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Powerlifting and Olympic lifting

Trying to get stronger for rugby so I have been starting to do powerlifting but playing in some of the preseason games I now realize that I need to work on my speed. I have been practicing plyometrics but I am also trying to do the Olympic lifts. Does anybody have any tips on a routine which uses both Powerlifting and Olympic lifting?

You’ll need to have two drastically different routines as far as strength training is concerned – one for in-season training and one for the offseason.

During the season, the focus needs to be much more sport specific, and the workload for any weight training would be cut back quite a bit. The time for making real gains for an athlete is the off-season. During the season it’s mostly about maintaining strength and explosiveness (maybe slow, modest gains) while focusing your energy on sport-specific skills.

In the off-season you can focus more on an expansive program that helps build general strength and explosiveness during the early and mid parts, and then starts to transition you towards the pre-season by gradually becoming more sport-specific.

If you’re looking for general information about strength training for athletes, Joe DeFranco is an awesome resource to start with. Lots of information on his website in his “Ask Joe” column that he’s written over the past 6-8 years. He’s had a ton of success training athletes, especially football players. Rugby of course needs a little more conditioning and running, but I’d imagine the two are very close in terms of the types of strength and explosiveness you’re trying to develop in the off-season.