The Effects of In-Season Strength Training

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How does an in-season strength and conditioning program impact rugby performance? The latest research shows that amateur rugby players can see massive improvements in agility, power and endurance by using an in-season strength training program. But that may not be the case for professionals. Read this excellent research paper on the effects of in-season strength training in rugby.

How does it help you?

  • latest research on in-season strength training
  • how to maximize in-season training
  • utilize this research to develop training programs

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Fourteen professional (NRL) and 15 college-aged (SRL) rugby league players were observed during a lengthy in-season period to monitor the possible interfering effects of concurrent resistance and energy-system conditioning on maximum strength and power levels. All subjects performed concurrent training aimed at increasing strength, power, speed, and energy-system fitness, as well as skill and team practice sessions, before and during the in-season period. The SRL group significantly improved 1 repetition maximum bench press (1RM BP) strength, but not bench throw (BT Pmax) or jump squat maximum power (JS Pmax) over their 19-week in-season. The results for the NRL group remained unchanged in all tests across their 29-week in-season.

The fact that no reductions in any tests for either group occurred may be due to the prioritization, sequencing, and timing of training sessions, as well as the overall periodization of the total training volume. Having athletes better conditioned to perform concurrent training may also aid in reducing the possible interfering effects of concurrent training. Correlations between changes in 1RM BP and BT Pmax suggest differences in the mechanisms to increase power between stronger, more experienced and less strong and experienced athletes.

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