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off season rugby program

Off season rugby training program

Assuming you take a four-week break after the end of the season, your off-season training should last 16-20 weeks. Use this time to make sure you aren’t enough and strong enough to enter pre-season training in good condition and ready to work hard. If you don’t, you may well find yourself playing “catch up” for the first half of pre-season training. Pre-season training should hone your fitness to a well-defined edge, but the off-season training is where you build the foundation. Remember, the wider the base of the pyramid, the higher the peak can be!

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OFF SEASON TRAINING OBJECTIVES

During the off season, your training aims should include…

REHAB AND PRE-HAB

aerobic and anaerobic fitness

AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC FITNESS

basic strength for rugby players

BASIC STRENGTH

functional hypertrophy for rugby players

FUNCTIONAL HYPERTROPHY

INTRODUCTION

WHY DO THIS OFF-SEASON PROGRAM?

Rugby players should not follow a bodybuilding-type program but one that is more specific to the sport of rugby – like the one in this book! You WILL still see muscle growth, but it will be a byproduct of training rather than the main training aim.

If you take a four-week break after the end of the season, your off-season training should last 16-20 weeks. Use this time to build strength so that you can enter the next pre-season in good physical condition. If you don’t, you may well find yourself playing “catch up” for the first half of pre-season training.

While Pre-season training should hone your fitness and provide a well-needed competitive edge, it is during off-season training that you build your fitness-foundation. Get ready to work hard. Remember, the wider the base of the pyramid, the higher the peak can be!

WARMING UP

Every good workout starts with an appropriate warm-up and ends with a thorough cool down. Warming up properly can reduce your risk of injury and facilitate a good workout while cooling down properly is the first step toward full and speedy recovery.

Warming up should achieve several things:

  1. Increase core temperature
  2. Increase oxygenated blood ow to working muscles
  3. Increase functional flexibility
  4. Improve joint mobility
  5. Increase nervous system activation
  6. Decrease neural inhibition
  7. Increase mental focus

A good warm up should contain several different elements…

  1. Pulse raiser
  2. Joint mobility
  3. Dynamic stretches
  4. Movement prep
  5. Ramped practice sets

Although this might look like a lot or work, a good warm up shouldn’t take much more than 10 to 15-minutes and could save you months of lost time by reducing your risk of injury.

Download the program for explanations of all these warmup elements.

DETAILED TRAINING NOTES

While many of the terms and principles contained in our off season training program may be familiar to you, some may be new. We devote considerable time and effort to writing training notes so that you can follow the programs more easily. Here’s an example of how to explain training loads for use in each workout.

SAMPLE PROGRAM

BLOCK 2 – WEEK 2

Try to use heavier weights, perform more reps, or shorter rests between sets to increase the difficulty of your workouts. There is also a slight increase in training volume.

Monday – Full body strength training

Warm up – use the supplied warm up in chapter two or one of your own devising.
Movement prep – supine hip bridge ‘w’ band around knees + standing wall angels 3 sets 20 reps

  1. De cit deadlifts – 3 sets of 5 reps, 180 sec recovery between sets
  2. Rear foot elevated split squats – 3 sets 10 reps, 90 sec recovery between sets
  3. Standing overhead press – 3 sets 5 reps, 12 sec recovery between sets
  4. Seated cable rows – 3 sets of 8 reps, 90 sec recovery between sets
  5. Parallel bar dips – 3 sets of AMRAP, 90 sec recovery between sets
  6. Ab wheel roll outs – 3 sets of 10 reps, 60-sec between sets
  7. Finisher: Tabata burpees – 8 sets of 20 sec, 10 seconds recovery between sets

Tuesday – conditioning

After a warm-up, row or run 3 x 1,000 meters at a moderate pace – RPE 6/7

Wednesday – full body strength training

Warm up – use the supplied warm up in chapter two or one of your own devising.
Movement prep – bodyweight squats ‘w’ band around knees and cable face pulls 3 sets 20 reps

  1. Back squats – 3 sets of 5 reps, 180 sec recovery between sets
  2. Romanian deadlift – 3 sets 8 reps, 90 sec recovery between sets
  3. Paused bench press – 3 sets 5 reps, 180 sec recovery between sets
  4. Weighted chin-ups – 3 sets of 5, 120 sec recovery between sets
  5. Barbell Cuban press – 3 sets of 8 reps, 90 sec recovery between sets
  6. Pot stirrers – 3 sets of 30-45-sec
  7. Finisher: Tabata kettlebell swings – 8 sets of 20 sec, 10 seconds recovery between sets

Thursday – rest and rehab/prehab

Choose one or more recovery strategies from chapter three

Friday – conditioning

After a warm-up, row or run 7,000 at an easy pace – RPE 5/6

Saturday – full body strength training

Same workout as Monday

Sunday – rest and prehab

BLOG POSTS

that cover off season training topics

Off-season is one of the most productive training periods for rugby players. It’s a time where you can add strength, size and make massive improvements in cardiovascular fitness. That’s why we created the resource you’ve found here, our off-season training program for rugby players. But we weren’t able to cover everything in this eBook, so please take the time to read over some of these articles which cover off-season training topics. 

SUPPLEMENTS + STACKS

ideal for use during the off-season training period

Our off-season training eBook doesn’t have a massive focus on nutrition. It’s mostly designed to give you a periodized approach to off-season weight and cardio training. Below are some of the supplements and stacks that we recommend for use during off-season. 

  • post rugby supplement cranberry pineapple

    Post-Rugby

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    $36
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  • rugby pre workout supplement fruit punch

    Twitch Faster

    4.73 out of 5
    $26
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  • ruck training cookies n cream + fruit punch

    Ruck Training

    4.67 out of 5
    $54
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  • twin whey protein pack

    Twin Whey Pack

    5.00 out of 5
    $59
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