T Nation

VikingIrish Returns to Rugby

I’m back. Between all this covid stuff and upheaval in my personal life I hadn’t trained much since December 2019. I got fat, got out of a 4 year relationship and decided it was time to take back control of my life.

I played Rugby in high school, mostly hooker and a bit at prop. I decided to start playing again to give myself something to work towards and keep me accountable. Also I just really miss playing. The men’s club season starts in May so I’ve got some time to stop being fat and useless between now and then.

Some stats:
Age: 25
Height: 5’9
Weight: 265
BF%: no sure, probably around 28-30% though.

Ideally I’d like to be around 220 by the time the season starts. I’d really like to play in the back row or centres. My training is heavily influenced by Max Shank and Matt Wichlinkski, basically integrating the O-lifts with gymnastic movements, loaded carries and the standard BB lifts.

31 Aug 2020:

-Crow stands, glute bridges and pull-aparts
-4x (L-sit pull through x 1, Airborne lunge x 2/side, pull-up x 2)
-4x (Handstand against wall, Cossack squat x 3/side, lunge+rotation)
-3x (Juggle x 2 mins, band pull apart x 20, calf cramper x 20, hollow holds x 15 sec)

1 Sep 2020:
-Glute bridges, pull-aparts and Hang power snatch technique work
-4x (Deadlift-ramped to 330x1, Planche lean x 10 sec, lunge+rotation)
-4x (strict toes to bar x 2, KB windmill x1/side with 16kg, Thoracic bridges)
-3x (20m sled push, 20m sled sprint)

2 Sep 2020(Today):
-glute bridges, scap push-up, pull aparts

-Zercher squat - ramped to 225x1
-Fat bell waiter walk x 20m, 16kg/hand


  • Push press - ramped to 165x1
    -KB farmers walk x20m, 32kg/hand

Sandbag Bearhug carry:
1x20m with 100
1x20m with 150

Airbike sprints:

Weights in pounds unless otherwise specified.

Field Training day:

Warmup/handling drills

MB slam/push press throw, vert jumps, broad jumps

T-Shuttle x10 (10sec rest)

2 step shuttle x10

Snake shuttle x10 (30 sec rest)

Bear crawls, safety/forward rolls

Kicking practice x15 mins (drop goals and grubbers)

-glute bridges/frog bridges/1-leg bridges + band pull aparts/dislocates/halos

-Power Snatch technique work x 10 sets
+Turkish get ups, bent presses and 1-leg BB deadlift technique

-planche pull through on parrallettes x 4 sets
+lunge w/rotation and leg lift w/rotation

-ring tuck front lever practice x 3 sets

-ski erg x 1000m in 6 minutes
-versaclimber 3 x 1 minute bouts

GPP work at home

-Bridge walkouts, band pull aparts/dislocates, handstand practice.
-QDR push-ups, airborne lunge, pullups
-knuckle pushups, feet together squats, Hindu pushups, Cossack squats and more pullups
-balance work(KB passes), juggling, mobility
-grip work (captains of crush, sledgehammer levers, band wrist curls, banded finger extension)

25 minute mobility session

Foam roll/lax ball whole body, pigeon, groiner, Slav squat, lunge + pry and rotation stretches. Band lat + pec stretch

Warm up/activation: band pull aparts/halos/dislocates, glute bridges/thoracic bridges, Slav squat.

Hang Muscle snatch: ramped to 135x1 (PR)

4x -Deadlift: ramped to 345x1
+planche on parralettes/pull through
+lunge w/rotation

4x -Strict T2B/ring tuck front lever (2 sets each)
+KB stuff (windmills, bent press, bottoms up press and 2 x 5 heavy swings at 36/48kg
+lying leg lift w/rotation

-sled push 3 x 40m at sled + 25kg

GPP stuff at home

Warmup/activation: calf walk series, glute bridges, pull aparts/dislocates, crowstands

4x (L-sit pull through, Airborne lunge x2/side, pullups)

2x (lunge + rotation, Cossack squat x2/side)

Juggling x 5 minutes, light mobility work

Warm up/activation: reverse hyper x 10, band pull apart/halo 2 x 10, wrist mobility, Slav squat

-hang power clean technique x 5 sets with 135

-3x (Push Press - ramped to 195 x 2, chest supported row x 6 with 135, lunge + rotation)

-3x (Zercher squat - ramped to 235 x 2, fat bell waiter walk x 10m with 53lbs, leg lift + rotation)

-Farmers walk 2x20m with 110/hand, 1x10m with 160/hand

-Sand bag Bearhug carry 2x20m with 100

Decided to put my schedule/plan for the next ~18 months here in case I lose the paper I wrote it all down on/ if anyone has any input on it.

Aug 31-Sep 20: Intro block (get back into the routine and get some strength back)

Sep 21-Nov 29: Strength/Hypertrophy block (built for battle strength circuits)

Nov 30 2020-Jan 3 2021: Oly/Aerobic Capacity block (low volume Clean/snatch, pulls and squats 4 days/week + LISS row/ski erg and assault bike)

Jan 4-Jan 31: Resilience block (10,000 KB swing challenge)

Feb 1-Mar 28: Anaerobic block (low volume strength and power plus tabata/HIIT finishers)

Mar 29-Apr 30: Pre-Season block (focus on speed and injury prevention)

May 1-Oct 16: In-Season block (recovery, strength maintenance and CNS prep for games) This block might end sooner, depends on how far into the post season the club gets.

Oct 16 2021-Jan 30 2022: CT/ThibArmy Performance Beast program

I like having a long term plan, I feel it helps keep me accountable and excited for the next stage of training. I feel that I’ve periodized it pretty well, with the strength/hypertrophy/aerobic foundation laid early on and building into anaerobic and speed work as the season gets closer. If anyone has any input it would be appreciated.

Field training day

Field was very wet and I don’t have boots yet so I didn’t do as much change of direction stuff as I’d of liked.

Warmup/handling drills
MB throws/ jumps x 5 minutes
T-Shuttle x 10 (10 sec rest)
Forward rolls x 4/side
Kicking practice x 20 minutes

Warm up/activation: thoracic bridges, band pull aparts/halos

Hang muscle snatch: ramped to 3x1 at 60kg

-took 7 sets to work on my single leg deadlifts, last 3 sets were all 48kg x1/leg (single offset KB)

In between deadlift sets I did 4 sets of planche work on the parralettes and 3 sets of strict T2B/tuck front lever. Plus lunge w/rotation and leg lift w/rotation mixed in.

Been thinking about the built for battle circuits all weekend so I decided to jump in a week earlier than planned. I’ve periodized it according to CT’s article:

Group 3/strength x 3 weeks
Group 1/power look x 4 weeks
Group 2/explosive x 3-4 weeks

I also did the Neurotype test on the weekend, I’m a 2A/2B. I’ve attached a pic of the results if anyone is interested.


Warm up / activation: light mobility, altitude drops, band pull aparts

3RM day

Deadlift 315x3
Bench 195x3
Front squat 205x3
Strict press 155x3
Chest supported Barbell row 205x3

Then did about 15 mins of mobility and foam rolling.


Deadlift 250/270/285/300/315
Bench 155/165/175/185/195
Front squat 165/175/185/195/205
Press 125/130/140/150/155
Chest supported Row 165/175/185/195/205

Then 10 mins foam roll/mobility

Warm up/activation: band pull-apart/dislocate, vert jump, lax ball hip flexor

Deadlift 225/245/260/275/290
Bench 140/150/160/170/180
Front squat 150/160/170/180/190
Press 115/120/125/135/145
Chest supported row 150/160/170/180/190

Assistance work:
mag grip pulldown 2x10
Grenade cable curl 1x10/side
GHR x 5
2xKB hammer curl 1x10
Face pull 1x20

Foam roll/mobility x 10 minutes

-decided to try leaving my seat heater on during the drive to the gym. It’s about 25 minutes to get there, I felt it helped warm up my back slightly. I’ve still got some issues with my hip flexors that result in a bit of low back pain though.

-elbows and wrists are blowing up a bit after 3 straight days of front squats and pressing, looking forward to the day off tomorrow.

Foam roll/lax ball/mobility for 25 minutes
Practiced juggling for 5 minutes
20 minute epsom salt bath

So I may have pushed a bit too hard on 3RM day for the press and deadlift. Front squat/bench/row we’re all ok, but I started failing around the 3/2/1 sets of dead and press today. Next week I’ll either take it easier on 3RM day or subtract 10% from the maxes before I calculate the weeks weights.


Warm up/activation: glute bridges, band pull apart/dislocate, altitude drops

Deadlift: 285/300/315(failed)/330(failed)/345(failed)
Bench: 155/175/195/205/210
Front squat: 185/190/195/205/225
Press: 140/150/155/160(failed)/165(failed)
Row: 185/190/195/205/225

-foam roll/mobility x 15 minutes

So the lower back pain seems to be the return of some APT I thought I’d sorted out last year. Today I did 3x5 deadlift at 135 as a warm up and could barely bend over after that. I ditched the strength circuit for today and did something that helped me fix the APT last time:

10 sets:
-Front rack hold x 5-10 sec, worked up to 275
-Lax ball upper glute
-temper roll quad/hip flexor

Basically treating the front squat hold as a “standing plank” and paying attention to keeping hip alignment neutral.

Then 3x10 mag grip pulldown

Will probably repeat the same type of workout + some bodybuilding stuff 3 times next week then reassess to see how much it’s helped.

Warmup/activation: band pull aparts/dislocates, hip thrust with band, altitude drops, foam roll

Planche lean on parallettes: 5x10sec

10 sets:
-front rack hold - ramped to 275 x 6 sec
-temper bar quad/hip flexor
-lax ball upper glute

-pull-up bar dead hang + ppt lunge stretch x 2

-bottoms up KB press x a few sets, heaviest was 20kg

-mag grip pull down 3x8

-sled push 4x20m

More APT corrective stuff at home:

Warm up: band pull aparts/dislocates, foam roll/lax ball, calf walk series, KB passes(balance/foot arch strength), juggling

-Dead bug and camel stretch x 2 sets
-Birddog and hip flexor stretch x 2 sets
-Thoracic bridge/tabletop bridge x 2 sets
-neck work (banded ROM, flexion/extension/retraction)
-Airborne lunge and pullups x 2 sets
-grip work (sledgehammer levers, captains of crush, band wrist curl, band finger extensions)

Watched the (New Zealand) North v South game while I did all that, great stuff!

Warm up: band pull aparts, hip thrusts, band dislocates, altitude drops and foam rolling

-planche lean on parralettes: 5 sets

-10 sets:
Front rack hold
(3 sets with 135, 3 with 225, 2 with 275, 2 with 315)
Lax ball glute
Temper bar quad/ hip flexor

-KB windmills, bent press and bottoms up press + ppt hip flexor stretch

-dips and cable rows with mag grip x 3 sets

-reverse hyper 2x10