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Bodybuilder Turned Rugby Player

So my buddies girl talked me into playing rugby. My first practice is in two weeks, i pretty much have no idea what i need to be doing as far as lifting and condition work. I’ve been doing a mash up of running, sprints and treadmill work. My cardio sucks very badly as i’ve beeb purely lifting heavy and doing bodybuilding stuff.

I would love as much input as humanly possible as far as what my weight lifting program should be and maybe some stuff to get my endurance up. Its a pick up Rugby thing its not like im gonna be a pro, but i definitly wanna crush some people on the feild. Im strong and some what fast i just have no endurance yet.

Im currently 210, about 13 percent bodyfat and 5 10. Just a little info. And this is my first post, i had no idea where to put this. THANKS GUYS!!!

Chris87 plays rugby in college. His log is here: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/college_rugby_training_1?id=5099660&pageNo=0

He’s really helpful so I’m sure you could PM him as well. Good luck.

Run. Go outside, start with a mile jog and keep at it and build up until you can do an easy 3-4 without stopping or dieing. There is a lot more to Rugby, lots of sprinting and aneorbic work but you need that base to run 80 minutes. You ll learn the technical aspects at practice and you can add sprint work in once you get rolling but you’ll be worthless if you’re walking 15-20 minutes in.

[quote]SolarFall wrote:
So my buddies girl talked me into playing rugby. My first practice is in two weeks, i pretty much have no idea what i need to be doing as far as lifting and condition work. I’ve been doing a mash up of running, sprints and treadmill work. My cardio sucks very badly as i’ve beeb purely lifting heavy and doing bodybuilding stuff.

I would love as much input as humanly possible as far as what my weight lifting program should be and maybe some stuff to get my endurance up. Its a pick up Rugby thing its not like im gonna be a pro, but i definitly wanna crush some people on the feild. Im strong and some what fast i just have no endurance yet.

Im currently 210, about 13 percent bodyfat and 5 10. Just a little info. And this is my first post, i had no idea where to put this. THANKS GUYS!!![/quote]

You’re biggest issue will definitely be your fitness. Since practice is starting soon there’s not much you can do about it until then, so don’t get too worried. You will get a lot better during practice.

As far as lifting goes, I run 5/3/1, and I think it’s great for a rugby player. It will allow you to keep making strength gains without killing yourself in the gym and without having to spend a lot of time thinking about it.

When your practice starts, you will have to cut down on your lifting. 2 days a week is the general advice. The way I set it up is like this:

Monday:

Squat 5/3/1
Bench 5/3/1
Lat work
Ab work

Tuesday- practice

Wednesday

Deadlift 5/3/1
Press 5/3/1
Lat work
Arm work

Thursday- practice

Friday- recovery session. This generally will mean an extra foam rolling/stretching session and some contrast baths

Saturday- Match

Sunday- recovery session, same as friday

It’s important to note that I only do the prescribed reps in season, save your energy for practice.

I also foam roll/stretch every morning in addition to the recovery sessions and what we do in practice.

When you get to your offseason, you can lift more often. Conditioning work will absolutely have to be a priority. I cannot tell you how many guys I see that can’t play a full match because they are out of shape.

I train 4 days a week during the offseason, usually Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I follow this general template:

5/3/1 lift
2-3 assistance lifts, usually for 3 sets each
Hard conditioning work

For conditioning work, you have to realize that you need both an aerobic base (like jogging/running a few miles) and the ability to sprint/run fast over and over and be able to recover quickly.

There are all kinds of ways to approach this. 1 way would be to do 2 session of running/jogging continously, and 2 days of interval/sprint work. The way I like to do it is to combine the 2 in the same training session. Currently it looks like this:

2 mins of running, 1 minute of slow jogging or walking x3
30 seconds of running fast, 30 seconds of jogging or walking x4
10 seconds of sprinting, 1 minute of jogging or walking x6

There are plenty of ways to adjust this to your fitness level. There are a million programs online you can find as well.

I know this is a lot of information and is kind of all over the place, but if you have any questions I’ll be happy to help.

Great advices. The template you made is pretty awesome but chacnes are im only gonna be practicing once a week due to my work shedule. But basically what im getting is i need to run more. I dont know how 2 days a week is gonna be for me, i was thinking min. 4 days of lifting. I’m scared if i do less then 4 im gonna shrink.

[quote]SolarFall wrote:
Great advices. The template you made is pretty awesome but chacnes are im only gonna be practicing once a week due to my work shedule. But basically what im getting is i need to run more. I dont know how 2 days a week is gonna be for me, i was thinking min. 4 days of lifting. I’m scared if i do less then 4 im gonna shrink.[/quote]

You have to understand that your goal is not bodybuilding anymore, it’s to be a better rugby player. Lifting weights is just GPP. When you are in season, your goal is to maintain your strength and to not let your lifting effect your practice, because practice is by far the most important thing.

I would suggest you try your absolute hardest to make it to practice on both days. Practice will make you better far more than anything else you’re doing. If you only go to practice once a week, will they even let you play? Also, generally there’s only like 3 or 4 weeks of practice until matches start. You need every single minute of practice you can possibly get. If you’re missing half of them you are going to be at a SERIOUS disadvantage.

You aren’t going to shrink by lifting twice a week. This is just oyur bodybuilding mindset messing with you. You have to change your way of thinking if you want to be successfull at this.

Im going to try my best to make both practices. Its a rec league, and my coach said make it to practice when i can. Trust me i’d practice as many days as i could if it ment i would get better. But i work in a gym with only 5 other people so im needed.

Today i ran a mile, and it was tough. Especially after doing a full leg workout consisting of front squats, back squats, SLDL, box jumps and back raises with some ab work. But im not gonna quit.

agree with all of the above.

There is one GAPING hole that you’ve left here though mate…

You’ll need to sharpen up your drinking skills for the post game cleansing ales.

Running after you’ve done heavy leg work is probably great practice for what you’re going to be doing in a game. Being the size that you are means that you are going to be a forward. Be prepared for a ton of leg work during games because you’re going to have to push your balls off on plenty of occasions. Make sure you’re throwing some sprints in there too. Mix it up.

I’d definitely reiterate trying to get to both practices each week. Rugby has a rhythm that you are going to take some time to pick up. If you don’t understand that rhythm you’re going to be using way more energy than you need to during the game.

Also, make sure you’re doing tons of prehab on your shoulders because they’re going to get beat up if you’re playing aggressively. Theirs nothing quite like the feeling of colliding with one or two other 200+ lb men while diving for a ball. Wish I had been told this before I started playing because my shoulders are dicked now.

Glad to hear rugby has a new recruit! My advice would be to not sweat the details like working on your conditioning and when to lift as no matter how fit you are rugby will still take everything from you conditioning wise! Just get down to the club, get running around, get a ball in your hands and have some fun.

The fitness will come through training sessions and some game time!

Man you guys are getting me more fired up for practice. Its 15s and the team im playing for like i said is awful, supposibly its hard for them to keep guys and have them show up for practice. Mainly because most of them are older guys (im 23). Next month and the following i should be able to make it to both practices and a game. I cannot wait!!!

[quote]SolarFall wrote:
Man you guys are getting me more fired up for practice. Its 15s and the team im playing for like i said is awful, supposibly its hard for them to keep guys and have them show up for practice. Mainly because most of them are older guys (im 23). Next month and the following i should be able to make it to both practices and a game. I cannot wait!!![/quote]

Are you in a small(ish) town/city? Generally any decent sized town will have a full team. Are you saying they have problems having enough guys to field a team? Or just have a lot of guys that show up once or twice and then are never seen again?

If it’s the second thing, don’t worry because that happens everywhere. During the first few weeks of practice every season, we always have a good sized group of new guys trying out rugby for the first time. I’d say 10% actually stick around. The coaches always make those first few weeks a lot harder for that reason. Lots of conditioning to start practice off, and then hitting for the rest of practice.

For a lot of guys, the idea of rugby sounds great, until some big guys runs them over.

hahaha yea the big guys running me over part scares me

Its not a very small town, Its outside of Harrisburgh. I just think its alot of older guys so they have alot of other commitments outside of rugby.

There’s some good basic stuff in this article, although his outline is a little light on the lifting.
http://www.rugby.org/articles/rugtrain.htm

Excellent stuff. Keep it comming, i want to learn as much as i can. Incase anyone forgot tomorrow is my first practice. Hurt my calf a few days ago so i havent been able to run, but did the row machine and versa climber instead along with some jump rope. I got an email from my coach about yesterdays practice that i missed, and this is was they did…

8/14 Tackle & Defense - 6:00pm at Memorial (practice is rain or shine)
(15 min) warm up (new standard)[Scooter]
Jog long ? 20 push up
Sprint short ? 20 sit ups
Jog long ? 20 burpees
Sprint short ? 20 jumping jacks
Jog long -dynamic stretch
toe touch 10m, high 10m
butt kick 10m, high kick 10m
mule kick 10m , over fence to end
arm circles fwd, arm circles bwd, neck stretch
(15 min) tackle-up (quick review of form tackle) [Coach Scooter]
Straight line def, call balls out, up together, form tackle, finish on top, retreat to new start at back right, repeat
Off jog up, race to feet, retreat, cycle to right
(15min) Def Pod Drill (review def set-up & responsibilities)[Coach Scooter]
3-4 pods, 15 vs 5 min, 60m x 30m, live tackle
Posts- balls out, def up 3 steps, eyes on ball, last foot, no slide
1st def ? sets def line, foot of post, off in front, up and out, slid out or in
2nd-5th def ? foot on 1st def, off in front, up and out, slide out or in
Scrum ½ - behind break down, look for cut back, direct def line
Floater ? behind def line 1-2m strong, looks for cut back, off loads, 15 in
Wings ? kick def, last man, communicate in
Full back ? kick def, last man, last line, communicate up
(1min) Water
(10min) CORE conditioning [Coach Adi]
Pushing, rucking, core drills, min 2
(10min) 2v1; 3v2 [Coach Vaz]
2v1 (5min): 2 line, alt def & off, 10m x 10m to ball,
attack mid channel back to lines, commit def
Def live, start when ball is in, make tackle
3v2(5min): 2 lines, alt def & off, 10m x 20m to ball
(15min) Thud [Coach Tony]
2 teams, attack 4 times, then kick or turn over
Def must retreat m after tackle
Live rugby, no ruck, field size is dependent on #?s
(10min) Crozier bastard time [Coach Crozier]
Running/sprint drills, min of 2 different
(05min) Warm down, team time [Scooter]
Team lap stay together, 3 corners stretch, 4 corner team meet
1st Calf stretch, Quad stretch
2nd windmill stretch, toe touch stretch
3rd arm circles, arm pull
4TH Introduce new members, Count off, squeeze, end

[quote]SolarFall wrote:
Excellent stuff. Keep it comming, i want to learn as much as i can. Incase anyone forgot tomorrow is my first practice. Hurt my calf a few days ago so i havent been able to run, but did the row machine and versa climber instead along with some jump rope. I got an email from my coach about yesterdays practice that i missed, and this is was they did…

8/14 Tackle & Defense - 6:00pm at Memorial (practice is rain or shine)
(15 min) warm up (new standard)[Scooter]
Jog long ? 20 push up
Sprint short ? 20 sit ups
Jog long ? 20 burpees
Sprint short ? 20 jumping jacks
Jog long -dynamic stretch
toe touch 10m, high 10m
butt kick 10m, high kick 10m
mule kick 10m , over fence to end
arm circles fwd, arm circles bwd, neck stretch
(15 min) tackle-up (quick review of form tackle) [Coach Scooter]
Straight line def, call balls out, up together, form tackle, finish on top, retreat to new start at back right, repeat
Off jog up, race to feet, retreat, cycle to right
(15min) Def Pod Drill (review def set-up & responsibilities)[Coach Scooter]
3-4 pods, 15 vs 5 min, 60m x 30m, live tackle
Posts- balls out, def up 3 steps, eyes on ball, last foot, no slide
1st def ? sets def line, foot of post, off in front, up and out, slid out or in
2nd-5th def ? foot on 1st def, off in front, up and out, slide out or in
Scrum ½ - behind break down, look for cut back, direct def line
Floater ? behind def line 1-2m strong, looks for cut back, off loads, 15 in
Wings ? kick def, last man, communicate in
Full back ? kick def, last man, last line, communicate up
(1min) Water
(10min) CORE conditioning [Coach Adi]
Pushing, rucking, core drills, min 2
(10min) 2v1; 3v2 [Coach Vaz]
2v1 (5min): 2 line, alt def & off, 10m x 10m to ball,
attack mid channel back to lines, commit def
Def live, start when ball is in, make tackle
3v2(5min): 2 lines, alt def & off, 10m x 20m to ball
(15min) Thud [Coach Tony]
2 teams, attack 4 times, then kick or turn over
Def must retreat m after tackle
Live rugby, no ruck, field size is dependent on #?s
(10min) Crozier bastard time [Coach Crozier]
Running/sprint drills, min of 2 different
(05min) Warm down, team time [Scooter]
Team lap stay together, 3 corners stretch, 4 corner team meet
1st Calf stretch, Quad stretch
2nd windmill stretch, toe touch stretch
3rd arm circles, arm pull
4TH Introduce new members, Count off, squeeze, end
[/quote]

IDK what a lot of those terms mean, but generally practices for teams I’ve played on have been laid out like this:

Warmup and stretch
Conditioning
Ball drills
Split up into fowards and backs, do more specific positional drills
Team scrimmage

I’ve played on 2 different teams, and at least 90% of all practices I have been to were set up exactly like this, so this is what you can expect.

No shit , you’re playing for Harrisburg. Good luck, glad to see they’re getting some numbers again

[quote]Tstud_9 wrote:
No shit , you’re playing for Harrisburg. Good luck, glad to see they’re getting some numbers again[/quote]

Yes. I hope to acutally be ok by the end of the season. I had my first practice today and my calves are full of knots and my knees are a bit sore. But i survived. My condition was better then i thought it would be, although there were times i felt like puking or passing out. It wasn’t that bad. Its something new to my body and i can only hope that it adjusts.

Good stuff man we played Harrisburg atfter our regular season ended in the spring. just keep pushing each practice will be easier than the next . The real fun happens that first hit of your first game.