T Nation

Off Season Rugby Program - Advice and Criticism


Hey guys I'm about to start my offseason period and I want some opinions on my current setup
All the main lifts are done with 5/3/1 rep schemes apart from the weighted chin ups
first 4 weeks

a.m. Speed work - 10meter sprintsx5, 5x20meters falling start jumps, and med ball throws
p.m. Bench press/Barbell row
Power cleans & Squats followed by conditioning circuit (Push ups, pull up, lunges)
Active rest
a.m. Speed work 5x10m sprints, followed by reaction drills and 5 meter 1 on 1 evasion drill
OHP and weighted chin ups
deadlifts followed by a conditioning circuit
Saturday & Sunday OFF

After the first cycle I'll be increasing the Speed and quickness work and bringing the lifting down into 3 days a week and bump up the Sprint work to 3 times a week also as well as including a dedicated conditioing day.

My off season last 8 weeks then pre season with my team starts, do you think this has my on the right track. And does any see any benefit of taking a week or two off to allow for recuperation or is a regular ''deload week'' with a few lighter sessions sufficient ?


Looks good to me. I prefer to do the weights before conditioning. For deload I would also go by feel and adjust to what my body is telling me.


I second that, what youve got is a bit more complicated then the way i train in the offseason, but then again, youve probably been playing the game longer then me.

I set it up like this:

monday: bench, conditioning run (20-30 mins)
tuesday: squat, sprints
wednesday: rest
thursday: press, conditioning run
friday: deadlift, sprints
saturday: arms, abs, other weak points, sprint

deloads i take according to how my body feels, i dont feel like i need a deload every fourth week, like it says in the 5/3/1 program, i usually end up taking one every 3 months or so


@ JRT 6 - The sprints are with full rest thats all about developing acceleration, I'll be doing more extensive conditioning later on.

Chris87- That setup looks pretty good to me except I'd switch my it so I do my speed work with the bench so yourlegs are good and fresh, and the conditioning on the squat day. and the same later on in the week, maybe you recover better than I do cause I find after a day of hard conditioning work or squats and deadlifts my legs don't wanna sprint

What do you guys reckon - at the moment I'm not doing any weighted assitance work at the moment, i've been doing abput 60 push ups pull ups, ab work and bodyweight leg work spread through out the day after seeign that PLP article, at the end of my bench and barbell rows today I did 4 x 8 pull ups, push ups and abs in a circuit

Do you think it'll suffice for strength gains especially for legs?


yea im still experimenting with it to see where it would be better to pair everything up, id still definetely add in weighted assistance work, its not enough for just squats to work your legs, just bench to work the chest, etc. If soreness becomes a real problem with the extra work, add in some ice baths, more stretching and mobility work, etc.


good points i think for legs after this cycle I'm adding in heavy sled drags, After hearing about westside using it to great effect on the squats, and Joe Defranco using them to make guys faster in the first step, and it's eccentric less which supposedly make you less sore, I'm not sure what to add to the upper body work though apart from maybe some boring but big type sets ? if you can think of anything better I'd welcome it because I'm not feeling to strongly about anything at this point


Alright you reckon I need to stick in some weighted exercises after this cycle what would you think about this?

Bench -
Bench press 5/3/1
Barbell row 5/3/1

Floor press db/bb
Barbell or dumbell rows


Power cleans
Sqauts 5/3/1

Heavy ass Sled drags
Conditioning circuit - Push ups/pull up/ abs or lunge

Military press - 5/3/1
Pull ups - 5 rep alternating with the press or weighted

See Saw press
Bent Press

Pull ups

power cleans - 5/3/1
Deadlifts - 5/3/1

Lunges/ snatch grips ?!
Conditioning circuit