Author Ashley Jones
Bigger, Stronger, Quicker
The Eternal triangle of conditioning to play back row in Rugby.
So you are getting ready for your season, you play back row and are around 6ft (183cms) tall and weigh roughly 14 stone (89kg), you want to be in good shape metabolically, slightly bigger and quick to the breakdown. You want to be Richie McCaw, who is in most people’s minds is the quintessential open side flanker in world rugby.
If you have the time I would recommend the following program:
Strength/Power training: 3 per week, ideally Mon/Wed/Fri
Speed: 3 if you are if good metabolic shape (can you run a 2,400 metres (1.5 mile) in less than 9 minutes 30 seconds to 9 minutes) 2 if you are outside these parameters get yourself fitter
Conditioning: 2 or 3 depending on where you are fitness wise
Combat training: 1 or 2, boxing or wrestling or MMA, or judo
Monday & Friday – lower body strength/power focus, upper size/strength focus
2 x Full body Strength
Select exercises from each of the following categories, use the same exercise for 3 weeks then change the exercise and repeat the 3 week progression, have a different selection of exercises for the second workout.
3 sets each exercises with the following reps:
Lower Body: Week 1 – 6,5,4 Week 2 – 5,4,3 Week 3 – 4,3,2
Upper 1: Week 1 – 5,4,3,2,1 x 4 Week 2 – 6/12/25 x 3 Week 3 – (7,5,3) wave x 2
And second workout of each week do the following scheme:
Upper 2: Week 1 – 12/10/8 Week 2 – 10/8/6 Week 3: 8/6/4
1 x Full Body exercise
1 x Squat exercise
1 x Hamstring/Lower Back
2 x Upper Body Push super set with Upper Body Pull
Full Body Power
Stay with same exercise for 3 weeks
2 x Full Body exercises do a jump exercise after each set
2 x Upper Body Push (Band Bench Press & Barbell Split Jerk) do an upper body plyometric exercise after each set
One exercise per grouping at 6 x 3 reps @60 – 80% coupled with 6 x 3 plyos/jumps
Second exercise is 3 x 6 reps @ 25 – 40% coupled with 3 x 6 jumps/plyos
Knees to feet jump, Jump onto Box, Depth Jump (advanced), Repeat Hurdle Jumps, Band Jump outs, Tuck Jumps
Upper Body Plyos:
Clap Chest Push Ups, Clap Push Ups, Jump Ups onto a box, Med Ball Drop & Push away, Cross Over Push Ups, Med Ball Throw against a Wall, Wheelbarrow Arm Hops
2 x Speed
Full Movement Warm up 10 minutes
Ladders – forward series
Hurdles – 2 x march, 2 x skip, 2 x run + 10m accelerate
10 x MB throw + 10m sprint
4 x Repeat long jumps 22 metres
2 sets x 4 x 20m build + 30m fly, walk back recovery between reps, 3 minutes between sets
Full Movement Warm up 10 minutes
Ladders – lateral series
Hurdles – lateral series
Harnesses – lateral series + release
Low hurdle jumps 5 x 5 + 10 m sprint out
10 x 1 x Tyre flip then sprint out 10 metres
6 x 40 m with a slow walk back in between each rep
Full Movement Warm up 10 minutes
Ladders – Full series
Hurdles – Full series
Select 2 drills and do 75 foot contacts
1. Bounding x 40m
2. Power Skip x 40m
3. Single leg hop L to 22m R to 50m repeat with reverse distances
4. Power Jumps
5. Vertical Tuck jumps
6. Single leg rebound vertical jumps
Accelerations from different starts 20 metres maximum distance for 10 minutes:
3 point stance
lying on chest
lying on back
lying on back roll to left and roll to right
hurdle jump & go
standing facing opposite direction
chip kick regather then go
grubber kick regather and go
Select 2 drills from this list and do for 15 minutes
Flying 28’s – build for 22m and then sprint maximally to the half way line
In & Outs – hard for 20m easy for 10m hard for 20 easy for 10
Change of direction cut – sprint hard for 30m hard cut diagonal for 10m then hard cut off other foot to straighten for another 30m
Straight sprints – 40m, 50m, 60m, 78m or 5m, 10m, 15m, 22m, 30, 35m
2 x Repeated Speed
Option 1: 20 x 40secs on 20secs rest distance based on 110% of VO2 max from 2,400m time trial range 150m to 220m
Option 2: Sprint 50m then slow down and walk to other end of the field, turn and go again x 20; 10 x ½ Gasser every 60 seconds try and keep each run under 30 seconds(start lying face down chin on sideline get up sprint to the other side of the field, go down to ground get up and sprint back to start)
Option 3 : 200m in 40 seconds rest 20 seconds then 100m in 20 seconds rest 40 seconds x 10
Option 4: 5 minute continuous run then 5 x 10 x 50m every 30 secs with a 2.5 minute walk recovery between sets, then 5 minute continuous run
Option 5: 2,470 m in 31 minutes
20 x 22m every 15 secs – 2 min walk recovery
15 x 50m every 30 secs – 2 min walk recovery
10 x 78m every 45 secs – 2 min walk recovery
5 x 100m every 60 secs – finish
Option 6: 5 minute continuous run then;
10 x ½ Gasser every 60 seconds – start lying face down on the sideline get up and sprint to far side of the field get down to ground face down then get up and sprint back to start
3 x set of 6 Malcolm Drill (1:1) – start lying face down on half way line get up back pedal to 10m line go down on chest get up and run through to opposite 10m line go down on chest get up and back pedal to half way line and go down, that is one rep
6 x Coat Hangers – competitive – 2 groups either side of half way line on sideline, sprint down around goal posts then the length of the field around the goal post and finish at the sideline half way line junction.
1 x Hill Repeats
5minute warm up run, sprint up the hill for the set time and then walk back down the hill for the same time.
Option 1: 1 x 5 min, 5 x 3 min, 5 x 1min (1:0.5 walk back recovery)
Option 2: 10 x 60secs/45secs/30secs/15secs 1:1 work:rest ratio
Option 3: 5 x 1 minute, 10 x 30 seconds, 5 x 1 minute, 10 x 30 seconds 1:1 walk back recovery
Option 4: 15 x 30secs/15secs/45secs/ 1:1 work:rest ratio
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