Sevens specific strength and conditioning

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    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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