T Nation

Rugby Player Trying to Improve Strength and Size


I’m new here but I’ve followed 5/3/1 a couple of times here and there. I have had a long bout of program hopping and now I want to stick to a program for good. Is there a 5/3/1 template you guys suggest that is 3 days/week that will help me gain strength and size?

My numbers are:

Bench: 245
Squat: 335
Deadlift: 415
OHP: 155

Thank you all for the help.


Pick any template you like the look of and just run it 3 days a week. Just rotate lifts so you’re doing each one every 9 days if needed.

I’m partial to the following, all 3 days per week, 1 main lift per day:

Leader: 2 cycles of

  • PR set
  • 1x20 FSL (widowmaker)
  • 100 reps push, 100 pull, 100 single leg/core

Anchor: 1 cycle of

  • PR set
  • 50 push, 50 pull, 50 single leg/core

Be smart with choosing your training max, eat a lot of food, and be consistent for at least 6-12 months and you’ll be set.


This is one of the go-to’s for Football/Rugby etc…

Beyond series(1.1. -1.4) worth looking up also


something you could add, is sled drags, pulls and pushes. For me personally they help build work capacity, conditioning, maybe a little bit of muscle, this could be done along side 5/3/1 especially in the offseason


What is the leader and anchor?


I would recommend the Krypteia program with additional movement/mobility work, jumping/throwing, running (conditioning) and whatever skill work you need to do. Training (from beginning of mobility/movement work to jumps to training to end of conditioning) only takes 90 minutes AT MOST; this is only done 3 days/week.

It is very efficient, will make you very strong and put on size PROVIDED you actually eat.
Skill work can be done on the 4 non-training days.


What is the template for Krypteia? As in what days do I squat, bench, deadlift and press?


Krypteia is a total program that takes up around 7 pages in the book; it not just about what to do, but HOW to do it. When training for sports, it is imperative that you understand what to do and how to do it. It is a balancing act between building strength, speed, conditioning and improving movement.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to know these things and what/how to do them. The best advice I can give you is to be a student and participant in your own training; learn!