T Nation



Mr. DeFranco,
First off, I love what you are doing to enhance the athletic potential of athletes. I play rugby, mainly at scrum half and wing(wing sort of like wide receiver and scrum half is basically a skinnier center, i follow the ball and get it out as fast as possible to other teammates after tackles). Due to the constant action I tend to winded during the game. I have been applying what you share in my weight lifting workouts (which has helped dramatically in the rucks, mauls, tackles, and sprint speed), but notice that you don't give advice on athletic endurance. Is there something that I should be doing to improve my endurance, without losing the speed on my sprints? Thank you for your time and knowledge.


a back should work on short sprints with short rest intervals, a forward longer activity with more physical stuff (pushups, bodyweight stuff) and longer rest intervals. Thats what Ive read at least.


You should definately be working on your endurance in conjunction with your strength. I usually save my anaerobic endurance training for 6 weeks before my athletes have to report for camp.

I usually dedicate 3 days a week to this type of training. Start all 3 sessions with a dynamic warm-up. Remember that the warm-up, in and of itself, can get you in better condition. Incorporate general calisthenics (body squats, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, etc.), movement skills (skipping, backpedaling, side shuffles, etc.)mobility drills and frequency drills (jumping in place for speed, ankling, etc.)into this warm-up. Don't just jog around the field a couple of times and call it a warm-up! Your warm-up should improve your overall conditioning, dynamic flexibility and stimulate your CNS - all before your "workout" even started!

After a 20-30 "warm-up", I usually break the conditioning into 3 separate workouts:
1) Linear speed conditioning
2) Lateral movement conditioning
3) Strongman conditioning
This phase of the workout usually takes about 30 minutes. I have designed way too many conditioning workouts to list them all here. Get creative and come up with some of your own.

Hopefully the system that I use will help you out.