Rugby League/rugby Union

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    Please could someone Tell me the main difference in the way weightlifing is adaped for power in training for league as opposed to union. i ask this as the need for extra stength for scrums/mauls etc not needed. I am involvd with Gaelic Football and fitness for league is more akin to our game. Have my own ideas but looking for other approaches.
    Sean Adamson


    Hi Sean, I think the use of Cosgrove Complexes are a great way of adapting the weightlifting exercises into training for all sports that have a leaning more towards fitness than power/strength, but I would always use a strength power component within any training that I do, as an example of training for my metabolic group of players at present, please see below, ashley

    Metabolic Group – 4 sessions per week

    1 x Beastly Circuit

    Power Clean from Hang/Front Squat/Push Press/Jump Squats/Good Morning/Bent Over Row 3 minutes on Bike Hard

    6 reps on each exercise, do not put the bar down for the entire 36 reps, then do a hard 3 minutes on a bike, repeat for 6 times through

    1 x Body Weight Blitz

    Chins/Dips/Band Good Mornings (20)/Fat Man’s Chins/Hindu Push Ups/Hindu Jumper Squat’s (20)/Rope Climb/Push Ups/Lunges (20 each leg)

    All upper body movements go to failure then move to next exercise in sequence, keep working through until you have finished 30 minutes

    1 x Full Body Power Circuit

    DB Snatch/Jump/Quarter Explosive Squat/Jump/Split Jerk/UBP/Cable Rotation Tackle Throw/UBP/Bench Press Throw in Smith Machine/UBP 500 metres on rowing machine

    5 reps on each exercise then 500 metres row on each circuit, repeat for 5 times.

    Jump Options:

    Knees to feet jump, Jump onto Box, Depth Jump (advanced), Repeat Hurdle Jumps, Band Jump outs, Tuck Jumps

    Upper Body Plyos (UBP):

    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

    1 x Lower Body Strength/Upper Body Size

    Select one (1) exercise from each of the following categories, use the same exercise for 3 weeks then change the exercise and repeat the 3 week progression

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

    1 x Full Body exercise

    1 x Squat exercise

    1 x Hamstring/Lower Back

    Upper: Week 1 – 5,4,3,2,1 x 4 Week 2 – 6/12/25 x 3 Week 3 – (7,5,3) wave x 2

    2 x Upper Body Push super set with Pull

    Core Training:

    After each workout out, select from the following options and do a core circuit, for 10 minutes total time:

    Suit case Dead Lifts, Rollouts, Swiss Ball Leg Raises, Turkish Get Ups, Full Body Twist, Bicycle, Sprinter’s Sit Up, Boxer’s Sit Up, Rainbows, Swiss Ball Sit Up & Throw Med Ball, Russian Twist on Back Extension, Cable Wood Chops


    Thanks Ashley you might just clear up for me if its four times per week how many of the different groupings do you suggest per session and what excecise with what. I assume I have gone through endeurance/hypertrophy phase and then strength before this Then you leed into these exercises you suggest or are we on different tracks.
    Thanks Sean


    Hi Sean, it is 4 sessions per week one session on 4 different days, I do not believe in a traditional periodisation, I believe in a conjugate method where you train all variables concurently and emphasise your weaknesses, this way you do not lose out on any of the strength aspects of your program, be they size, maximal strength, strength endurance or power, hope that clarifies things, if not please let me know, I have a friend in your neck of the woods, Joanne Chapman, a beautiful woman, who lighhts up a room when she enters, but then again which Irish girl doesn’t, ash


    thanks for very clear reply. My problem is that the team I am dealing with are by and large new to weight training so I in some cases am dealing with novices to the extent that we are teaching them to lift having given them a base of bodyweight resistance the med. ball work and other core work. That was why I was going to use traditional periodisation.Would you recommend your suggeation to me still . Where can I read more about your suggestion and what will I look under? Just talking to Philip Mc L here just off to shop to get rugby balls for my camp. Sorry if I appear behind I do know what you mean just need access to more info. Main thing do you recommend your suggestion still assuming they can lift properly and safely.



    Hi Sean, with that in mind I think you should go back to a really basic program, possibly just the Pull, Push and Squat variety and do 3 different workouts throughout the week and over the course of 3 weeks work down to say 3 – 5 reps but not a true 3 – 5RM, just so they get the hang of working heavy to challenge them, so for example:

    Monday: Deadlift, Military Press, Back Squat

    Wednesday: Hang Clean, Push Press, Front Squat

    Friday: Power Snatch, Split Jerk, Overhead Squat

    Week 1: 3 x 8

    Week 2: 4 x 6

    Week 3: 5 x 5

    Then go back and change the exercises and start the progression again, then after 3 weeks go back to the original program as listed above and work through this progression:

    Week 7: 6,5,4

    Week 8: 5,4,3

    Week 9: 4,3,2

    Hope this is a help to you, please say hi to Phillip Mc for me, if there is a better bloke in the world I am yet to meet him, a great host, he looked after me a treat on a whirlwind speaking tour a couple of years ago, stay well, ash



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