Posts in Rugby Strength Show
Rugby Strength Show #15 - Do NOT Rush Your Deadlifts

Training for strength takes time. So why people smash through deadlift sets quicker than they should is beyond me, it just doesn't help you!

Your body and your health is much more important than rushing through a touch and go set.

Do that if you want to turn your spine into bone dust and pain.

To perform your deadlift sets properly, watch this video. I outline the reasons for training with a rest between EVERY rep, and you can see one of my athletes doing his set.






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Rugby Strength Show #14 - Three Ways to Train for Power

Let me introduce to you the three phases of every power movement... Understanding these phases will help you plan smarter training blocks and individual exercises. For the majority of your training, use jumps. All types of jumps are helpful, just watch the video after reading the definitions of each phase of power movements below and it will all make sense!


Concentric Phase:

This is where you are producing force AKA jumping upwards, the drive forward in sprinting, a big hit as you lift the opponent off the floor.

Eccentric Phase: This is where you receive force AKA landing from a jump, the impact of your foot on the ground during sprinting, the absorbing phase of impact on your shoulder when making a big hit.

Amortisation Phase: This is the gap in time between receiving force and then producing it again.

To understand this phase I want you to imagine a pendulum swinging.

Don't get hypnotised just yet though! Just visualise it swinging left to right AND be aware of the pendulum stopping at the top of each swing, just as the power runs out on the way up and just before it starts to fall back down.

That gap where the pendulum is hanging mid-air, just poised to start falling and producing force, is the amortisation phase.


Concentric, eccentric and amortisation phases are part of every power movement you do, so whether that's sidestepping an opponent, jumping for a high ball or just sprinting down the pitch like a cheetah, you NEED to focus on each phase in your training!

Here's the video for today:




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Rugby Strength Show #13 - Two Easy & Daily Recovery Movements

It's been a great summer….unless you've been crushed by your coach in pre-season training! But hey, rugby's a tough sport for tough guys…and girls, so sometimes you gotta put the work in or you simply won't be fit enough when the season starts. The problem is that with an increased volume of training, your recovery needs also increase. Very simply, you need to look after yourself.

This means:


1. More sleep

2. More healthy food and water

3. More light recovery workouts and mobility drills


Today's show is to help you get into a regular routine of mobility work, cos let's face it, stretching can be a pain-in-the-ass to remember and boring as hell to do!

So in this video I make it really easy to do, challenge yourself to try it daily for 2 weeks and you'll really enjoy the difference.

REMEMBER: Recover faster and you'll get quicker gains!



Subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking HERE and remember to grab your FREE e-book on training, diet and recovery right HERE.



Rugby Strength Show #11 – Warming Up the Ankle & Foot for Football

Football!? Yep, we’re here to help ALL athletes benefit from this show! Plus let’s face it, football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world after all!

Today’s episode is an answer to the following question from a viewer:

What warm-up drills can you do for football?

The problem is that because football and rugby have been around for over 100 years, the practices and training methods used are, quite literally, outdated. So as much as I could give you some fancy warm-up drills to do, you’ll inevitably be doing leg swings and a quick jog round the pitch when you train with your team!

With this in mind I’ve put together a simple routine to do BEFORE you go and train, ideally you’d do this DAILY to develop high quality soft tissue and ankle joint integrity:

Here's the routine:

1. Passive ankle turns: 1 set of 50 turns clockwise and anti-clockwise

2. Ankle self mob: 2 sets of 15 reps each side

3. Ball roll shin: 1 set of 60 secs per shin

That’s the show for today, shoot me a question at if you’d like to gain some knowledge!



Rugby Strength Show #10 – Stop Stupid Shoulder Injuries!

If you play rugby or a contact sport, the chances are that your shoulders are going to get hurt sooner or later. Lots of impact force going through a very mobile shoulder joint…hmm….something’s gonna give!

Fortunately there is something we can do to protect our super shoulders, and it doesn’t involve wearing pads and a helmet like those American Football lads ;) Watch the video below to see a couple of movements I use DAILY with all my clients, whether they play a sport or not, these are essentials for healthy and pain free joints:


1. No-Moneys


This simple movement strengthens your rotator cuff and restores a hell of a lot of movement to the glenohumeral joint capsule. No equipment necessary, no excuses then!


2. Ball Roll Chest


Grab a hard lacrosse/cricket/hockey ball and roll out your chest muscles. I’ve seen this soft tissue release cure back pain, shoulder pain and even tight necks….all caused by chronically tight chest muscles. Having your chest muscles forcibly lengthened in every crunching tackle you make (or receive!) puts more than a few spots of tough scar tissue and tight muscle fibres. Roll it out guys!


3. Thoracic Extensions


Your spine gets some serious loading throughout a game of rugby. It’s safe to say 99% of the forces your body receives will go through the spine, and if it isn’t up to the challenge…well…you can kiss an injury-free season goodbye. The thoracic spine is very commonly immobile and rigid in a lot of people, let alone rugby players, if you struggle with overhead movement, sort this area of the spine out and marvel at your new found movement (and happiness!).


So there are three awesome movements to prevent AND cure your shoulder injuries.


Got a question for the Rugby Strength Show? Just email me at and I’ll video the answer!





Rugby Strength Show #9 – Energy Systems and Endurance Workouts

I have made a BIG mistake in the way I thought rugby players should be conditioned. Please read the following story:  

I recently started playing rugby again (after 2 busy years getting my gym off the ground!) and needed to get in shape, so I began training 200m sprints once a week. I got to the point (after 5 weeks of training) where I managed ten 200m sprints with 90 seconds rest. This was on a Tuesday and then I played my first full game of rugby the following week’s Saturday.


This is a good time to say that a lot of training methods for rugby conditioning promote the traditional interval training method of 30 seconds on, 90 seconds off for 6-10 sets. Well….


What a waste of time that training turned out to be! My legs turned to jelly within the first half an hour, my lungs were killing me and, whilst I was definitely one of the fittest on the field (was at a pretty low standard team at the time!), I was annoyed that I felt this way. So let’s break down my training methods:


Ten 200m sprints of approx 40 secs each means 400 seconds of high intensity work for a total that is less than 7 minutes of training.


A rugby game lasts 80 minutes. Was 7 minutes enough work?




These 200m sprints were stressing the glycolytic energy system which provides the majority of energy production for work periods of approx 30-90 seconds.


A rugby game lasts 80 minutes and therefore is predominantly aerobic. Was I training the right energy system?




Running for 200m considerably reduced the power output of my body during the last 25-30 seconds of each sprint (once I’d gone past 10-12 seconds and used up my immediate anaerobic or ATP-PC stores) and required at least 90 seconds to recover due to the extremely fatiguing and extended nature of each set.



A typical game requires high intensity work for <20 seconds (sprinting at top speed, tackling, rucking, scrummaging etc.) then low intensity for 20-60 seconds (walking, jogging, submaximal sprinting, passing, kicking etc.) interspersed with infrequent and short (30-60 second) passive rest (standing around between plays). Was I simulating these demands with my 200m sprints?




So basically, with my 200m sprint training I worked for too long (~40 seconds), with too much rest (because I needed extra rest due to the long 40 second working periods) and couldn’t sustain this for longer than 7 minutes. Doh!


But hey, better my mistake and your lesson than we both do something stupid!


To train the right way for rugby you must either work at a really high intensity for 20 seconds or less and then have 20-60 seconds of active recovery (skipping or jogging) and then repeat this for at least 20 total minutes of training to simulate a rugby game and train both your ATP-PC (alactic) energy system AND your aerobic system to develop what is known as alactic capacity.


OR you could work at a moderate intensity for 2 minute ‘rounds’ with one minute of passive recovery (standing, stretching or walking) for 6-12 sets to train your aerobic system and develop aerobic power.


Here is a video of both of these methods:



Simply put, performance in rugby comes down to this:


Build your strength levels to the point where you can work at a higher intensity than anyone else on the field and develop a powerful aerobic system that lets you recover quickly between these bouts of high intensity work.


ALWAYS get stronger, it will help everything you do, but then develop your ability to STAY strong whilst working over a long period of time by developing alactic capacity and aerobic power.


For the visual learners amongst you (like me!) this should explain it nicely:



Also, remember that your rugby matches (and hopefully team training nights) are conditioning too! So count everything you do each week in your training program and work HARD, results will come.


Email all your questions to





Rugby Strength Show # 8 – The Secret to Being an Elite Athlete


Today’s lesson is simple:


Watch the video to see what I’m talking about and how it relates to YOU…



The biggest mistake I see young athletes make is that they do not believe that they can improve at a fast rate. This disbelief then transfers itself into poor physical performances, justifying their initial limiting beliefs and causing little to no progress in their sporting performance.


But why do people think like this (and it isn’t just young athletes, this applies to ALL people!)? Why do we limit ourselves?




It is a LOOONG way to go from being a 12 year old benching just the bar to believing that you can become a pro athlete and bench 160kg+, you’d have to be crazy to think you could do that, right? Remember when you were 5 years old and it felt like waiting for Christmas was the same as doing a lifetime sentence on death row? It’s the same thing. When you really want something it feels like it takes a long time to happen.


It takes someone who is a little crazy to believe that in 5, 10 or 15 years time they will be the BEST athlete in the world. Why the hell would you believe that? The mental pain of failing is what our brain is HARD-WIRED to avoid. Our brain does not like to feel the emotional side of failing at a big goal like this, so by setting limits for ourselves where we can always operate successfully, our brain feels HAPPY.


“I think that there is a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have. You have to believe in something different than what has happened for the last 50 million years of history, you have to believe that something different can happen.”

~ Will Smith

I’m here to tell you that it is OK to fail, it is ok to have a bad day, it is NORMAL to fall off the wagon, even EXPECTED to happen to everyone on the road to GREATNESS. But come back tomorrow and TRY AGAIN, have a better day, try to succeed and get back on the wagon! These are temporary defeats on the journey to your goals.


It is NOT OK to walk away from your journey and admit permanent defeat. Because then you really have failed. The mental pain you’ll have from NEVER knowing whether you could have achieved your goal or not is the worst pain anyone could have because it lasts FOREVER.

Try to apply this in everything you do, it may seem tough at first, but trust me it gets easier!

That's your lesson for today, now go and get your goals!


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Rugby Strength Show # 7 – Loose and Injury Free Shoulders

In today’s episode you will learn how to correctly stretch your shoulders, chest, shoulder retractors and neck with ONE movement. You need a resistance band to properly pull the upper arm away from the shoulder joint, but you could try it with the upright of a rack or a doorframe too.

Go for 2 constant minutes of ‘distracted’ stretching each side. Distracting a joint simply means that we’re moving it out of it’s current position, either to reposition it in a better place or, as in this movement, to create more movement and ‘loosen’ things up!

Works great for injured shoulders too and helps get your full range of movement back immediately.



If you’d like to know more about this type of stretching, or if you have a certain muscle/joint that you can’t figure out how to stretch, email me at and ask a question. This is your show!


Remember, I’m trying to create a country of strong, fast and UNBREAKABLE rugby players, I know most of what you need because I’m a rugby player and a strength and conditioning coach, but I’d love to know what you want to know on an individual level too!


Remember to grab your FREE warm-up plan and sign up to my weekly newsletter HERE






Rugby Strength Show #6 - Optimum Weekly Training Splits

Ever wondered how you can schedule your workouts and team training nights so that you can get the quickest gains possible?! In this video I set out a few ways that I like to split the training loads of my athletes (and myself!).




So you could train using the following schedules:


3 days a week – Mon, Tues, Thurs


2 days a week – Mon and Wed OR Tues and Thurs (Try to train on the SAME day that you have rugby training. A whole day off is better for your recovery).


Lifting weights 4-5 days a week whilst in-season is usually a bad idea, it’s only really possible if you limit yourself to a strict maximum of 2 sets at a high intensity for 2-3 exercises. Then go home and recover!


Recovery/rest days are IMPORTANT as this is where your body will adapt and improve, if you keep adding more work and training harder without giving your body recovery time, you won’t improve!


As usual, find out which way feels best and allows you to play the best rugby!


If you have any questions that you’d like answered on the next Rugby Strength Show, just email me at


Remember to grab your FREE warm-up plan and sign up to my weekly newsletter HERE


Train Hard!



Rugby Strength Show #5 – Aggressive Mindset vs Positive Mental Attitude

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.

Bruce Lee


Here are a few of my thoughts regarding the fine balance between being an aggressive athlete and a positive, happy athlete. This is an often overlooked area of training and sports. Trying to maintain a highly stressed/emotionally psyched up mental attitude 24/7 can lead to mental AND physical burnout.


So watch the video and then TAKE ACTION. Write down 3-5 ways you could start implementing a more positive way of thinking into your weekly competitive cycles. Feel free to email me any questions, thoughts or counter-arguments on this post at Or if you want me to cover a particular area of rugby strength and conditioning just let me know and I'll make it happen!



Remember to grab your FREE warm-up plan and sign up to my weekly newsletter HERE


Train Hard!