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  • #23356
    andy_mac
    Guest

    As the title asks, what specific tests do you guys do for your rugby players?

    Also from the tests how do you determine what they need to work on?

    Cheers

    #24674
    fergus
    Guest

    Personally, I don’t really believe in ‘fitness testing’ per se …

    This is a section from an article I finished a few weeks back.

    What’s wrong with Fitness Testing?
    Don’t get me started! I don’t have time to fully explain why fitness testing is so out of date in this one article, (email me I’ll send you a more detailed
    article)
    but these are the main points.

     Testing is open to manipulation – Bluff the early tests, then coming close to the key season games beat your previous scores and look like Lazarus.
     Suitability of tests – Michael Jordan was probably the best basketball player ever, but in tests wasn’t even the best in Chicago Bulls. Explain that?
     There is no clear relationship between fitness test performance and team performance – Studies from New Zealand, showed a 1% improvement in a rowing power endurance test could only transfer to a 0.3% improvement in actual rowing time!
     Tests change the focus from performance to beating tests – If we keep testing we only develop players that are training to beat tests. We get great testers and poor footballers. As they say in Rugby – “Training like Tarzan and playing like Jane”
     Most Tests have no relevance to Football – Someone please tell me how valuable a Vo2Max test is to a footballer – None. Thank you. So why are you testing it?
     Testing Wastes Time – To properly test you need to rest for 2 days before hand, 1 testing day and recover for 2 days after the effort = 5 days training wasted.
     Test Conditions – You can’t test speed on grass in summer and indoors in winter and compare them. You need identical testing conditions for the same test.
     Fitness Changes every day – Anaerobic fitness changes faster than Alactic etc so a test is just a snap-shot in time.
     You can’t compare athletes to each other only to each other – Can you compare two forwards like Tommy Walsh and Colin Cooper? Tell Tommy he’s too slow and Colin he’s not tall enough? Or will you compare Tommy to Dara O’Se because they’re about the same height? One a veteran with a training age of 15 years and another with a training age of 3 years 3?
     Only as good as the second one – Unless you test in the exact same conditions twice you can’t compare an athlete.
     What good is a fitness test? – What are you going to do if a player fails a test coming up to a big game? Drop him? You know the manger is going to play him no matter what the coach tells him so what is the point?
     The real test is the game – If you really want to evaluate a player watch them play football and forget about treadmills and stop watches.

    I could go on but the key point is this – Fitness is an expression of your body – a fluid, fluctuating bioelectric system.

    #24673
    bris83
    Guest

    As fergus has mentioned there are lots of points for not to do fitness testing, however, the reality at least with clubs i know is that rugby coaches/players like the process to see were certain individuals are and welcome the competition of tests.

    We (Bristol) test…
    1RM Box Squat (leg strength)
    1RM Weighted Chin-Up (relative upper body strength)
    BW RM Chin-Up (muscular endurance, ability to manage ones own weight)
    Standing Long Jump (lower body power)
    10 & 40m speed (speed!)
    RFU Anaerobic Shuttle Test (too complex to explain but it involves shuttles and going to/getting up from the floor) (game specific endurance)

    Players also undergo medical screenings.

    #24671
    andy_mac
    Guest

    I must remember to click and save what I type! I just lost my last post..lol

    For the second time- Thanks for the replies guys, both have valid points and I do agree with Fergus however as Bris said there is a certain player/coach expectation which I may challenge!!

    I am going to be working with an academy level RL team which is my first step up the S&C ladder:-) We are meeting up on Tue and Thurs evening with a Friday team run through, therefore training and athlete contact time is limited!!

    My thoughts were to conduct body stats first followed by either standing long jump or triple hop test then onto the 10m and 60m speed test. I was then planning on doing a 3 or 5RM squat (should I do box squat for more control?) with 1 min press up test at the end.

    I don’t think I will have the time to do any anaerobic tests due to numbers and coaches??

    Any feedback or suggestions is always appreciated.

    Fergus I would love to read that article, sounds interesting

    #24668
    ashley
    Guest

    Hi there, we do a 2,4km time trial first day back, the players have been advised in a welcoming letter 1 month before this date what to expect and to advise that if they score well on this then they will be doing reduced aerobic work, we also do a repeated speed test develop by the AB s & c coaches this has replaced the PDT test, we also do a speed test 10/20 metres for forwards and 10/30m for backs, I really like the old PDT since it will show if a 100% effort is given the fatigue rates and if we need to do more repeated speed or from the speed test work more on acceleration or top end speed, or as I hear once, an answer to the question, coach how do you get your team faster, answer: recruit, trade or buy faster players.

    Also from the aerobic test I calculate distances players should be completing in there intervals sessions, so I can individualise from this, I also may do a speed profile by using a new device that will give me whatever splits I want, and look at exactly a player reaches top speed and what the drop off is like and how long they take to reach it, I know this will be all straight stuff but should be interesting to play with and see if I can use it appropriately, cheers, ashley

    #24669
    ashley
    Guest

    Some excellent points there Fergus makes for interesting reading, one point I would like t make and this is specific to the group that was tested in that year and in that competition and in that sport, so transfer is an issue, but in the late 1970`s the Hungarian first division football competition allowed researcher to VO2max test the entire population of players, team averages were then calculated and ranked highest to lowest, and put aside till the end of the season when the table for wins losses draws was complete, the two tables highest to lowest matched except a reversal of I think from memory 10th and 12th, so in this case VO2max was an excellent predictor of performance.

    I do very little testing, I never strength test since my program take players down regularly to heavy singles, doubles and triples so we know where they are, and by not testing I do not lose a full day at least of valuable training time and I do not get a glimpse of the athletes strength at that moment in time, where the night before he might have had an argument with his wife, or had not much sleep because his child was ill. I like the terminology of Graham Lowe (former AB Head S & C coach) and Dr.Nic Gill (current AB Head S & C coach), here both use the word monitoring, or a collection of snap shots along the way which provide ongoing information, combined with honest and open communication between the player and his S & C coach, to ensure that they are moving ahead physically on the field where it counts and not just in the gym or on the training grounds or track. ashley

    #24670
    ashley
    Guest

    @andy_mac 865 wrote:

    I must remember to click and save what I type! I just lost my last post..lol

    For the second time- Thanks for the replies guys, both have valid points and I do agree with Fergus however as Bris said there is a certain player/coach expectation which I may challenge!!

    I am going to be working with an academy level RL team which is my first step up the S&C ladder:-) We are meeting up on Tue and Thurs evening with a Friday team run through, therefore training and athlete contact time is limited!!

    My thoughts were to conduct body stats first followed by either standing long jump or triple hop test then onto the 10m and 60m speed test. I was then planning on doing a 3 or 5RM squat (should I do box squat for more control?) with 1 min press up test at the end.

    I don’t think I will have the time to do any anaerobic tests due to numbers and coaches??

    Any feedback or suggestions is always appreciated.

    Fergus I would love to read that article, sounds interesting

    Hi there Andy I would do a 2.4km time trial first up, and do nothing else since they are coming off a break I would never do a speed test without an adequate build up since maximal running with no preparation could lead to some injuries, also since VO2 max has a high negative correlation to body fat you would be able to predict with some accuracy that a player who has a low VO2 max may well need to drop a few kilograms of fat as well, google up 1.5 mile run conversion to VO2Max to get a chart, similar to strength testing most will have done very little gym work in the off season and if they have it will be more in the >8 rep range, so to test for maximal 3 or 5 RM is fraught with danger they need time to prepare the body, just progress with the weight training an dtake them down to that rep range over time, after 4 – 6 weeks of regualr training I would do a power test such as the test you mentioned aand a speed test, cheers, ashley

    #24675
    fergus
    Guest

    @ashley 883 wrote:

    Some excellent points there Fergus makes for interesting reading, one point I would like t make and this is specific to the group that was tested in that year and in that competition and in that sport, so transfer is an issue, but in the late 1970`s the Hungarian first division football competition allowed researcher to VO2max test the entire population of players, team averages were then calculated and ranked highest to lowest, and put aside till the end of the season when the table for wins losses draws was complete, the two tables highest to lowest matched except a reversal of I think from memory 10th and 12th, so in this case VO2max was an excellent predictor of performance.

    I do very little testing, I never strength test since my program take players down regularly to heavy singles, doubles and triples so we know where they are, and by not testing I do not lose a full day at least of valuable training time and I do not get a glimpse of the athletes strength at that moment in time, where the night before he might have had an argument with his wife, or had not much sleep because his child was ill. I like the terminology of Graham Lowe (former AB Head S & C coach) and Dr.Nic Gill (current AB Head S & C coach), here both use the word monitoring, or a collection of snap shots along the way which provide ongoing information, combined with honest and open communication between the player and his S & C coach, to ensure that they are moving ahead physically on the field where it counts and not just in the gym or on the training grounds or track. ashley

    That is the key in my opinon …. monitor don’t test

    #24672
    andy_mac
    Guest

    Thanks for the replies guys! I agree with a training day wasted for testing especially with the minimal contact time that I will have!

    I think the 2.4km run will be a challenge due to lack of a running track or an area with adequate lighting, therefore I feel the bleep test would be a good enough substitute.

    Cheers guys!

    #24676
    niklas
    Guest

    Ash,
    what do you get from a 2400m that you wouldnt get from a 3000m?
    you mentioned that you are using a test devised by the current all blacks S and C in place of the old PDT, are you able to explain that test any further?
    Thanks

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