Are You Relevant?

Ok, you’re in the gym, repping out some curls for the girls, maybe even a few pull-ups if you’re lucky, perhaps even a set or two of what can only be called ‘terrible partial squats’ with a ridiculously light weight, cos you gotta train your legs right! Yeah whatever.

You’re doing it all wrong, so wrong it makes me want to hit you over the head with the nearest 1kilo dumbbell.

Maybe someone sets you straight and you begin to focus on correct technique, you only bench, squat and deadlift and do assistance work to support these movements, you’re getting somewhere, muscle and strength levels shoot through the roof!

But are you RELEVANT?

In other words, if your workouts don’t reflect what happens in your sport to a certain degree, you are wasting your time. Obviously don’t go messing around with the rules of strength training, you still need to lift heavy weights, with good technique, to build whole body strength, but you have to replicate your sport as best you can…..

Ask yourself the following questions:

1) In your sport, which muscles are working, and for how long?

2) If there are times when you aren’t working (e.g. ball is out of play in football, rugby etc.), how long on average are these rest periods?

3) Do your workouts work the muscles used in your sport, for the same amounts of time, with the same rest periods?


I think you can see what I’m getting at, but here is a great example of how to train!

I am a rugby player, I typically have to work for 1-3 minutes in-between stoppages.

My legs and shoulders are used the most for rucks and mauls

If play goes beyond one minute it is likely that I will have to run for 5-20 seconds to get to the next breakdown.

Stoppages typically last for 30-90 seconds before I have to work again.


A workout for the above example could look as follows:

Following strength work using squats and bench press this rugby player will complete 5 rounds of the following:

Tyre Flip (to simulate rucking) – 2 reps and a 10 second sprint out to a cone and back, repeat for a total of 2 times.

Rest 30-90 seconds.

Sled Drag (to simulate resistance from an opponent) – 20m, aiming to drag as much weight as possible.

Rest 30-90 seconds


This above example uses the information provided by asking the above questions, to ensure the correct muscle groups are trained for specific work and rest periods.



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Anthony Shaw

Raw Strength