T Nation

Sacrificing Lifting for Sport

Does anyone else feel like the sport they play effects their lifting? I love training but during rugby season I never feel like I can push my self as much as I would like. Now off season is here ive got 2 months to do what I want in the gym without worrying about being fatigued for a weekends game. Im just curious to see how other people deal with this and whether they sacrifice their game for training or vice versa.

I like to run about 15-20 miles a week. I think it’s holding me back.

Right now my only sport is healing. It’s definetly holdimg me back.

yeah? no shit its going to effect your lifting. if you’re so worried about your lifts being affected dont play the sport

If your playing a sport at a competitive level, lifting should be an aid to your success on the field. It should be note, however, that lifting for a sport and lifting to bodybuild are completely different things, and you will have a very hard time doing both.

Hahahaha. No shit. That kind of running, obviously my gains weren’t coming fast. I was fucking with the guy. Hell, I originally got into lifting because I read that it would help with running and triathlons. Now I prefer lifting.

It depends a lot on the individual and we can all probably tolerate a little bit more than we actually do, but it seems prudent to keep a little in reserve. Consider that in rugby most injuries occur in the second half, one theory is that this is because we are more fatigued in the second half. Not being fully recovered before a game will not help.

Age is also a factor.

Periodisation in one form or another is a good strategy. I have settled for something akin to Sheiko with reduced volume; high frequency, medium intensity during the rugby season, seems to be working out OK for me (have set new bench PRs).

Absolutely. I play weight restricted collegiate football, so obviously in season I don’t have a ton of free time to lift like I’d like, and since I have to weigh in at 172 twice a week while in season, obviously my weight cannot get to high. Unfortunately, this means that even in the offseason, I can only really afford to get up to about 185 before having to stop gaining and worry about my upcoming summer cut.

That being said, my lifting is a means to an end in that my training serves (for now) to help me excel on the field, so I don’t mind much…although I do hate being small

[quote]DragnCarry wrote:
It depends a lot on the individual and we can all probably tolerate a little bit more than we actually do, but it seems prudent to keep a little in reserve. Consider that in rugby most injuries occur in the second half, one theory is that this is because we are more fatigued in the second half. Not being fully recovered before a game will not help.

Age is also a factor. [/quote]

Yeah, once you get to 28 or so and get your knees scoped a few times, those damn 22 years olds seem to get a lot faster! LOL

[quote]

Periodisation in one form or another is a good strategy. I have settled for something akin to Sheiko with reduced volume; high frequency, medium intensity during the rugby season, seems to be working out OK for me (have set new bench PRs).[/quote]

Love the Jonah Lomu avatar - that guy was a beast!

I used to bust my ass like crazy in the off season (winter and summer) and do just maintenance during the season, but I spent the majority of my career as a flanker and wrapped it up on the front row (two screws in the shoulder and I hung up the boots).

As for training, it depends on your level of play (are you on a drinking team with a rugby problem?), how motivated your team is (are you playing THREE games on Saturday because half of the B and C squads didn’t show up?), what your position is (are you a winger and spending 99% of the game waiting for the ball? or are you a forward who is in every ruck?) and most importantly, are you juicing or not…

Just a few things to think about. Personally, I lifted to HELP my rugby. Muscle is armor. A 400+ lb squat WILL help you drive an extra three or four yards for the try. If you’re worried about rugby affecting your lifting, play on a D3 team and have fun in the third half singing songs and doing beerslides and you should be able to lift hard to your heart’s content.

Nothing gives a full body workout like playing in the second row. Ultimate weekend warrior position.

I definitely lift to help my rugby. The main issue is I play scrum half so putting on large amounts of mass isnt ideal. I think that as a forward (especially tight 5) that lifting heavy all season isnt going to effect your game as much as it would for someone of my position. I could just man up, lift heavy, put on weight, drop down a few leagues and play a forward position (Probably hooker) but ive played scrum half or wing all my life and dont really like the idea of playing anywhere else.

I play second team rugby for blackheath who are a national division 1 side so the standard is quite competitive. I think i’m going to bust my ass in the gym and eat like crazy for the next 2 months, hopefully putting on a bit of size before starting the dreaded conditioning work pre season. Then i’ll switch to a similar programme that DragnCarry suggested.

Cheers guys, your input as been interesting.

I was just thinking about this topic. I’m just about to leave for my rugby training. Ive cut my lifting back to 3 days a week instead of 4. I dont lift fridays so Im fresh for game day. I always lift before training and I find that doesnt really hinder my training performance. The only issue Ive had so far is rugby injuries meaning i cant lift or have to work around injuries (saftey bar squats etc).

My advice would be modify your program to fit your training schedule and maybe pick exercises in the gym that arent quite as taxing on the body.

Tricky for me. Before injury I played 1 or 2 winter sports and 1 summer sport. Body was being abused all year round and I couldn’t put an ounce of weight on.

Due to injury, I’ve stopped running and voila! 40lbs later!

But as soon as I can, I’ll start the sports again all year round, and I’m sure that progress will stop. But I don’t care, I enjoy the sports more.

[quote]Austinsprodigy wrote:
Does anyone else feel like the sport they play effects their lifting? I love training but during rugby season I never feel like I can push my self as much as I would like. Now off season is here ive got 2 months to do what I want in the gym without worrying about being fatigued for a weekends game. Im just curious to see how other people deal with this and whether they sacrifice their game for training or vice versa.[/quote]

I began studying Martial Arts in 2003 and kept at it consistantly until 2008. It was very beneficial in terms of speed, flexibility, and of course self defence, I continued weight training throughout, however over time my training in Martial Arts became more vigorous and intense and I gradually did lose size and strenght. I began skipping my workouts at the gym and developed bad eating habits. I was becoming unhappy because my passion is bodybuilding and that was essentially what I preferred to do. I made a decission to hang up my belt and put all my efforts into weight training again. I guess I have a bit of an “all or nothing” attitude, when I was at martial Arts practice I gave it my all, but deep down I was becoming unhappy.

Can definitely confirm that lifting has hampered my endurance in boxing. However, this could just be a factor of increased overall workload.

On the other hand, lifting hasn’t decreased my hand speed, at all, or at least that I’ve noticed. When I’m really sore from lifting is a different story, but it’s not permanent.

[quote]Austinsprodigy wrote:
I think that as a forward (especially tight 5) that lifting heavy all season isnt going to effect your game as much as it would for someone of my position.
[/quote]

I’m going to have to disagree I’m afraid. Im a front 5 player and i lift weights to make me a better player. but i really have to limit what i do during the season because any sort of really heavy squating or deadlifting on a thursday or friday and i am not 100% on a saturday.
Plus you have to lift around the normal training sessions which happen to be tue/thur meaning realistically i can lift on mon/wed/fri and friday has to be light.

Now i am still new to all of this so maybe after a couple of years i wont hurt so much the next day after heavy (PR or close to it) compound movements, meaning i can go heavy 3 times a week but currently its just not possible.

Ive been off season for a few weeks now and decided to stop the cardio completely until pre-season so to maximise my chances of gaining more muscle and strength. dreading the pre-season drills right now.