Ashley Jones Q&A Archives Page 14

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    First off I love the web site, and being familiar with your work from Randal Strossen’s excellent “MILO” magazine, I was pleased to see more of the same, functional strength and conditioning for sport advice which seems to have me nodding my head when I read it.

    Anyhow my questions:-

    1) I am a Rugby League Prop ( Amateur level) who takes his own training seriously and I am after increasing my ability to last longer in games than
    the usual 20 minute bursts the coaches spell us for. I am usually very good in training but have trouble transferring it to the game on match day. I’ve
    tried very kind of game related conditioning drills, interval work, circuit training etc and seemingly drawn a blank, and it might only need a subtle
    twist on something I am already doing. I am keen to see how you may have helped some of the pro players in equivalent positions improve in these areas.
    My stats are as follows:-
    Age:- 30

    H- 6 ft 5″
    W- 17 St
    Lifts PB’s:-

    P/ Clean:- 120Kg
    S/ Jerk ( Off Racks):- 125Kg
    P/ Snatch:- 80Kg
    F/ Squat:- 150kg
    D/Lift:- 200kg

    Typical Running Performance:-

    100m:- Sub 13 sec
    200m:- Sub 30 sec

    2) My second question is regarding your profession. I am a qualified RL coach in the UK but my passion is the education,training and conditioning of
    the the athletes so that they can reach and perform at their full potential.
    How did you start off and did you collect various coaching qualifications before becoming an Accredited S C coach? It is sonething I aspire to even if only as an amateur in conjunction with my day job as a Structural Engineer.

    Hope you can answer my questions if you have time, as I know you are busy with the AB’s at the moment.

    All the best.


    Hi Gareth, thanks for your words, I am constantly amazed that people are actually reading what i write, it is very gratifying to be able to assist, to your questions.

    1. You certainly have the physical credentials, I would suggest that you use some power complexes or power circuits, which may so the trick, such as say:

    Block Cleans/Band Box Squats/Push Press/Dominator (or full body twist)/Band Bench Press

    Hang Snatch/Push Press Behind Neck/Jump Squat/Good Morning

    Hang Clean/Split jerk/Front Squat/Romanian Deadlift

    constantly change your set/rep/load set ups and see which one works best for you

    2. I started off as a PE/Maths teacher and then did a Masters Degree in Human Movement, but I did my CSCS from the NSCA as I went along and then got a lucky break from a professional basketball team in Sydney, after bombarding the head coach with letters and phone calls, so I would recommend getting a certificate from BAWLA and then volunteering to get experience and then pick up work form there, never give up, I almost did after I was not renewed at a rugby league club in Sydney in 2000, I almost went and taught english in Japan, but I got a break when I met Mike Anthony at a conference and then he recommended me to the Canterbury rugby union, so magic does happen, cheers, ash
    Hey ash! you`ve been a great help for everyone who love´s the game of rugby.
    I just wanted to know some of you´re favorite core work outs on the swiss ball for lumbar rehab and core strength.
    Thanks again, Nick
    Cheers Nick, thanks for your kind words, I guess the ones I would program the most frequently would be:

    Single Leg back Extension
    Seated wood chop with cable
    Russian Twist
    Leg Raises
    Med Ball Sit up and Throw

    A good one my friend Peter Harding taught me many years ago on a back extension bench which would work even better on a Swiss Ball in a thoracic rehab where you wrap yourself around the SB and raise your self up almost joint by joint into a back extension position, cheers, ash
    Dear Ashley.

    I am looking to get back into rugby next season after a season off. I weigh 64kg and 5’4 and I am a scrum half/wing. Would your half backs do anything different from the rest of the team in the gym? In your opinion would you advise me to put some weight on (muscle mass) or increase my strength power levels for me to succeed next season. I am 21 and competent with all the main lifts and Olymipic lifts.

    I struggle with recovery too, if I am to do cleans deadlifts say monday and again snatch and squats tuesdays I wont recover. As a weekly split would you have a day rest inbetween each workout but then I worry I will loose muscle mass and strength doing too much cardio on off days from the gym.

    Cable push and pulls, woodchops and tornado balls are a staple of my workouts too, as well as swiss balls (going back to my CHEK training)

    Any help will be much appreciated!

    Tom Smith, UK
    Hi Tom, thanks for the interesting question, it actually gets me onto my pet topic of gym training specificity for rugby, for me the only thing that transfers for sure from the gym to the field is CONFIDENCE, since all positions need to be strong and explosive then i think they all need to be following basically the same program depending on training age, I would split your training up if you are failing to recover from two days straight, i would have the Tuesday off and then either alternate the programs you listed over 2 weeks and do a more explosive based workout on the wednesday or thursday before a saturday game, some teams or individual players needing to increase muscle mass are doing another upper body only workout on Friday and experiencing no ill effects for the game on saturday, maybe worth a try during your pre-season games.

    I would work on your explosive power and strength in the lower body and hypertrophy in the upper body. lots of super sets and complex training for the upper, also by adjusting your volume for your lower body explosive movements you will get a good overall body size improvement as well, also I would recommend more repeated speed for your position rather than just aerobic work. As for your core work what you are doing sounds fine, all is well based in results, but experiment with some Turkish get ups, side dead lifts, go well, ash
    Hello ash could you please help my team does not perform well in the ruck and wresle seem to run out gas because of this . what should I be doing in the gym and field to help william
    Hi William, a little difficult not knowing the age group of your players, but generally I like to do power circuits which work on repeated anaerobic ability and lactate tolerance, if you set up say 3 – 5 explosive exercises my favourite of all time is as follows:

    One Arm DB Snatch
    Hang Clean Push Press
    Band Box Squats
    Band Bench Press

    work through 3 – 5 sets of 5 reps with little rest between sets of each exercise, also outside you may incorporate some wrestling drill with your repeated speed workouts, working in pairs of like strength, you could do the following drill:

    Have one player lay on his back and the partner lay across him, the drill is that the player on his back has to try and get to his chest, no standing up, you might go for time say 60 seconds then sprint 10 x 22m going every 15 seconds and then change roles and wrestle again. Another drill is to have the player kneeling with hands on the ground and the partner wraps his waist/chest area in a bear hug, the guy on all 4’s has to try and stand up, then another repeated speed set, say 10 x 50m going every 30 seconds.

    Cheers hope that gives you some ideas, ash

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