Rugby Offseason/WSFSB Question

I am getting ready for Rugby preseason which starts August 26th. I herniated l4-l5 in november of last year, and am almost pain free. Have been following the WSFSB template for strength training, sticking to trap bar dl, OHS, and Front squats to spare my back. I really like the trap bar deadlift, and want to get it up as high as possible. Defranco mentions using 2 week cycles of box squatting with 2 weeks going for 3-5RM and 2 weeks doing 10 sets of speed work with bands.

I have elitefts orange bands, would it make sense for me to use that sort of programming with TBDLs, or just rotate through TBDL and front squat and maybe rack pulls. I am weak, only TPDL 350 x2 right now, so I’m wary of using an advanced technique like bands, but going light and working on speed in the 50-70% range would also take some load off my spine.

If I did the speed lifts I was thinking of replacing single leg work for those two weeks with 4x4 front squats at around 85%. Thoughts on this stuff? Thanks for all your help.

Hey whoever moved this… I’m not sure if this belongs in the rehab section…probably shouldn’t have put herniated disc in the title. I’m asking about programming for increasing my strength, not rehabbing my back.

I have never heard of anyone doing 2 weeks of ME then 2 weeks of DE on WS4SB and honestly it doesn’t sound like a good idea. I have also never heard of anyone using bands on a trapbar but I’m sure it could work. If you have herniated discs, you probably don’t want to be doing rack pulls because it’s going to put a lot more strain on your back. Do the program as written, with 1 ME Lower, 1 ME Upper, 1 repetition upper (you could cycle this day with DE upper if you like), and if you want to do speed work for your lower body, add in a 4th day. I would lean more towards jumping movements rather than weighted movements because of your back though. If you feel up to it and your doctor allows it, try doing some extremely light high reps sets on a reverse hyper to get some blood flow. If you get any sort of pain at all stop immediately.

It all sounds a bit overcomplicated.

You sure you need that level of complexity?

yeah I was figuring it didn’t make much sense at my strength level to do DE TBDL. Should I save using accommodating resistance until I’m stronger? I remember that’s what Dave Tate said in his article. What exercises do you think I should rotate through for ME? obviously TBDL, Front Squat. I didn’t really like OHS as a max effort movement. If I do 3 week cycles of each, do I need more than 2?

In terms of overall stats, I am 195, 6’
Bench 205 x3
FS 225 x 5
TBDL 350 x2.

OHS can’t really be a max effort movement since you really can’t load it very high. I would stick with trapbar deadlifts and front squats until you can start doing deadlifts and back squats. Obviously you can do the TBDL from deficit or from blocks if your really want, but again, be careful with your back. Don’t do anything too extreme too soon. Because of your injury and the fact that different lifts work better for different people, it’s hard to say what you should do. As long as you get stronger, who cares?

You don’t necessarily have to save bands and chains for later. Just don’t think they are the end all be all of strength training. You don’t NEED them, but the will give you a different type of resistance than you get from straight weight. Bands and chains basically give you more options as far as lift variations go.

You can do DE work if you really want to. It can only help, especially if you are weak at the bottom of the lifts. Again, different people respond differently to certain stimuli than others. Many people get strong without necessarily training speed too much. Don’t over think it. If you get stronger, no matter what you are doing, then keep doing it.

Thanks for the advice.
OK, I have 6-7 weeks until preseason starts. How does next two weeks front squats, another two weeks reverse band TBDLs, and then twoish weeks with TBDL, with a 3-4day deload before preseason sound?

If you want to just overload yourself then deload, why can’t you do trap bar deads and front squats? Is there a good reason why you want to use reverse bands? These are things to think about.

I would argue that you can’t really load front squats that heavily either, so I would keep trap bar DLs as your maximal movement and treat front squats as assistance. If you haven’t been doing either movement for long then you should be able to PB steadily for 6 -7 weeks…and then do a deload that is the length of one training cycle. So if you train on a weekly schedule, deload for a week. A deload isn’t just a rest, it’s a calculated tapering of your intensity and volume, so you should account for enough time to do that properly.

Keep it simple! Lift heavy weights fast and you will get faster, you don’t need to complicate things at this point. Don’t think of strength and speed differently at this point.

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