Rugby Strength Show #4 – A Simple In-Season Training Template

In this episode I take you through some raw video footage of me training for gains in power, strength and hypertrophy.

Currently I’m using the high frequency concepts from Dan John’s easy strength, I’ve written before about how much I love this style of training and you can read that article on Dan’s site right HERE. Basically the idea is that you train for strength 4-5 times a week, never straining yourself, getting a maximum of ten reps per exercise and lifting between 70 and 85% of your max (strict limits people!).

The program also allows for auto-regulation, which is becoming a big thing at the moment….probably because it makes sense. When you feel good, train hard…when you feel weak, train a bit lighter. Makes sense, right?

I also perform my strength work back to back with a biomechanically similar power exercise, usually straight after (Yep, I know you’re supposed to take 4-5 minutes rest between exercises but this is real life). For lower body I also perform one ‘rep’ of a 20m sprint to get a real association for combining strength and power with an all out sprint effort….why? It’s the best way to get ‘sport specific’ in a real-life setting, without using slide-boards and other girly gizmos.

Typically, to get my allotted ten reps for strength in, I’ll do 2 sets of 5 reps per exercise. Sometimes I’ll switch it up to 3 x 3 reps, but quite rarely to be honest. I use this workout for 3 week cycles, varying the exercises ever so slightly on

the start of each new cycle. So sumo deadlift varies with conventional stance, ring chins with straight bar chins, bench press with board press etc. Again, keeping it super simple!


After I’ve done my strength work on deadlift and bench press, I’ve been experimenting with EDT for muscle gain. Just throwing in a 20 minute ‘block’ of upper body work at the end of a workout, 2-3 times each week. I vary the exercises every 2 weeks. For the previous 2 weeks I’ve used dips and fat bar curl in this time slot, the first week for 6 reps per set, the second week for 8 reps per set. I’m reluctant to go any higher than that as my shoulders often play up with higher reps but they seem happy with 6-8 reps!

This week and next week I’m using dumbbell incline bench press and farmers walk back to back for 20 mins.

Alright, so here is the full workout that I did in the video:


1A: Bench Press: 2 x 5 reps

1B: Clapping press-ups: 2 x 5 reps

1C: Ring Pull-Ups: 2 x 5 reps


2A: Sumo Deadlift: 2 x 5 reps

2B: Power Clean: 2 x 5 reps

2C: Sprint: 2 x 20m


20 Minutes back to back of: 

3A: DB Incline Bench Press: 6 reps

3B: Farmers Walk: 40m (20m out and back)


Exercises were done in series, so 1A then 1B then 1C, 3-4 minute rest (foam rolling and stretching, of course) then back round again for the second set.

There you have it – Strength, power, speed and hypertrophy in the same workout.

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