Hey there. I am currently in a short cutting phase before I try to bulk up mid-January to pack on mass for the rugby season at the end of March.
I am looking for a program that will obviously pack on muscle and keep bodyfat low, but also will allow some time for more functional exercises and sprint training that will help me this season.
So far as far as bulking I have just gone to the gym and gone heavy on the compound movements and increase the amount of food I eat...havent ever used a program's guidelines (hey, its worked pretty well for me).
I was considering Quattro Dynamo or ABBH because they seemed to train all parts and fibers of a muscle...My question would be, can anyone give me some feedback who has done either of these programs? Also, does anyone have an idea of a program or routine I could incorporate that would help me build muscle for rugby (I'd like to focus on legs)? Fellow players, what have you done in the past?
since you're training for a sport, I'd consider putting an emphasis on SPEED as well.
I've done QD and ABBH 1 and 2. My best results to put on some pounds was using QD. That program is awesome if all you care about is Strength, Power, and gaining Muscle. I will warn you though, it may look easy on paper but some of those days will whip your butt, and as you add sets and reps, you will also have some pretty long workouts towards the end of the program.
If you do chose to go with that, you might wanna do ABBH 1 or 2 before QD as they will be nice to gear your body up for QD. Use the search as CW has posted the order to use his programs numerous times. keep in mind though that using them all in order takes up nearly a year.
If you do chose to go ABBH1 --> QD, On one or two off days do some GPP/added speed work, keep that volume/intensity sort've on the low end too. If possible try and utilize the speed work as active recovery to kill two birds with one stone.
Aero Stallion - thanks for the reply. I was just going to post that QD seemed kind of light compared to what I used to do when bulking. I think I will try out Quattro Dynamo with some added sprint work before I try to change things up.
Mate, How old are you? How long have you been weight training? How long have you been playing rugby? What position do you play? How big are you now and how much bigger are you planning on getting by March? Why are you on a cutting phase at the moment?
Aren?t we all...if you are seriously interested in rugby your body fat should not even be a concern (with in reason...I mean you don't want to be Orca fat) as keeping your bodyfat low will hinder both your ability to increase your muscle mass.
That's a great idea. If you'd like some help with that as well let me know?
You may have answered your own post with this statement? Still improving...why fix what ain't broken? Perhaps you might just need to add a little structure?
If you give a little more detail I'd be happy to put my thoughts down for what it is worth?
I'd be a little bit concerned about the fact that you are waiting until now to bulk up when you should be entering a more sport specific preparation period for rugby, working on improving speed and power. The time for bulking up for rugby is in the first couple of months after the season, which is Oct-Dec here in Australia.
If you want to pack on size this is the time to do it before the conditioning work pre-season starts to hinder your chances of gaining muscle.
I have not done QD myself, but I do remember reading in the article that it requires a LOT of rest and there is minimal chance of doing any conditioning work. It is also not a fat loss program, it's designed to pack on mass, and a lot of it!
You would be better to follow a more athlete-focused program. The Westside for Skinny Bastards is good to use for footballers. CT's Renaissance Body Development gives you plenty of time to add conditioning work in, or you could try his Athletes Pendulum Training program as well.
Will- Im 18, been weight training for about 3 years and playing rugby for the same. I weigh about 175 at 6 foot, and I play winger. I am on a cutting phase because while I do care about rugby very much, I also am a former fat boy and do not gain muscle without gaining fat - I want to look good too. The rugby I play now is just a club through school and the neighborhoods around - I take it seriously, but Im guessing its not on the level that you play.
I'm looking to put on some muscle and keep the sprinting speed that I have. I'll admit I am a little paranoid about gaining mass because the fat comes on fast for me, but I can usually stand it in check if I see results.
I would like to try one of these programs because I'm hoping it will put on mass faster, and with a program I can follow it will be easier to add the functional training I need. Lifting heavy without a plan works for building muscle, but my body adjusted faster than I could remember what I should be doing next. Understand?
If QD isnt the best choice and you have a better idea, thats great. I just liked the way it was layed out. And yes, I would appreciate any advice or info you can give me!
Ben- Again, I think that you might be training harder than my rugby team does...I dont have to worry about pre-season conditioning as we are just a high school team, but I will next year in college. I usually bulk up not just once during the off-season, but many times...should I be doing it only once after the season ends?
I have looked at some of the articles you suggested. I already do 'sport-specific' training to prepare for rugby, I was more looking for a bulking program that would allow me to keep doing this training. Again, any advice would be much appreciated from you more experienced players. Thank you!
I have nothing against the other programs you've mentioned but I'd give the WSFSB program a crack...its versatile and I think probably the best suited to your needs...just remember...eat...then when you are done...start thinking about what you're going to eat next.
eating a LOT of good food, that's wonderful advice for anyone trying to gain weight. The most perfect program in the world won't do a DAMN thing for you if you're not eating like a horse, or maybe two.
EAT EAT EAT!
whichever program you choose (especially if you incorporate sprints/GPP) EAT a LOT
as a matter of fact, go read Massive Eating 2.0 to get an idea of how much you should be chewing on.
I don't actually play rugby, I only got one season in when I was about 20 y.o. before a knee injury ended my very short rugby career! However, training for rugby is something I have thought a lot about, and the principles I mentioned are things I have learnt here at T-Nation which you can apply to many sports needing the same athletic qualities as rugby.
My recommendation for a "one-off" bulking phase does not mean you stop doing weights to increase muscle bulk when this phase ends, what I meant was the period from just after the season finishes to about 2-3 months before the season starts is the best time to really concentrate on bulking as the main focus of your training. This assumes the season finishes about September. That way you can focus on bulking and not worry about some fat gain because you will have time to get conditioned again pre-season. If you have a longer pre-season then by all means do multiple bulking phases broken up by something else e.g max strength.
Also, even though you are "just" playing at high school level, use the time now to develop good training habits, the fitter you get now the easier the transition is going to be to a higher class of rugby when you get out of high school. The game doesn't change, only the skills and physical nature changes as players get bigger and stronger, skills take time to develop, so try and eliminate the weakness you can work on now (size and strength) while you have the chance.
When you move into more sport specific training in the few months before the season starts then you do have to adjust your weight training. The programs suggested such as WS4SB and Athlete's Pendulum Training are two that allow you to develop the athletic strength qualities but not exhaust you so much that you can't do the conditioning and SSP.
During the season it is best to back off a little bit, you are not going to be able to add muscle due to the demands of training and the weekly games, plus you won't be able to rest as much as you need to add muscle. It has been recommended by some of the coaches on T-Nation to have one day early in the week of heavy training in the limit strength and functional strenght ranges, and then another day closer to the game of lighter, more explosive exercises e.g cleans, power snatches.
There is a good article on Dan John's website on planning the off-season training for rugby.
Go to http://danjohn.org/. Go to the archives of the "Get Up!" newsletter. Look up Volume 1 Issue 7. It should answer a lot of your questions and you should be able to see where a lot of what I have mentioned above has come from.
Thanks for the advice Ben. I took another look at WS4SB and really liked it also. I thought I would add some O-lifting into it. I will also check out that Dan John article. Thanks alot, and sorry about the knee injury!