When training for sports performance, speed is what it’s all about.
But I think a lot of people miss the point on this one, especially rugby players. When rugby players think of strength and conditioning all they see is bigger muscles and seeing who can bench the most in the gym.
Whilst strength and size are obviously needed in the gym, there is more to training than that. If you get heavier without an increase in running speed, you’ve just got slower and it doesn’t matter whether you put on muscle or FAT! If you get stronger at the bench press, will it help you sidestep two opponents and sprint 40m to score a try?
For beginners, almost anything you do in the gym will benefit your game. For intermediate and advanced guys, you gotta work on speed and power.
So add in a few jumps, medicine ball throws and short sprints for lower body power. Throw some sandbags around and start swinging a sledgehammer about for upper body power. GET STRONG IN THE BASIC EXERCISES THEN TRAIN TO GET FASTER.
For a weekly in-season workout this may look like:
LOWER BODY SESSION
1A. Box Squat: 3 x 5
1B. Jump (any kind): 3 x 5
2A. Sled Drag (HEAVY): 4 x 10m
2B. Sprint: 4 x (10m x 2)
3A. Ab rollouts: 3 x 10
3B. Sprinter Sit-Ups: 3 x 15
Check out the workout plan above, strength is built on the basic box squat BUT we are working back to back with a jump. This will build up lower body strength and increase rate of force development (power). Your legs will get quick!
Then we build strength using the sled drag, which mimics the movement patterns of sprinting. This is used back to back with normal sprints over the same distance. Again, this will build strength with a basic exercise and then make you get faster as you’re training your sprint AND contrasting from a heavy exercise to a light one.
With some basic ab work to finish this would be a solid power workout for the lower body during the season.
Build up your strength and muscle in the off-season, then during the season your sport must be the focus! Stay strong and maintain muscle mass, then get your head down in the gym and work on getting super SPEED and staying healthy!
If you need a hand with your power workouts, just drop a comment below and I’ll help you out! Have a great week!