Ashley Jones Q&A Archives Page 1

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    hi ashley I have a question about power lifting and athletics in sprints have been doing d/lifts,bench ,squats,4yrs with 3 sets of 5 rps going up by 10 kilos at a time until either to heavy or form drops out then dropping the sets and rps to suit .my best d/lift is 200 kilos 2-2 rps squat 180 kilo 1-2rps bench 180 2-2rps with suit and wraps on .this made me stronger and faster out of the blocks in which I am still winning pro races at the age of 46 . just got some mini bands no1 from you guys and started using them on the three lifts with just the bar until have form to move some weight. was thinking of going up by 5 kilos a week over 4weeks which is 40kilos with bands . remove the bands starting at 40 kilos 3-5rps going up by 10 kilos 4 weeks 80 kilos, then with bands drop weight by 20 kilos to accommidate bands 3-5 rps going up by 5 kilos after 4 weeks is 80 kilos with bands how deos this sound just wanting to know if going right direction and hoping bands will make me stronger and faster out of blocks . we also do hill training and sandhills and sleds for sprinting in off season which we are now thank you paul

    Hey Paul, thanks for your question, just to clarify, I am not employed by Get Strength, I provide the answers as a free services to interested people, in using bands ideally you will work off of a percentage of your best lift, this starting percentage is not set in stone, I have some of my rugby players who start a cycle of band use using 40% whilst other will use 50% to begin with, so I would look at your progressions for bench press like this:

    week 1 50% bands 8 x 3 reps

    week 2 52.5% bands 8 x 3 reps

    week 3 55% bands 8 x 3 reps

    week 4 50% 2 bands 6 x 3 reps

    week 5 52.5% 2 bands 6 x 3 reps

    week 6 55% 2 bands 6 x 3 reps

    and squat like this:

    week 1 60% 1 light bands 10 x 2 reps

    week 2 62.5% 1 light bands 10 x 2 reps

    week 3 65% 1 light bands 10 x 2 reps

    week 4 60% 1 medium bands 8 x 2 reps

    week 5 62.5% 1 medium bands 8 x 2 reps

    week 6 55% 1 medium bands 8 x 2 reps

    cheers, ash

    Hi Ashley,

    I am currently using Defranco’s WS4SBIII program and I am delighted
    with the results thus far however he gives little in the direction as
    to how to rotate the primary lower body ME and DE lifts. I do
    understand that it is important to change these lifts every 1-3 weeks
    but I am wondering in your opinion what would be the best options for
    a halfback.

    At present for the ME lifts I have been doing 2 weeks of parallel box
    squats, 2 weeks of sumo style deads, 2 weeks of 2″ below parallel and
    2 weeks of conventional dead lifts and then repeating the cycle. I
    always work up to a either a 1RM or 3RM and each week Im still setting
    new PRs .

    As for the DE movements I have been doing box jumps going for 2 weeks
    followed by 2 weeks of weighted vert jumps (nothing in excess of 40
    lbs) and repeating the cycle.

    Also just out of curiosity I understand that Defranco, like Louie
    Simmons, is not a fan of Olympic lifts however he neglects to include
    any good mornings in the WS4SBIII protocol, yet Louie loves them. Any
    idea as to why they do not figure among the lower body ME movement

    Thanks for providing an excellent site and fielding our questions


    PS The gym Im currently using has limited equipment so I do not have
    access to any of the fancy barbells, nor do I have any bands however I
    will be getting 3 sets of chains in the next week and any input as how
    I can incorporate them in the ME/DE lowerbody training would also be
    greatly appreciated.
    Hey Paddy, glad to hear you are following a quality program in
    DeFranco’s, if more rugby players took the time to understand the value
    of program’s such as this one they strength training issues would
    disappear over night. As to your questions, firstly with the ME training
    days, I feel for rugby players it is better to hold the exercises over a
    slightly longer adaptation phase of three weeks and to micro manage over
    those three weeks by following a 5RM, 3RM and finally 1RM protocol then
    changing the movements and going back to a 5RM to begin the next three
    week mini cycle, I would include the good morning as one of your options
    in the ME lower body group, even a Simmons/Combo Good Morning is an
    excellent additional exercise, alternating between a box squatting
    movement and then a pulling/hamstring/glute/lower back movement would be
    great as you are doing:

    Box Squats at parallel
    Good Morning Combo
    Box Squats at 5 cms below parallel
    Rack Deadlifts
    Box Squats at 5 cms above parallel
    Good Mornings

    That is 18 weeks of variation, before you may want to cycle through the
    same list again.

    As to your use of chains I would use them on the DE day and maybe cycle
    them over a 3 week period keeping the percentage of maximum the as per
    bar weight and add a set of chains per week, then increase the
    percentage of maximum by 2.5% or 5% and cycleup in chain weight again,
    as long as you can maintain the speed of the bar.

    I use a lot of jumps in my player’s training and often super set them
    with the DE exercise a selection of these are below:

    Knees to feet jumps
    Box jumps
    Jump outs with a band
    Depth jumps
    Seated box jumps

    I would also use the olympic lifts on DE days and super set the jumps
    with them. Go well and enjoy, thanks for such a well thought out
    intelligent question, cheers, Ashley
    Following your off season programs i have managed to put on a fair bit of muscle and i thank you, but unfortunately due to injury and illness i have lost a fair bit. The thing is i am inseason, so i was wondering if there is any way to pack on muscle during the season. My legs have always been fine in terms of size, i need upper body size, particularly the traps.

    Thanks, John

    Hi John and glad that the porgrams have been of use to you, it is very hard to add upper body mass duirng season with the demands of the game and recovery, we attempt to bypass this by maintaining a higher rep per set strategy, instead of our usual three week program of:

    Week 1: 6,5,4 Week 2: 5,4,3 Week 3: 4,3,2

    we would use:

    Week 1: 10.8.6 Week 2: 8,6,4 Week 3: 7,5,3

    for our players that need more work on maintaining size in the upper body, we will still do our usual reps for lower body training, we also try and get an extra upper body workout in on a Thursday for a Saturday game, combining it with some lower body power work, Usually we will do a 2 x Upper body push pull super set on a monday or a tuesday (4 exercises in total) then just a single upper body push pull superset to accompany the lower body power program on a thursday, hope this gives you a lift in the areas you are needing, cheers, ash

    Hey Ashley,

    Really appreciate the site, it’s nice to find somewhere with alot of rugby related training info. Anywho, I play rugby (back row) for my Medical School here in the U.K. and we’ve just moved into sevens season, training on Wednesdays and tournaments on Saturdays. I was wondering what your ideas were on sevens specific strength and conditioning, and whether they differ from your approach to 15’s training. How many weights session would you recommend per week, and would you incorporate speed work? I’ve been following Coach Defranco’s WS4SB III programme, but it seems hard to fit into our current training schedule.

    Cheers in advance


    Hey Ben and thanks for the feedback, DeFranco’s interpretation and implementation of the West Side principles is a superb contribution and I would suggest that anyone who wants to be ahead of the pack put some time into training in this style. As for your schedule with Medical School, and training and games it is indeed difficult to get in the required number of sessions each week, I would incorporate the speed day elements of the West side program so weight train 2 times per week during the season and use the entire program during the off season or you could utilise the program I posted here combining both speed and power in the one program, here is the program side of the article:

    Dynamic Movement Warm up

    Micro Fastfoot Ladders and Quicken Micro and Mini hurdle sequences

    Medicine Ball throws and acceleration sprints over 10 – 15 metres

    Depth or Box Jumps in gym

    Assisted sprints utilizing short (mini slingshot overspeed trainers)and/or long (slingshot overspeed trainers) bungees cords

    Power Snatch from blocks set at knee height, Block Cleans or Jump Squats (6 sets of 3 reps at 30 – 40%)

    Maximal velocity work over 30 – 60 metres

    Clean or Snatch Pulls from the floor or Band Box Squats (6 sets of 3 reps at 60 – 80%)

    Resisted speed efforts utilizing either pro power speed resistors, power speed chutes, power speed sleds, these are often performed with a contrast sprint after the loaded sprint

    Trap Bar Dead lifts or Front Squats (6sets of 3 reps at > 90% 1RM loading)

    This entire speed and power complex training is completed inside of 60 minutes

    An upper body speed strength day would compliment this program and I would schedule that for whichever day suits even the Friday as a number of fitness coaches I know are doing an upper body workout the day before the game as a primer but also it appears to have no adverse effect on performance, the caveat being low volume and high intensity, I do believe that speed and repeated speed are essential elements of any rugby program, you could put the repeated speed into the Wednesday training session with your team, cheers, ash

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