T Nation

Off-Season Rugby Training


Off-season strength and conditioning program for club rugby players. I have adapted this plan from Christian Thibaudeaux's Layer System and encourage readers to view the original thread here http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/thibs_layer_system

1) Club level players have limited time to train, so efforts are placed on building proficiency on basic lifts rather than coaching more complex lifts.

2) Advanced athletes benefit from advanced training techniques. Amateur athletes should "dumb it down" and go for training economy over training variety.

3) Athletes who train in commercial gyms are limited by equipment availability. Substitutions are acceptable as listed below.

Training Template:

DAY 1:BENCH PRESS (Flat, Incline, Chain or Band if available)

1) After warming up, ramp up to a new 3 rep max (3RM) in less than 5 sets. Use clean form and maintain explosive bar speed.
2) Use your new 3RM to perform 10 single reps, waiting 1 minute between reps. These reps should be done very explosively.
3) Use 70% of your new 3RM to perform 3 extended sets. An extended set is done by repping-out, resting for 20 seconds and repping out again. Do this 3 times.

Assistance Work: Do a set of pullups in-between every set of bench press.

DAY 2:DEADLIFT (conventional, sumo or trap-bar)
Same sets/ percentages as above.

Assistance work: Do 10 sets of abdominal work after deadlifting.

DAY 3:SHOULDER PRESS (DB, Barbell, Push-Press or Push-Jerk)
Same sets/ percentages as above

Assistance work: Do a set of pullups in-between every set of shoulder press

DAY 4:SQUAT (front or back)
Same sets/ percentages as above

Assistance work: Do 10 sets of abdominal work after squatting

Each workout listed on the conditioning menu should be done 1 time/ week. Menu items can be done in any order -- the only important thing is to do all of them every week.

1) Timed 1 mile run
2) Timed 3 mile run
3) 20-min. Treadmill interval training (sprint 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds for 20 minutes)
4) 10-min. Metacon (10 burpees; 10 med ball slams or sledge swings; 10 box jumps for max rounds in 10 minutes)
5) 30-minute steady state run for distance

Training log to follow on a daily basis. Questions welcome!