Strength training is one of the critical components that makes a good rugby player. That is the reason why every professional rugby club has a conditioning coach to get the players strong and powerful for excellent performance on the pitch. Over the years, strength training for rugby has been improving especially with advancement in science
Strength training is one of the critical components that makes a good rugby player. That is the reason why every professional rugby club has a conditioning coach to get the players strong and powerful for excellent performance on the pitch. Over the years, strength training for rugby has been improving especially with advancement in science and technology. Today, more improvised training programs that produce incredible results are in use. However, most of the traditional strength training methods remain still relevant even today.
Strength Performance indicators
There are key performance indicators for testing the strength of a rugby player. They include Bench Press, Squat, Chins and Power Clean. These are tested for a 1-3 repetition maximum. So pass the test, the players need to be very strong as these the core movements that ensure they are not disadvantaged during tough times.
Off-Season Strength Training Program
The gym strength program or protocol is pretty simple to implement. The only trick is to ensure that the program is working towards the four in performance indicators. The sets and reps of a typical strength protocol have the following plan: week 1 – 3 – 5 x 5, week 2 – 5 x 3, week 3 – 5, 4,3,2,1 or 5 x 1. In addition, the element of time is a critical variable for proper strength training. First, the player should not rest more than 60 seconds between the sets. The total workout time should be anywhere between 45 minutes and 60 minutes.
The other thing the conditioning coach needs to consider to get the most out of the strength training for rugby program is 3-week block snap shot for an off-season training. The program exercises, sets, and reps should change on a three weeks bases. Using different devices help to change the neural responses of the body to the exercise. For instance, if players are doing box squats and bench press, you can use a variety of devices. That will help you get the most out of the program.
For the strength training for rugby program below, the first three week is a bar weight only with an increase in percentage for Box Squat and Bench Press. The second 3-week block we use weight releasers, the third one chains and final block we use bands.
Off Season 12 Week squat and bench press progressions:
|50% Squat 12 x 2 – bar weight only||Week 2||55% Squat 10 x 2 – bar weight only||Week 3||60% Squat 8 x 2 – bar weight only|
|60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – bar weight only||Hit 60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – bar weight only||60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – bar weight only|
|Week 4||50% Squat 12 x 2 – + 30% weight releasers||Week 5||55% Squat 12 x 2 – + 40% weight releasers||Week 6||60% Squat 12 x 2 – + 50% weight releasers|
|60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – +30% weight releasers||Hit 60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – +40% weight releasers||60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – +50% weight releasers|
|Week 7||50% Squat 12 x 2 – +20 of chain||Week 8||55% Squat 12 x 2 – +25 of chain||Week 9||60% Squat 12 x 2 – + 30kg of chain|
|60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – +15 kg of chain||Hit 60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – +20 kg of chain||60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – +25 kg of chain|
|Week 10||50% Squat 12 x 2 – + 1 set red bands||Week 11||55% Squat 10 x 2 – + 1 set green bands||Week 12||60% Squat 8 x 2 – + 1 set of blue bands|
|60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – + 1 set of red bands||Hit 60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – + 1 set of red bands||60% Bench Press 12 x 3 – + 1 set of red bands|
For in-season strength training for rugby, the program changes a little taking into account that players need to recover from the previous game and train for the next game. Therefore, the intensity of the training has to reduce. But to main the strength gained in the off season, players should train at least twice a week. However, the strength training should only work on the lower and upper bodies at a time. Let’s say that the player has selected to train Monday and Thursday, below is one of the best strength training programs.
|Workout 1 (Monday)||Workout 2 (Thursday)|
|1 x Olympic movement|
*Speed Squat 8 x 2
1 x Squat option*
1 x Hamstring/Lower Back option*
|Speed Bench 8 x 3|
1 x Upper Body Press (not Bench)
*2 x upper Pull – *
1 each vertical and horizontal
Triceps/Biceps super set
For players to get the most out the in season strength training, again the program is altered every 3 weeks.
So for rugby players or individuals who would wish to train for strength, these are two programs that they can apply. These are plans that will help you work on the key performance indicators. However, you must train under an experienced conditioning coach. You must also have the right equipment to get the most out of these strength training for rugby programs.