T Nation

Help with Rugby GPP


I want to start dong some GPP work to help with my rugby. I have read all of the articles i can find but am still not sure what i should be doing. Sled dragging is possible but it will be very time consuming organising everything(My mate has a sled)and i'm already quite stretched for time. So can anybody suggest some GPP work/suggestions for me to do.

Age: 16
Sport: Rugby
Position: Prop
currently inseason
Fitness is ok, Speed very good 4 a prop, strength very good

Also can anybody help me with a cardio/muscle endurance program. I've been told by a sports physio i shouldn't run more than 20m at a time (ie. run 20 stop, run 20 stopetc.) because of shin problems


How are you going to play rugby if you can't run more than 20m?

Leaving that aside (or assuming your shin problem is going to clear up), you have loads of options you could implement.

GPP work could be classed as any work you do which doent specifically prepare you for the game, so pretty much any fitness work you do out of practice could be counted (weights, sprints, other anaerobic work, agility drills etc).

I would assume you are also in season at the moment (being from down under) so you want to make sure you are well recovered for game days.

With that said, assuming you have two practices and a game per week, I would say that two weights sessions and one longer anaerobic session should suffice.

As regards to that anaerobic session, it would be useful to know what sort of fitness work you do in practices, but I would recommend some sort of fartlek training ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek), though any sort of interval training or circuit training would suffice (complexes are very good for anaerobic conditioning: http://www.elitefts.com/documents/mma2.htm).

I have assumed that you do some sprints etc in your specific sessions, more info on your current training would be useful.

I also played in the front row for a long time, so its great to hear from someone else in that position.

Keep up the training!


i quite sure the 20m thing is to keep the total volume down on my shins rather than actually running more than 20m will hurt me. I have found this to help, however my fitness has suffered. I think part of the problem is that i'm quite heavy for my age (103kg, not lean but just slightly tubby) and the volume of running on my shins during pre season fitness ( 5 days fartlek, 3 days rugby training, 3days weights)


Oh. by the way thanks for the response.

My current training volume is quite high so i don't know if GPP is a good idea. I was thinking of doing some bodyweight, swimming, skipping etc. like exercises. My current training volume is quite high. I have two culb trainings two school training, 1 rep training, 1 school game, 1 club game and some weeks 1 rep game. Then i have two gym sessions.

Due to transport and time i can only go to the gym 2 times a week and on conseutive days. I do one lower and one upper similar to the one listed here: www.getstrength.com/articles/articles_AJones_Strength%20Training%20for%20Rugby_Rugby%20League%20Players.htm

Any ideas on how would i incorporate complexes

I was thinking of doing the GPP the day after my games finish for the week as a form of fitness and recovery.


No problem, Im glad to help. With that kind of volume I would try to shift your focus to diet and recovery, you will probably get the best results that way.

You seem to have most bases covered with all your organised training and weights sessions, I wouldnt worry about the complexes or additional GPP for now, save that for the off season.

You could incorporate them as a way of maintaining anaerobic fitness if your shins are too knackered to run on, i suppose, or if practice is cancelled for whatever reason.


My current diet is quit good, i'm following the guidelines from the Athletes Diet.

What would you suggest in terms of recovery?


You may want to try self-myofascial release (foam roller work http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-021-training ) and try some contrast showering (30 secs hot, 30 secs cold, or there abouts, for a few minutes whenever you shower).

I also find 10 to 15 minutes static stretching after a routine seems to speed up my recovery time.

Also make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night, maybe more because you are younger.

Other good methods, if you had the time, would be light pool sessions (treading water etc) and some light low-impact cardio (bike, cross trainer, rower). These can be good after a game day.