Ash’s NEW EBOOK RELEASED! Engineering Physical Performance A Neural, Mechanical & Metabolic Approach Strength Training for Rugby


Format: E-Book 82 Pages plus Exercise Chart

Engineering Physical Performance
A Neural, Mechanical & Metabolic Approach
Strength Training for Rugby

Author: Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones is a strength and conditioning coach, he has worked in three professional sports (Basketball, Rugby League and Rugby Union) in three countries (Australia, New Zealand and Japan) over a period of 20 years. He has worked with the national rugby teams of the country of his birth, the Wallabies and also that of his adopted country, the All Blacks. He is probably best known for his work at the Canterbury Rugby Union and the Crusaders, where he spent 9 years and was involved in the training of teams that won the Ranfurly Shield, the NPC and the Superugby title on 3 occasions.  He first started in the industry as a gym trainer in 1979 at Tony Markham’s Nautilus Fitness & Leisure Centre in Crows Nest, Sydney. He holds a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and a Master of Science in Human Movement, and industry recognition with the CSCS from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, which he attained in 1988 and has held continuously to this day.

Table of Contents

Page 1 Title Page
Page 2 Short Bio – Ashley Jones
Page 3 Dedications
Page 4 Table of Contents
Page 5 Preface
Page 7 Introduction/Statement of Philosophy
Page 9 Building a Better Strength & Conditioning Coach
Page 10 Three Simple Steps
Page 11 Weekly Planning Variations
Page 13 Exercise Selection
Page 14 Loading Patterns & Training Methods
Page 15 Methods Chart
Page 18 Week Plan/Training Groups
Page 20 Speed Power Combo
Page 21 Training Articles
Page 21 Strongman Training in Sport
Page 22 Momentum = Mass x Velocity
Page 23 Training by the Numbers
Page 24 Training Month with Weekly Variations
Page 25 What we do Before Christmas Dictates Where we Finish in May
Page 30 Rule of 24
Page 34 Triple Treats Revisited
Page 36 Start the Year as you intend to continue it
Page 38 4 Day Lifting Program
Page 39 Weights Program January 2011
Page 41 Neural – Mechanical – Metabolic
Page 42 2010 Off Season Weights options
Page 45 Increasing Leg Strength Program options
Page 46 Weight Training General Ratings
Page 46 Outside Back Programs
Page 47 Strength & Power Continuum Training
Page 49 Wave Goodbye to Strength Training Plateaus
Page 51 Gym Based Circuits
Page 54 Off Season Weights Programs
Page 56 Actual Training Programs
Page 56 Before you Start your Weights Program
Page 57 Mid Field Back
Page 58 Lock Forward
Page 60 Mid Field Back
Page 61 Olympic Lifting for Rugby
Page 65 Hypertrophy/Strength for Lock Forward
Page 72 Push/Pull/Squat
Page 73 International Team
Page 74 Lock/Number 8
Page 77 Prop Forward
Page 78 Hypertrophy Program
Page 79 Loose Forward Program
Page 80 In Season Program
Page 83 Weight Room Exercise Selection Chart


My journey in strength and conditioning started in 1975. Almost 38 years ago this year as a nervous but excited 14 year old boy I climbed the steps of Vince Basile’s gym, American Health Spa, in Brookvale a suburb of Sydney.  I guess that was one of the first contradictions I experience throughout my life so far both in and out of the gym.  Since Vince was a Canadian and a former Mr Canada, why American Health Spa, I never did get to ask him that question, but I digress.

Vince put me on a diet of the basics an encouraging word and a gym filled with photos of the greats and most of the local power lifters and body builders trained in the same gym so advice and inspiration and motivation were never far away.  There was “Big Dennis: the biggest man I had seen as a naïve 14 year old, his training partner Pat, both were builders and bricklayers, they both looked more capable of demolishing building with their bare hands rather than constructing them.  There were a host of other guys but you two were the ones I remember the most, thanks.

I started reading Iron Man, taking desiccated liver, kelp and alfalfa tablets making foul smelling and worse tasting concoctions out of Soya bean protein in my mother’s kitchen.  I got stronger put on some weight played better rugby and I was hooked and thus the journey began.

The one thing they all pushed was technique a lesson learned so young lasts a lifetime, I have never been very strong but hopefully people would say I had good technique and that is a credit to all the guys at the gym who were never short of a word when you tried to lift with other than perfect technique.

My philosophy is one of heavy and basic, hard work on the exercises that involve the use of more muscles is a cornerstone to my programming. A thorough working knowledge of Olympic lifting, power lifting, strongman/dinosaur training and bodybuilding/physical culture is not required, but as you can see from these programs ideas have been drawn from all these areas and filtered into a framework to improve the physical performance of rugby players.

A few simple rules to train by:

Take the time to warm up, if it is good enough for Olympic champions to warm up with an empty bar how much more important is it for lesser lifters. You may even surprise yourself with the increased weights you will handle after an appropriate warm up and the less number of injuries you will have by graduating into your bigger numbers. As an old time saying used to go, “if you do not have the time to warm up then you definitely do not have the time to train”.

“Train for strength and size will follow”, lift as heavy as you can as frequently as your recovery and schedule allows you and you will be rewarded with impressive size that will endure the inevitable training lay offs that you will experience. If you just train for the pump with light weights and higher reps then when you are forced to stop training for a while you will deflate as if air has been let out of a balloon.

Technique is the foundation upon which all your training life should be based. Never sacrifice your technique for the sake of extra weight on the bar, compete with yourself and not the others you train with, control your ego and although “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp” make progress slowly, adding weight when you can. Aligned with this is train through the full range if you have the flexibility to do so, what is the point of unlocking the knees in the squat with a ton of weight and then to just relock them without bringing your hamstrings in contact with your calves.


Team Getstrength - Specialised Strength Equipment made for Athletes by Athletes here in New Zealand and supplying the World with the very best! Information you can trust - Team Getstrength has over 60 Years of Strength Training experience.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: