T Nation

A Rugby Winger and His Workouts

Time to start fresh. I was getting in the habit of changing the focus of my workout every three weeks and not sticking with a program long enough to make progress. My old log A Sprinter and His Workouts was getting a bit muddled so i’m drawing a line under it and starting again.

I started pre-season training for rugby on Monday, i’m trying to roughly follow Ashley Jones’ Back Three program as i’m a winger. I have decent speed but lack fitness and size right now.

Anyone interested in stats i’ve detailed a few below, my first goal is to put on at LEAST 5 lbs by the start of September, which is 7 weeks away.

Age: 26
Height: 5 ft 9 1/2
Weight: 153lbs

Chest: 39"
Waist: 31"
Arms: 13"
Thighs: 22.5"

Measurements done first thing in the morning, relaxed pose.

Bench: 110kg
Squat: 2 x 150kg
Deadlift: 150kg
OHP: 75kg

Food: ~2700kcal, 200g Protein, 300g Carbs, 75g Fat

copied from old log:

July 8

AM Session:

Push Press

3 x 5 x 60kg

Split Stance Military Press

2 x 6 x 50kg
2 x 5 x 52.5kg
4, 3 x 55kg

Bench (1)

4 x 6 x 80kg

DB Rows (1)

2 x 6 x 20kg
2 x 6 x 22.5kg

PM Session:

Bench Press (30 secs rest) (2)

80kg x 7, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 (total = 30)

DB Incline Hammer Row (2)

2 x (12, 10, 8) x 15kg

DB Press (30 secs) (3)

15kg x 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, 2 (total = 30)

Chin Ups (3)

11, 8, 6, 5 (total = 30)

Three Way Shoulder Raise (Front Raise ss Lat Raise ss Reverse Flyes)

2 x (12,10,8) x 5kg

Haven’t been that sore from weights in at least a year. Push Press was terrible, hadn’t looked up technique and I wasn’t resting the weight on my shoulders for support.

July 9

Rugby Training

Passing Skills & 14 x 100-150m runs with short recovery

Pretty tame start, obviously doing tempo runs is something i’ve been doing all year and for some it’s the first exercise they’ve had in 2 months. My passing on my weak side is SHOCKING, can’t even spin it I look like a child trying to throw a 20kg medball.

Subscribed. I’m working on my own off-season program now. I’m following Defranco’s WS4SB with assorted strongman lifts thrown in for conditioning/strength. This fall will be my first season playing club rugby, but I played some when I was deployed to the middle east and I played a couple games of aussie rules in Darwin. How long have you been playing? I hoping to play as a flanker, but my speed isn’t quite there yet.

Cheers mate,
Graham

Cool man, good to have you on board. Been playing my whole life, full contact only from age 12 though. Will have a check on your log after this post. You should check out http://articles.elitefts.com/author/ashley-jones/ good stuff about conditioning components

July 10

AM Session:

Track Work

2 x 2 x 20m Plyometric hops for height
2 x 2 x 20m Plyometric hops for distance

2 x 5 x 15m various starting positions, lying on front, on back, one leg kneel, with ball

4 x 22m build up 28m fast
2 x 60m FMF (20m fast, 20m maintain speed, 20m fast again)

2 x 80m 9.45, 9.49 first movement

4 x 20m walking lunges

Quite a large number of accelerations, pleasantly surprised with my 80m times as I was looking for sub 9.70. Walking lunges because I don’t have a sled to drag. I ran with the ball in my hands a few times to get used to it, I have a habit of tucking it under my arm which tells the opposition I have no intention to pass and limits the space they give me.

PM Session:

Hang Power Clean - 3 x 5 x 60kg

Back Squat (1) - 3 x 5 x 100kg

Borzov Jumps (1) - 3 x 5

Reverse Lunge - 3 x 5 x 75kg

TGU Sit Up - 3 x 5 x 15kg

Ab Wheel Standing - 3 x 8

Probably went too heavy on the lunges given the amount of work my legs have already done today. Glad I went lighter on the squats, although i’m pretty conditioned already I don’t see any point in maxing out on everything in the very first week and getting horrible doms and injuring myself. I have team training tomorrow evening so will be maximising recovery in the next 24 hours…

I have read everything by Ashley Jones that I can get my hands on, I will definitely check out that article tonight. If you are looking for an inexpensive sled for dragging there are several you can buy for less than $100. I simply went to a garage and asked if they had any tires they were going to throw out and they gave me one for free. I attached it to a piece of ply wood(so it wouldn’t tear up the grass) and hooked a chain to a deer harness…voila! Rugged dragging sled on the cheap! You can increase the resistance by putting rocks, sand bags etc. inside the tire. Hope this helps.

Sounds good man, I might have to make something like that if my friend and I can find a grassy area to regularly train on, for now we’re on an athletics track for that session.

July 11

Rugby Training

Passing Skills, Footwork drills, 10m partner carry
8 x 50m short recovery
4 x 10 x 8m with chest to floor
2 games of touch, 7 v 7 half pitch width ways

That was definitely more intense, the 10 x 8m with chest to floor really had me breathing hard, it was about 20 seconds between sets and I didn’t know how many we were doing so went flat out.

July 12

AM Session:

Push Press 3 x 5 x 62.5kg (up from 60kg)

Split Stance Military Press

2 x 6 x 50kg
2 x 5 x 52.5kg
4, 3 x 55kg (failed the last rep again!)

Bench Press (A1) 4 x 6 x 80kg

DB Rows (A2) 4 x 6 x 25kg (up from 2 x 20kg, 2 x 22.5kg)

PM Session:

Bench Press (B1) 80kg x 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, 2 (got to 30 in 6 sets instead of 8)

DB Incline Hammer Row (B2) 2 x (12, 10, 8 x 15kg)

DB Press (C1) 20kg x 9, 7, 5, 5, 4 (up from 15kg)

Pull Ups (C2) 10, 7, 5, 5, 3 (chin ups last time)

Three Way Shoulder Raise 2 x (12, 10, 8) x 5kg

I increased the push press without really thinking how difficult it was on Monday. I can kind of rest it on my chest but it puts my wrists in a weak position, I think i’m probably meant to explode it off my shoulders enough that I don’t use my wrists except for lock out but it was awkward and shit this time round.

I failed strict press again on the final rep. 2.5 mins rest catches up on me. I can increase rows next week. I felt much better with the evening session this time around, it was still tough but I was fresh enough to DB press my normal amount. I’m eating more at breakfast so i don’t fade later in the day and I felt more energy in the PM session. Those incline hammer rows really hit my lats, could still feel them this morning from Monday’s workout.

I want to rest tomorrow and do speed and lower body weights on Sunday, that’d be a full week, but the program has two conditioning sessions which i’m effectively trading for team training and I feel that the program will be much harder than that so i might squeeze in conditioning early on a Saturday as long as it doesn’t sap my speed for Sunday.

Dreading the start of Pre-season myself. I’ll be following bud.

Cool. I checked out your log, liked the strength requirements for SA 07 squad as i’m strong for a back, my friend’s a 2nd row and it said he needs to add 40kg to his bench so he’s a bit miffed.

July 14

Weight: 152 lbs - quite disappointed that my weight has gone the other way, I upped my calories midweek by about 200 so i’ll stick with that and see where i go this week.
Chest: 39"
Waist: 31"
Arms: 13"
Legs: 22.5"

AM Session:

Track Work

2 x 2 x 20m Plyometric hops for height
2 x 2 x 20m Plyometric hops for distance

3 x 5 x 15m various starting positions, lying on front, kneeling, 3 point, jump & go

4 x 22m build up 28m fast
2 x 60m slalom direction changes

1 x 50m
1 x 80m

4 x 20m walking lunges

This took a lot out of me by the end and I was crashing mid-afternoon. Training partner came along and was good motivation as he gets straight into the next rep no messing around taking extra recovery. We did this out on the rugby pitch and I was happy with my speed across the ground.

PM Session:

Power Clean - 3 x 5 x 65kg

Back Squat (1) - 3 x 5 x 100kg

Borzov Jumps (1) - 3 x 5

Reverse Lunge - 3 x 5 x 75kg

TGU Sit Up - 3 x 5 x 15kg

Ab Wheel Standing - 3 x 8

Pretty quick session which is a good thing because it’s really hot today and i was lagging. Lunges were much better, last time I changed legs every rep but this time I smashed out five with a nice rhythm before changing legs. Cleaned from the floor and it felt better. Abs were easier than Wednesday, bring on week two!!

July 15

AM Session:

Push Press - 3 x 5 x 62.5kg

Split Stance Military Press

2 x 5 x 50kg
2 x 4 x 52.5kg
2 x 3 x 55kg

Bench Press (A1) 4 x 3/3 x 82.5kg (up from 6 x 80kg) (3/3 = 3 reps, 20 secs rest, 3 reps)

DB Rows (A2) 4 x 6 x 27.5kg (up from 25kg)

PM Session:

Bench Press (B1) 80kg x 9, 6, 5, 5, 5

DB Incline Hammer Row (B2) 2 x (10, 8, 6 x 17.5kg)

DB Press (C1) 20kg x 10, 8, 7, 5

Pull Ups (C2) 10, 7, 6, 5, 2

Three Way Shoulder Raise 2 x (10, 8, 6) x 5kg

Rotator Cuff 2 movements, 3 x 10 x 5kg

My shoulders were hurting from OHP, need to get on top of my stretching and technique or this volume of work will ruin me in no time. I stretched them out well and the second session was better. Some of the reps are down from 12/10/8 to 10/8/6 and unless it was too easy last week I kept the weight the same. Already looking forward to 8/6/4!! I improved on everything today, if not in reps or weight then in how it felt. I am inhaling food, never been so hungry. I could easily do 4000kcal but i’m sticking with what i’m on for now to get a gradual increase that’s hopefully all muscle. Training tomorrow, I’ve done so much in a week it’s unreal.

July 16

Rugby Training

Passing Skills
4 Suicides (22, half, opp 22, full) in 85-95 secs.
Half Pitch Touch 12 v 12

That got dramatically more intense from last week. Nobody hit the target times, I think I was in the top 3 in each run though which i’d expect.

July 17

AM Session:

Wrist Flick 4 x 20

Med Ball Pass 4 x 10

Resistance Band ISO Pass Hold 4 x 15 secs

Wrist flick i got from a scrum half, the other two I just made up, just trying to strengthen the movement pattern associated with passing a ball.

Track Work (on grass)

2 x 2 x 20m Plyometric hops for height
2 x 2 x 20m Plyometric hops for distance

3 x 4 x 15m various starting positions, lying on front, kneeling, back pedal & turn, 3 point, jump & go

4 x 22m build up 28m fast (partner passed ball after the 22m and sprint once ball caught)
2 x 75m slalom direction changes

1 x 50m kick retrieve
1 x full pitch kick retrieve - was timed from picking ball up in dead ball area to scoring a try in 12.60 secs

Bit more ball work today, and no lunges! May as well get used to running fast with a ball under my arm. Good session, 32 degrees I was sweating before we even started.

PM Session:

Power Clean 4 x 4 x 70kg - narrower arms made all the difference and these absolutely flew up, so easy

A1 Back Squat 4 x 4 x 110kg - bit shaky at first but once I cued to push the knees apart and drive through heels it was ok

A2 Borzov Jumps 4 x 4 - fuck whoever came up with these

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls 3 x 6 - bit easy but I don’t want achey hammies for training tomorrow

SL Hip Thrust 2 x 5 x 5kg, 1 x 5 x 7.5kg - I like these, weight was easy to hold over hips

TGU Sit Up 3 x 5 x 15kg

Ab Wheel Standing 3 x 8

I wasn’t happy with reverse lunges and wanted more hamstring work. Bought a swiss ball the other week so put it to use with HS curls, these weren’t in the program so I put in hip thrusts which were. Solid day of training, much happier with the selection of exercises on leg day.

July 18

Rugby Training

Full Pitch Touch

It wasn’t a free for all and we had various rules that seemed to exclude the backs, especially the wingers, so for me I didn’t get much out the session as others. I know the ground is hard and it’s early days but I live for full contact, touch is just a waste of time and i’m one of the smallest and fastest so should be one of the guys advocating it, but i’d rather someone knock the shit out of me than lightly place his hands on my hips, i’ll learn to find the gaps better when that’s the risk of failure.

July 19

AM Session:

Push Press 3 x 5 x 62.5kg

Split stance OHP

2 x 5 x 50kg
2 x 4 x 52.5kg
2 x 3 x 55kg

A1 Bench Press - 4 x 3/3 x 82.5kg

A2 DB Rows - 4 x 6 x 27.5kg

Shoulder didn’t hurt much this time, seemed to get in a much stronger position under the bar for push press and OHP. Bench was easy, happy to make the move to 85kg next week.

PM Session:

B1 Bench Press 82.5kg x 9, 6, 5, 4, 4, 2 increased from 80kg, hands seem to hurt when it’s short recovery benching

B2 Incline Hammer Row 2 x (10, 8, 6) x 17.5kg feel strong in these, could see what 20kg is like next week

C1 DB Press 22.5kg x 9, 7, 5, 4, 5, up from 20kg, hard to get up onto shoulders when tired

C2 Pull Ups 10, 7, 8, 5

3 way Shoulder Raise 2 x (10, 8, 6) x 5kg

Rotator Cuff, 2 movements, 3 x 10 x 5kg

Pleased that my body has adjusted to these double sessions relatively quickly and i’m starting to see and feel progress. Eager for my Sunday morning measurements.

July 21

AM Session:

Speed Training (on grass)

Skips for height & distance 2 x 20m
Footwork drills 2 x 8 slaloms

Agility Drills 5 x (T, Box, W)

3 x 15m from 3 point start

Shuttle Run, 5-10-15-20 (no return after 20) x 3, 20.6 secs, 20.2 secs, 19.9 secs

5 x 22 build up 28 fast

2 x full pitch (try line to try line) 12.32 secs, 12.34 secs

1 suicide (22, half, opp 22, full) - 1 min 39 secs

Slow suicide, but I was knackered. I preferred the agility drills, very short rest and really working hard every step. Felt quick running the full pitch with the ball. Couldn’t get out my car once i’d driven home from the track, legs were gone.

PM Session:

Power Clean 4 x 4 x 75kg light weight, feel like i’m in such a mechanically strong position now

A1 Back Squat 4 x 4 x 115kg these felt good, up from 110kg

A2 Borzov Jumps 4 x 4

Swiss Ball HS Curl 3 x 9

SL Hip Thrust 3 x 5 x 10kg

TGU Sit Up 3 x 5 x 17.5kg

Good session, power cleans feel amazing and I won’t worry too much about the numbers of the hamstring work as I see that as assistance, will be looking to get cleans and squats up in weight. Having more side stepping and back pedalling in the morning session definitely spread the stress on my legs as I felt my quads more when I did 15 x 15m accelerations. I think once my assistance exercises have settled I can pick out a few key lifts and look to make advances on those.

Heaps of volume in here. I hope you eating like a elephant.

Ive played around with 2 sessions a day and found that its easy to burn out if your not careful and pay extra attention to food and sleep.

What exactly did you eat yesterday?

tweet

Yeh my appetite has skyrocketed, I feel like I could eat 50% more in each meal but i’m trying to gain slowly and not get out of control. Sleep is mixed as I get up for work at 4am, but days off I end up sleeping about 11 hours.

I had a cup of oats, a banana, handful of cashews and a protein shake for two meals yday, roughly P44 C95 F23. Around my workouts i’m getting in a lot of dextrose, a bit of whey, BCAA’s, creatine and glutamine. Then dinner was brown rice, big serving of turkey mince, sprinkled with sunflower seeds. Total was about 3150 cals (P210 C400 F80).

July 22

AM Session:

Push Press 3 x 5 x 65kg - up from 62.5kg

Split Stance OHP

4 x 50kg, 3 x 52.5kg, 2 x 55kg
4 x 52.5kg, 3 x 55kg, 2 x 57.5kg - felt too easy to not increase the weight when the prescribed reps drop so I put on 2.5kg for 2nd set

A1 Bench Press 4 x 6 x 85kg - up from 82.5kg and very very easy. I did wonder why I found these weights hard, should be on 90kg+

A2 DB Rows 4 x 6 x 27.5kg - shoulder still twinges when I get to rows but much less than previously

PM Session:

B1 Bench Press 82.5kg x 10, 7, 6, 4, 3 - hand still hurt but not as much

B2 Incline DB Hammer Rows 2 x 8,6,4 x 20kg - up from 17.5kg

DB Press 22.5kg x 9, 6, 6, 6, 3 - pleased to match my reps and not let fatigue take over

Strict Pullups 11, 7, 7, 5 - Only way I could make these harder was to make sure it was near enough from a dead hang each rep

3 way Shoulder Raise - 2 x 8, 6, 4, x 5kg

Rotator Cuff, 2 movements, 3 x 10 x 5kg

Another good session. Everything’s on a 3 week cycle so i don’t know if I do a deload or just get on with it. I think i’ll keep it going until my numbers stall or I feel it catching up to me.

Great stuff, I followed your sprinting log and look forward to seeing more of this and probably using it for some ideas. I’m heading over to England in a few weeks and will be playing in London 2 South East (definitely not first XV though) which league are you playing in?

[quote]RuckItAll wrote:
Great stuff, I followed your sprinting log and look forward to seeing more of this and probably using it for some ideas. I’m heading over to England in a few weeks and will be playing in London 2 South East (definitely not first XV though) which league are you playing in?[/quote]

Ha! Well this is interesting, you appear to be in my league. Who are you playing for? PM me if you want to keep the team private.

July 23

Yoga - 30 mins

Foam Rolling - 15 mins

Static Stretching - 10 mins

Rugby Training

4 x Suicides in 85-95 secs
5 x 30 secs of shuttle run sprints
Passing Skills
Full Pitch Touch

I felt like I coped better with those. I have to shut out the other players as they start fast then fade and i wanted to keep an even pace. Came 2nd in most runs. I want to keep on top of my recovery strategies so i’ll try to include yoga, foam rolling and stretching on Tues, Thurs and Sat.

Ab Marching 3 x 30
Jackknives 3 x 15

[quote]Fezz wrote:

[quote]RuckItAll wrote:
Great stuff, I followed your sprinting log and look forward to seeing more of this and probably using it for some ideas. I’m heading over to England in a few weeks and will be playing in London 2 South East (definitely not first XV though) which league are you playing in?[/quote]

Ha! Well this is interesting, you appear to be in my league. Who are you playing for? PM me if you want to keep the team private.[/quote]

That is hilarious, just sent a message over

July 24

AM Session:

Speed Training (on grass)

Skips for height & distance 2 x 20m
Footwork drills 2 x 8 slaloms

Agility Drills 5 x (T, Box, W)

3 x 15m from 3 point start

Shuttle Run, 5-10-15-20 (no return after 20) x 2

4 x 22 build up 28 fast

2 x full pitch (try line to try line) 12.05 secs, 11.64 secs - different pitch to Sunday, must be smaller

6 x 20m partner carries (~80kg)

Good session, felt like we got through it at a better pace with less fatigue. Good full pitch sprints.

PM Session:

Power Clean 5 x 3 x 80kg harder this time but if my form is perfect it flies up

A1 Back Squat 5 x 3 x 115kg slower on the way down and tried to be explosive on the way up

A2 Borzov Jumps 5 x 3

Swiss Ball HS Curl 3 x 10

SL Hip Thrust 3 x 5 x 10kg

TGU Sit Up 3 x 5 x 17.5kg

Ab Wheel 3 x 8

Not overly difficult but definitely challenging, pleased with my progress in power cleans.

July 26

AM Session:

Push Press 3 x 5 x 65kg

Split Stance OHP

2 x (4 x 52.5kg, 3 x 55kg, 2 x 57.5kg)

A1 Bench Press 4 x 6 x 87.5kg - up again from 85kg with a little left in the tank

A2 DB Rows 4 x 6 x 27.5kg

Good to move my bench up again, I don’t feel any stronger because i’m knackered most of the time but the numbers are moving in the right direction.

PM Session:

B1 Bench Press 85kg x 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, 2 - upped from 82.5kg

B2 Incline DB Hammer Rows 2 x 8,6,4 x 20kg

DB Press 22.5kg x 11, 6, 6, 4, 3 - first set of pullups was tough and sapped my strength for the second set of this. Time to move up a weight.

Strict Pullups 12, 7, 7, 4

3 way Shoulder Raise - 2 x 8, 6, 4, x 5kg

My bench at home is a very slight incline (morning session is at a public gym) so the numbers won’t match up. Changing my schedule next week to spread the workload a bit more so good to be at the end of my first 3 week cycle.