They are giving us reasonable deals, has anyone come across them before?
  7.  
    #7
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    never heard of them but you should edit out the name as you cant quote competitors here
  8.  
    #8
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    Quote Quote
    Originally Posted by oscar 2009 View Post
    Age 27
    Height 6'2
    Weight 112 kg (not sure about body fat but feel that I am carrying a bit of excess)
    Position prop

    I play in Scotland for a Prem 1 club side. Training is the usual Tues and Thurs with a game Sat. I am looking to do extra Mon, Wed and maybe Friday depending on the week and the upcoming game.

    Thanks for the info, the article addressed a lot of the questions I had.

    Stavrog1,

    That sounds pretty interesting, my time would be slightly more limited than the guys at uni though! If you could share some info on how you guys maintain strength and improve fitness (keep body fat in check!) that would be great.
    Wouldn't say you are that heavy for a prop so wouldn't worry about the excess fat at this point coming into the season, more of an off-season target

    The key thing to remember is NOT to over-train yourself, this is the worst thing you can do and can lead to injuries and fatigue.
    What were you doing for your pre-season training, frequency/intensity etc?
    This is important to know because you don't want to UP your training from your pre-season because you won't be conditioned to cope with the extra volume as well as the matches!

    Monday and Wednesday training should definitely be okay and you could maybe do some light work on Friday. For some conditioning you could easily fit that in on the Sunday.

    The layout could look like this -

    Monday - Strength
    Tuesday - Team Training
    Wednesday - Power
    Thursday - Team Training
    Friday - Rotator cuffs + core plus lots of stretching...some light cardio could be added in (maybe KB circuit if it doesn't fatigue you too much)
    Saturday - Match
    Sunday - Recovery - Swimming if possible, if not then light cardio with lots of stretching.

    Strength Day:
    Squats - 5x1
    Bench - 5x5
    DLs - 5x1
    Row - 5x1
    OHP - 5x1

    Power Day:
    Box Squats / Jump Squats - 5x3
    Power Clean - 5x3
    Push Press - 5x1
    Med Ball Throw/Slam - 5x3

    5x1 means 5 reps and 5 sets, however the 5 sets is ramping the weight up to a top set. This ensures volume is kept low enough and still promotes strength gains. 5x5 and 5x3 is normal sets as I feel you can cope with the added volume in those exercises.
    "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."
    Steve's IFing & Strength Log ---- My Home Gym
    Use code MP15581919 for 5% off your first order!
  9.  
    #9
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    Hi Stavrog, just a quick question, would you recommend this for pre season training as well? My season doesnt start til October as I am at uni and hav ebeen looking for a prop/front row style pre season routine to follow for the next 8 weeks or so, as for the past 4 weeks the programme I have been doing seems a bit non specific.
    Position: Prop Caps:1 Clubs: Spalding RFC & Cyprus
    Bench 100kg/5, Squat 250kg/5, Deadlift 210kg/3 = Total 560kg
    Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς
  10.  
    #10
    MP Junior

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    Thats helpful, i think as mentioned above the key for in-season is to listen to your body and take time off as and when.

    With the regard to the 5x1 sets is the idea that I would only do one set at full effort so for bench i would do:

    5 reps on 85
    5 on 90
    5 on 100
    5 100
    5 on 105

    Pre-season has been pretty good, worked a lot on strength endurance using tyres/ tractor weights combined with sprints. Moving into contact now, had first session with just the forwards on Tues! I always feel that no matter how much you do nothing can really mirror that in the gym!

    Do you think that the cocleans/ squats and dead lift will be enough core work or would you suggest adding in extra?

    CrazyCypriut,

    I know what you mean about rugby specific training, particularly for the front rows. Its quite hard to mimick the movement from the crouch to the engage in the gym. Randomly if you go to allblacks.com then media-videos there is a video of the front rows in the gym, its pretty interesting gets you in the mood!

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