T Nation

In-Season Rugby Training

Hey all,

I am an aspiring rugby player, I am 21, 165 (up from 150 at the new year), I am looking to up my speed and get bigger/stronger overall. Over the past year I have done some Waterbury programs, some Cosgrove programs and a few others.

My lifts are BP: 165, Squat: 245 and DL 275 (those were last tested a few months ago and I am sure they have gone up since).

My team practices tues/thurs evenings (6-8) and games on sat. I am looking for suggestions on what programs I can do (including sprint training suggestions). The only time I get to train is 1 hour between 3 and 6 (changes every day) and would like to get the most out of it. I have been told not to train every day, but I am eating everything in sight in order to assist recovery, and trying to get my 8 hours a night (hard as I just started a new summer job).

I have seen much more improvement doing fullbody/upper-lower/push-pull splits than I ever did doing body part splits so I would prefer something in that sort of line, but will be open to any suggestions. I was thinking weights mwf and sprinting tu/th, but that may hamper my performance too much at practice which will make it harder for me to make the team each week.

I have also been doing the olympic lifts and am enjoying them so any programs including those would be great as well.


Some of the guys on our team are doing the conditioning/strength training that the US Eagles do. It’s working out pretty well. Go the teams website (just google us eagles rugby) and check it out.

The way I see it, you’re already doing 2 conditioning workouts per week, together of 80 minutes of collision sport.
You will have a hard time recovering from anything but the most basic workout. Any volume will be too much.

What I have seen working is:

Squat + Push press + Power clean (full): 5x5 @ 55% on monday, 3x3 @ 85% on wednesday

Throw in a few pull ups if you feel strong.

Although the guys doing it had a higher “base” than you, it should up your strength and speed. Stay away from any hypertrophy work. Rugby is no fun if you can’t walk without pain.

Just my $0.02

PS. If you are not already sprinting yourself half to death in training, fire your coach.