T Nation

Any Rugby League/Union Players?


Just wondering how (if) you adapt your training to complement your sport any specific exercises you use too. thanks.


i play union i do ws4sb. i have found sled work really helps with speed and running strength

i played league for one summer and just remember doing the most horrible fitness ever.

i'd say the most important thing is probably just getting strong in all the main lifts and doing speed work if you're outside the tight five.


I play union as a hooker/prop. What not to do is half ass your lifting during the season OR try to keep training with 4 lifting days, 2 club practices, conditioning, and saturday matches. With the former I became weak, with the latter I became overtrained and lost 15 pounds in 2 months.

The best results I've had are also with Joe Defranco's west side for skinny bastards in-season template. You can change the exercises around to make sure you hit the essentials like get-it-done suggests.

It's really important to know your own recovery and make sure to eat and sleep enough if you don't want to be a quivvering injured mess by the end of the season.

Play hard. Cheers!


push press - lineouts
front squat/back squat and farmers walk for grip - scrum
50m sprint/50m jog continuous to simulate work rate
prehab- lots of external shoulder rotations and split squats with rear leg elevated (bulgarian squats) to open up the hips
also, single leg hamstring curls on a swiss ball (note: this is badass even though it seems a little fruity. just try it)


Take a look at Kettlebell/Dumbbell swings. Also, the prowler is god's gift to ruggers. If you don't have one get someone on the team to make one. Joe DeFranco turned several players on my team into monsters with that piece of equipment - including a fullback and one of the wings.


overhead squats and powerclean frontsquat pushpress complex 1-2 days a week depending on how well your recovering. I was a no necked rugby league playing front rower who never had any passing skills and just ran it up the guts, lol. I was also the boof head who took the penalties and ran into the brick wall, why i say depending on recovery, as its hard to powerclean when your ribs are bruised to the shit house. Throw in some skipping 3minute rounds by 3 after your workout. I would expect gains during the season just maintenance, go for gains in the off season.

go the north queensland cowboys


^ you sound like a god, that's what i aspire to be but have way too much of a neck


I play union as a flanker/2nd row, I would say to make sure you have some type of overhead work (OH press, push press, overhead squats) in your program. I also incorporate power cleans before I do deadlifts. As far as in season training, I do 5/3/1, and I plan on lifting twice a week, so monday would be bench and squat, tuesday practice, wednesday OH press and deadlift, thursday practice, friday rest up any soreness, and saturday matches. I also recomend dropping volume a bit so your not in a constant state of horrible soreness when your trying to practice.


Thanks for the replies guys im currently doing 5/3/1 but training 4 days a week during this season however im not too sore when training/playing but still thinking of reducing volume


I Find it really hard to gain weight/strength in season, in past years my main goal was always to just get bigger so I continued a 4-5 day BB split routine. not a good idea, I just didnt get anywhere.
I'm not playing this season but I'm writing a program for a mate of mine that I think is the best option. I will post it later on tonight
EDIT: I realised that the program may seem a bit vague without personal instruction, but if you are interested I will pm it to you and you can ask questions.
BTW I am 24 and have played rugby since I was 15, I have played no8 flanker second row and prop.


yeah that would be great if you could pm that thanks and I only came back to playing around 2 years ago and then that's when I started taking my training seriously I play wing/centre/fullback so any sort of outside back positions really