Hopefully you’re all now well and truly underway with your season and benefiting from all the hard work you put into your pre-season training during the summer months (although you may not feel it just yet! From my experience nothing can quite prepare you for those first few battles of the season regardless of how well prepared you thought you were.) However, the summer’s efforts will not go unnoticed and will certainly come to the fore as your body becomes more tuned and accustomed to game pace and collision. You must trust the process.
You’re now at that stage in the season where it’s extremely important to maintain all of the gains that you made during the summer. This can prove quite difficult even for elite athletes as 80 minutes of rugby at the weekend has the potential to destroy your body for the entire week afterward...and then it’s time to prepare to do it all over again!
At grassroots level, the ability to maintain or improve strength and fitness levels during the season is even more difficult, as Monday to Friday life can encounter many obstacles. Unlike professionals, we must exchange the rehab and physio sessions for backbreaking hours on the building sites or attending pressurised business meetings. No matter what the vocation, it must take priority as we need to earn a living. So it’s difficult for most to even entertain two club training sessions a week.
It‘s therefore vital that when the opportunity arises to participate in training, the session must consist of all components needed to:
1) Maintain and/or improve the strength, power, fitness and muscle mass that was recruited during pre season.
2) Act as a flush out from the previous game and prepare you for your next fixture.
3) To aid in the continued development throughout the tough season ahead, and to ensure durability and resilience to reduce the risk of injury.
Give this brutal Tuesday evening S&C session a go. Despite the pain and fatigue, you may encounter during the session, you’ll sure to be rewarded on Saturday afternoon. It’s time efficient, simple, straight to the point and uses bang for your buck exercises, whilst incorporating everything needed to be successful in rugby.
- Firstly split the squad into 4 groups, as they will be rotating 4 different stations.
- The first 3 stations consist of 2 exercises that work opposing muscles/movements and will be performed using an every minute on the minute (EMOM) protocol.
- Start by performing 10 reps of the first exercise (1A). If it takes 45 seconds to perform the set, rest the remainder of the minute (15 seconds), then move onto the next exercise (1B).
- Each EMOM station will last for 10 minutes. This shortens the rest periods, keeps intensity high and improves the ability to perform under fatigue.
- The 4th station consists of 2 conditioning drills. Perform the 1st for 40 seconds as fast as possible, rest for 20 seconds and then move on to the next drill. Again repeat for 40 seconds, rest for 20 and then continue to alternate for a total time of 10 minutes.
- Rest for 1 minute between stations. TOTAL WORKOUT TIME – 44 Minutes
STATION 1 (Upper body Vertical Push/Pull)
1A Overhead Press
1B Pull-ups or Chin-ups
STATION 2 (Lower body)
1A Squat variation (Front squat/Back squat/Trap Bar Deadlift)
1B Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
STATION 3 (Upper body Horizontal Push/Pull)
1A Bench Press or Push ups
1B Bent over row or chest supported row
STATION 4 (Conditioning)
1A 20m sprints and back pedal