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PRE-SEASON STRENGTH & CONDITIONING PROGRAM

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WHY PRE-SEASON

NEEDS ITS OWN TRAINING PROGRAM

As well as being rugby specific, strength and conditioning training for rugby should follow a periodized plan which means that training changes throughout the year to reflect the needs of the player. 

The assumption behind this pre-season rugby training program is that you have a sound background in strength and conditioning training, are currently injury-free (and want to stay that way), have just completed a good off-season period of training, and are getting ready for the upcoming competitive season.

1. INTRODUCTION

Rugby and rugby training has evolved beyond all recognition since the game earned its professional status in the mid-1990s. Prior to this time, most rugby training took place on the pitch and any strength and conditioning work was incidental and part and parcel of team training sessions. Some players did commit time and energy to off-pitch training but this was the exception rather than the norm.

Since that time, the game of rugby has changed enormously. It’s faster, more intense, and even more physically demanding. Players are bigger, stronger, and leaner too making it much harder to differentiate between forwards and backs; forwards are still big and strong but so too are the backs.

One of the biggest changes in rugby is the increased emphasis on of the pitch strength and conditioning training. Top teams have dedicated strength and conditioning staff and even causal rugby players are likely to hit the gym in an effort to improve their fitness for rugby.

Unfortunately, the specter of bodybuilding still looms large over strength and conditioning for rugby and many players follow workouts and routines that are not very effective for increasing rugby performance. Bodybuilding training, also known as hypertrophy training, is great for developing muscle size but is less effective for developing muscle strength, power, and the cardiovascular conditioning necessary for optimal rugby performance.

Hypertrophy IS important but it’s not enough to be big – those big muscles also need to be “functional.” It’s not enough just to be big, although big muscles do provide a certain degree of padding against tackles. Modern rugby players need plenty of “go” as well as some “show” or muscle size. This means rugby players need to train more like athletes and less like bodybuilders although some training principles do overlap.

As well as being rugby specific, strength and conditioning training for rugby should follow a periodized plan which means that training changes throughout the year to reflect the needs of the player. For example, training volume should decrease during the playing season to allow for recovery between matches. However, during the off-season, training volume and intensity should peak.

This program is designed for 12-weeks prior to the start of the competitive season, better known as pre-season. The main areas that it will develop are:

  • Hypertrophy
  • Strength
  • Power
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Anaerobic fitness

The assumption is that you already have a sound background in strength and conditioning training, are currently injury-free (and want to stay that way), have just completed a good off-season period of training, and are getting ready for the upcoming competitive season.

2. WARM UP AND COOL DOWN ROUTINES

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:

  • Increase core temperature
  • Increase oxygenated blood flow to working muscles
  • Increase functional flexibility
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Increase nervous system activation
  • Decrease neural inhibition
  • Increase mental focus

A good warm up should contain several different elements:

  • Pulse raiser
  • Joint mobility
  • Dynamic stretches
  • Movement prep
  • 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. Let’s examine each of these elements.

Pulse raiser – the pulse raiser is the part of the warm up that gets you warm. Usually comprising of a few minutes of progressive cardio, the pulse raiser elevates your heart and breathing rate, increases your core temperature, and pumps oxygenated blood into your muscles. This helps buffer them against the effect of lactic acid. Warm muscles flex and contract more easily so – all in all – the pulse raiser is pretty important. However, five minutes or so is all that is needed. After all, you are trying to warm up and not wear yourself out. Do not be tempted to turn your pulse raiser into a cardio workout.

Joint mobility – your joints are made up from two bones that come together to form a union. For these bones to articulate smoothly, they need to be properly lubricated. Your joints are lubricated with synovial fluid which is produced on demand. Joint mobility exercises take the target joint through a small but then increasing to large range of movement to maximize synovial fluid production. Good examples include shoulder shrugs, shoulder rolls, arm circles, wrist rolls, shallow knee bends, ankle circles and waist twists. Mobility exercises should leave your joints feeling fluid and loose. Do one exercise for each major joint – 10 to 20 reps per exercise should suffice.

Dynamic stretches – when it comes to stretching, most people think of the static variety where stretches are held for a predetermined length of time. This type of stretch is fine in a cool down but not ideal for warm ups. For starters, static stretching tends to cause muscle relaxation which can inhibit force production. Also, static stretches tend to cause your temperature to fall.

In contrast, dynamic stretches, which hardly look like stretches at all, involve lots of movement which helps to keep your temperature elevated and don’t cause muscle relaxation.

Dynamic stretches can often look like joint mobility exercises and frequently overlap as they are very similar. Shallow progressing to deeper lunges, squats to overhead reaches, forward leg swings, side bends, and lunges with a twist are all examples of dynamic stretches.

You should only need three to five dynamic stretches to prepare your major muscles for the workout to come. Ten reps of each should be sufficient. Do not perform dynamic stretches too quickly so they become ballistic stretches. Ballistic stretches are more likely to cause injury.

Is it ever okay to do static stretches as part of a warm up? Yes. If a tight muscle makes a particular exercise difficult, you can stretch it off using static stretches. For example, if tight hip flexors make squats and lunges difficult, or tight pecs prevent you from pulling the bar to your chest during barbell rows, deactivate these troublesome muscles with targeted static stretching. This does, however, require a good working knowledge of muscles and movements.

Movement prep – inactivity can lead to inhibited muscles. Sitting down all day can “turn off” your glutes for example, and hunching over a computer can do the same thing to your upper back. Movement prep exercises are designed to wake up specific muscles to ensure they are firing properly e.g. hip bridges for glutes, and band pull aparts for the upper back. Movement prep exercises should be selected according to your needs and what workout you are about to do. E.g., if you are about to embark on a leg workout, you would focus on prepping your leg and lower back muscles.

Ramped practice sets – to ensure your technique is solid and to ease gradually into your main workout, ramp up to your intensity levels gradually. For example, perform several light sets of your chosen exercise or progress from fast jogging to running prior to sprinting. This provides the perfect opportunity to assess your energy levels and adjust your workout up or down depending on how you feel. Jumping straight in to an intense workout, even after warming up, will make it feel harder than it needs to. This can cause you to lose confidence and may mean you fail to perform.

WARMING UP

How long should your warm up be? The answer to this is – it depends. Cold weather, advancing age, an intense workout, a long period of inactivity beforehand; these factors would suggest a longer warm up is required.

If you have an easy workout planned, are young and have just been active, or it’s warm, a shorter warm up should suffice. Adjust the length of your warm up so that, when it is done, you feel as though you are ready to start your main session. Take as long as necessary but no longer; there is no need to waste your valuable energy.

Warming up should never be rushed; it could be the difference between a good workout or getting injured. Warm ups not only prepare your muscles and joints for exercise but your brain too. Use your warm up as an opportunity to get in the zone so you can concentrate fully on the workout to follow.

With this information, you should be able to create your own warm up routines but to help you on your way, here is a general strength and conditioning warm-up that will get the job done.

1. 5-10 minutes of progressive cardio:

Start easy, increase intensity gradually so that, by the end, you are warm and slightly out of breath. Good choices include running, rowing, and jumping rope.

2. Joint mobility exercises – 10-15 reps of the following exercises:

Neck rolls
Shoulder shrugs
Arm circles
Waist twists
Side bends
High knee marching
Squats
Lunges

3. Dynamic stretches – 10-15 reps of the following exercises:

Forward straight leg kicks
Prisoner good mornings (hip hinge with hands on head)
Standing chest press and row
Lunge with twist
Standing overhead press and pull down

4. Foam rolling – foam roll any areas you feel need extra attention including:

Outer thigh – iliotibial band
Hamstrings
Quadriceps
Calves
Thoracic spine
Lats

5. Movement prep and ramped sets – will be detailed in each workout

COOLING DOWN

The cool down is designed to return your body to its pre-exercise state so that recovery can begin. This generally involves two main components:

1. Pulse lowerer
2. Static stretching plus foam rolling

The pulse lowerer – Exercise can cause something called blood pooling. Blood accumulates in your working muscles and needs to be encouraged to leave in a timely fashion once your workout is completed. Blood pooling may contribute to post-exercise muscle soreness and it also makes sense to try and provide your hard-worked muscles with freshly oxygenated blood to enhance your recovery.

The pulse lowerer involves a few minutes of light cardio during which the intensity is gradually reduced. For example, if you were using a treadmill, simply run for a few minutes before slowing down into a jog and finally a walk. You can cool down on any piece of cardio equipment – it’s simply a matter of personal choice.

Static stretches – Exercise can cause a phenomenon called adaptive shortening. This describes how a muscle will tighten up unless it is moved through its fullest possible range of movement. For example, most cardio exercises do not take your limbs though very large ranges of movement. 

Cycling, running and stepping all use relatively small ranges of movement and may therefore cause adaptive shortening. The same is true of many strength training exercises. Over time, this could lead to reduced flexibility and muscle tightness. To remedy this, it is important to spend a few moments stretching your major muscles after exercise.

To perform a static stretch, ease into a stretched position and exhale. Relax for a few seconds. You should feel the tension drop out of the muscles being stretched. At this point, stretch and little further. Continue this sequence for 30 to 60 seconds and then move onto another stretch.

Focus on your major muscles, especially those that were used during your workout. The most commonly tight muscles are the hamstrings, hip flexors and chest so make sure you stretch these. Do not bounce or force any of your stretches as this may lead to injury. Stretch gently and methodically and back off if you experience any pain. 

Try to work logically though your muscles, either from top to bottom or vice versa, to ensure you don’t miss anything out. Spend extra time on any muscle that feel tight.
Once you have finished stretching, it can be useful to do more foam rolling on any areas that are habitually tight or sore.

Warming up and cooling down are undeniably time consuming but if you want to train at your best, recover fully between sessions, and reduce your risk of injury, they are vital components of any workout.

3. RECOVERY STRATEGIES

If you want to train hard and often, you need to recover fully between sessions. Recovery can be left to “just happen” by resting or, if you are serious about recovery, there are several strategies that you can use to accelerate the recovery processes.

As you’ll see in the next section, two days per week have been put aside specially for recovery. While these are rest days from training, they are also days where you can enhance recovery by taking a more active role.

There are several strategies you can use to enhance recovery and it’s up to you to choose the ones that fit your lifestyle and circumstances best. On the designated recovery days, taking an active role in recovery will allow you to train harder and get more benefit from the workouts.

RECOVERY STRATEGIES INCLUDE:

1) Contrast temperature therapy – this method increases micro blood flow which speeds up the removal of waste products from your muscles while increasing blood flow. Contrast therapy can be done in several ways, alternating hot and cold showers and using hot and cold pads on specific areas of your body. Use cold for 1 min, then heat for 1 min and alternate three to five times. Always end on heat.

2) Cryotherapy – this describes a range of therapies designed to lower tissue temperature, often by using ice or cold water baths. Cryotherapy reduces inflammation, muscle soreness, and pain to increase recovery.

Cryotherapy is popular in rugby, however, it’s far from relaxing or enjoyable and is something many players dread! There are several different protocols available to use. It very much depends on what facilities you have available. Good options include:

Full body immersion in a bath full of cold water and ice
Lower body immersion in a trash can full of cold water and ice
A cryotherapy chamber
Massage using a block of ice
Immersion in a cold river, lake or the sea
Rolling in snow
Ice packs placed on specific areas of the body e.g. the thighs or lower back

3) Massage – massage increases blood flow and the removal of waste products from your muscles and can also help reduce muscle tension all of which facilitate recovery. There are different types of massage available including deep tissue-type sports massage to more superficial and relaxing Swedish massage. Massage is best done by a trained masseuse but you can also do it yourself although you will be limited to working on your legs.

4) Self-myofascial release – SMR is a sort of massage therapy that aims to break down adhesions within your muscles and fascia, often using tools such as foam rollers and lacrosse balls.

There are dozens of foam rolling exercises you can try, but the following provides an ideal starting point for post-training recovery. Start off with light pressure and increase as you warm up. Prepare your muscles for foam rolling with some light cardio and mobility exercises.

ITB – the iliotibial band, ITB for short, is a band of fibrous tissue that runs up the outside of your upper leg from your knee to your hip. If allowed to become tight, the ITB can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

Lie on your side and place the roller under your lowermost leg. Bend your upper leg and place your foot on the floor to take some of your weight. Roll up and down the roller from the outside of your knee to the outside of your hip. If you experience any “hot spots” of localized pain or tension, stop and focus on them for a few seconds. Spend an equal amount of time on both legs. Once you are more comfortable with the pressure of the roller, place your legs together to increase the weight on your roller and the depth of your massage.

Hamstrings – sit up straight with your legs extended and your hands on the floor either side of your hips. Position the roller behind your knees. Using your arms to move you, roll up and down, so the roller goes from the back of your knees to just below your butt. Cross your legs and do one hamstring at a time for a deeper treatment.

Quadriceps – Lie on your front and rest on your elbows. Place the roller under your thighs. Using your arms to push you, roll up and down from your knees to your thighs. To go deeper, cross your legs and roll one leg at a time.

Glutes – sit on your roller with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Roll your butt back and forth under your butt and shift your weight from side to side. Once you’ve done one “cheek,” switch legs and repeat.

Upper back and thoracic spine – lie on your back with your legs bent. Place the roller under your shoulders, a few inches below your neck. Roll the roller slowly down your upper back to until it is roughly level with your lower ribs. Do not roll down to your lower back. Don’t worry about a feeling or hearing a few clicks; this is just your vertebrae moving back into the correct position. This should happen less often as you become used to the exercise. Roll back up to your shoulders and repeat.

Once you have made two or three passes up and down your thoracic spine, position the roller behind your shoulders, lie back, and let the weight of your upper body extend your thoracic spine. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds before gently rolling onto your side, getting onto your hands and knees, and carefully standing up. If you’ve done it right, you should now feel taller and more upright.

5) Light recovery gym/bodyweight workout – while the last thing you may feel like doing on a designated rest day is more training, a light workout can help enhance recovery if, for no other reason, it gets you up and moving which will increase blood flow and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.

A brisk walk, an easy bodyweight circuit, or a 50/50 gym session (half the volume, half the weight) can all help facilitate recovery. However, make sure that you don’t turn an easy recovery workout into a more demanding training session that ends up taking more out of you than it puts back in.

6) Stretching – stretching should be part of your cool down but it can also help facilitate recovery when you do it on your rest days. While stretching sore, stiff muscles may be uncomfortable initially, doing so will speed up recovery, restore range of motion, and help reduce DOMs.
As rugby is a full body activity, you need to stretch all your major muscles. Prepare your muscles for stretching by performing a few minutes of light cardio, foam rolling, or doing it after a recovery workout.

When you stretch a muscle, you reach the natural end of your muscle’s elasticity – called the point of bind or POB for short. If you stay at the POB for 15 seconds or so, you will feel your muscles relax slightly, and you should then be able to move into a deeper stretch. This happens more readily if you a) relax mentally as well as physically and b) do not hold your breath.

Continue extending the POB as many times as you can until you reach your real end of range. Once you are there, hold for a further 15 to 30 seconds to maximize your flexibility training.

TO RECAP:

Move into POB and hold for 10-15 seconds
As you feel your muscles relax, move a little deeper to new POB
Keep your body relaxed and breath steadily
Repeat steps one to three a couple more times until you reach your true flexibility limit
Hold this final position for 15 to 30 seconds
Slowly ease out of the stretch

As with all types of stretching, do not force the stretch and if you feel any burning or shaking back off and use a less extreme POB.

7) Compression clothing – wearing compression clothing between workouts may enhance recovery by increasing tissue temperature which can help ease aches and pains and increase mobility and flexibility while reducing the onset of DOMS.

Compression clothing should be worn continuously for best results – during everyday activities and even during sleep. The best compression clothing is snug but not so tight it cuts off circulation and is also breathable. Needless to say, compression clothing may be impractical during hot weather but is perfect for wintertime.

With seven recovery strategies to choose form, you should be able to find one or two that you can use on rest days. Do not underestimate the value of taking a more active role in recovery; the faster and more completely you recover between workouts, the harder you’ll be able to train and the more effective your workouts will be.

4. THE PRE-SEASON PROGRAM

If you have jumped forward to this session, we congratulate you on your “get up and go” but also urge you to go back and visit the earlier parts of this book as the contain a lot of important information on things like warming up, cooling down, and enhancing recovery between workouts.

However, if you’ve reached this part of the book having read all that prerequisite info, it’s time to move onto the nuts and bolts of this pre-season training plan.

This program is built around three four-week progressive training blocks. Each block is similar but is slightly more demanding than the one that preceded it. In short, the program gets harder as you get fitter and stronger to take you toward a physical peak ready for the season proper.

Each week follows the same basic structure:

  • Monday – lower body strength training & aerobic conditioning
  • Tuesday – upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning
  • Wednesday – rest and prehab
  • Thursday – lower body strength training & aerobic conditioning
  • Friday – upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning
  • Saturday – conditioning
  • Sunday – rest and prehab

TRAINING NOTES

While many of the terms and principles of this workout may be familiar to you, some may be new. This section contains notes so you can follow the programs more easily.

NERVOUS SYSTEM POTENTIATOR

This preparatory exercise is designed to fire up your nervous system and excite the muscle fibers you are about to use in your workout. This will help you produce more force and develop power. Each exercise is very short so put maximum effort into it. However, because of the nature of the exercise, the low number of reps, and the adequate rests, you should experience no fatigue as a result of this exercise.

LOAD PRESCRIPTIONS

Many strength training programs prescribe exercise intensity using a percentage of your one repetition maximum but this one does not. Why? While 1RM prescriptions can work, they don’t work for everyone. For example, someone with a high percentage of fast twitch type 2b muscle fibers will not be able to do as many reps with, for example, 80% of their 1RM, as someone with more slow twitch type 1 muscle fibers. Using a 1RM percentage prescription could mean that one player finds a particular workout too hard while another finds it too easy.

Also, to prescribe training intensities using your 1RM, you need to know your 1RM and that’s not always an easy thing to assess.

Instead, this plan uses ramped sets that take you up to your maximum weight for the specified rep range for that day. This means that everyone trains at the same level of intensity irrespective of their 1RM. To perform ramped sets, you start with a light weight, perform the prescribed number of reps, rest a moment, increase the weight, and do another set with the same rep count. This process continues until you reach your maximum set for the day. For example:

Set 1 – 5 reps 40 kg (very easy – warm up)
Set 2 – 5 reps 55 kg (still very easy)
Set 3 – 5 reps 70 kg (easy)
Set 4 – 5 reps 85 kg (moderately hard)
Set 5 – 5 reps 100 kg (hard)
Set 6 – 5 reps 115 kg (very hard – maxed out for the day)

Each “step” should increase by around 7-10% of your anticipated final set and you, should reach your top set in 6-8 steps. The higher the expected final weight, the bigger the steps will need to be. Start with around 30-50% of your anticipated end weight and go from there.

REP RANGES

Alternatively, you’ll be provided with rep range to work within and all you need to do select a weight that causes you to fail within that rep range. For example, if the range is 8-12 reps, the weight you select should be light enough that you can do more than 8 reps but are unable to do more than 12 reps and it’s up to you to adjust the weight to stay in that “sweet spot”.

AMRAP

AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible and simply means you keep on pumping out the reps until you fail. If you are doing several AMRAP sets, you’ll find that, as fatigue sets in, the number of reps you can do per set drops. This is normal. Just strive to do as many reps as you can.

TIMES SETS

For times sets, you simply do as many reps as possible in the allotted time. You can rest as necessary but the clock is always ticking. Do your best to clock up as many reps as you can.

SUPERSETS

Some exercises will be placed into pairs called “supersets.” This method saves time and enhances recovery. These exercises will be identified with the letters a) and b). For example:

1a) Leg extensions
1b) leg curls

To perform a superset, do the two paired exercises back to back. Rest a moment after the second exercise and then repeat.

BLOCK 1 - WEEK 1

This preparatory block is designed to ease you into this phase of training and introduce you to the methods and systems that you’ll be using over the coming 12 weeks.

MONDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBox Jumps4560 sec
1.Front Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Front Squats @ 60% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Rear foot elevated split squats 31090 sec
4.Leg Curls3890 sec
5.Standing calf raise3AMRAP90 sec
6.Single arm farmer’s walk31090 sec
7.Weighted planks 345 sec60 sec
8.Cardio finisher (superset)AMSAP15 mins-
Pull-ups5
Push-ups10
Squats15
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorPlyo Push-Ups4560 sec
1.Paused Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused Bench Press @ 60% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Pull-ups2AMRAP90 sec
4.Seated dumbbell shoulder press 28-1290 sec
5.Single arm dumbbell row28-1290 sec
6a.EZ bar biceps curls 28-12Superset
6b.Supine EZ bar triceps extensions28-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals630 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort15 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Paused deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused deadlifts @ 60% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Walking lunges28-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions28-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise28-1290 sec
6.Single arm waiter's walk220m / side60 sec
7.Side planks230-45 sec60 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorOverhead medicine ball throws4560 sec
1.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 60% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Horizontal body rows 2AMRAP90 sec
4.Dumbbell bench press 28-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns28-1290 sec
6a.Dumbbell hammer curls 28-12Superset
6b.Supine dumbbell triceps extensions28-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals630 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort15 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

30 minutes Fartlek training. After a brief warm up, go for a run and mix your pace at random to include running, walking, sprinting and jogging. Also include changes of direction as well as changes in speed.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 1 - 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

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBox Jumps4560 sec
1.Front Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Front Squats @ 65% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Rear foot elevated split squats 38-1290 sec
4.Leg Curls38-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise38-1290 sec
6.Single arm farmer’s walk320m per side90 sec
7.Weighted planks 345 sec60 sec
8.Cardio finisher (superset)AMSAP20 mins-
Pull-ups5
Push-ups10
Squats15
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorPlyo Push-Ups4560 sec
1.Paused Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused Bench Press @ 65% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Pull-ups3AMRAP90 sec
4.Seated dumbbell shoulder press 38-1290 sec
5.Single arm dumbbell row38-1290 sec
6a.EZ bar biceps curls 38-12Superset
6b.Supine EZ bar triceps extensions38-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals830 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort16 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Paused deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused deadlifts @ 65% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Walking lunges48-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions38-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise38-1290 sec
6.Single arm waiter's walk320m / side60 sec
7.Side planks330-45 sec60 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorOverhead medicine ball throws4560 sec
1.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 65% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Horizontal body rows 3AMRAP90 sec
4.Dumbbell bench press 38-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns38-1290 sec
6a.Dumbbell hammer curls 38-12Superset
6b.Supine dumbbell triceps extensions38-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals830 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort16 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

35 minutes Fartlek training. After a brief warm up, go for a run and mix your pace at random to include running, walking, sprinting and jogging. Also include changes of direction as well as changes in speed.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 1 - WEEK 3

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

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBox Jumps4560 sec
1.Front Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Front Squats @ 70% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Rear foot elevated split squats 48-1290 sec
4.Leg Curls48-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise48-1290 sec
6.Single arm farmer’s walk420m per side90 sec
7.Weighted planks 445 sec60 sec
8.Cardio finisher (superset)AMSAP15 mins-
Pull-ups5
Burpees10
Push-ups15
Squats20
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorPlyo Push-Ups4560 sec
1.Paused Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused Bench Press @ 70% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Pull-ups4AMRAP90 sec
4.Seated dumbbell shoulder press 48-1290 sec
5.Single arm dumbbell row48-1290 sec
6a.EZ bar biceps curls 48-12Superset
6b.Supine EZ bar triceps extensions48-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals1030 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort17 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Paused deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused deadlifts @ 70% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Walking lunges48-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions48-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise48-1290 sec
6.Single arm waiter's walk420m / side60 sec
7.Side planks430-45 sec60 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorOverhead medicine ball throws4560 sec
1.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 70% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Horizontal body rows 4AMRAP90 sec
4.Dumbbell bench press 48-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns48-1290 sec
6a.Dumbbell hammer curls 48-12Superset
6b.Supine dumbbell triceps extensions48-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals1030 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort17 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

40 minutes Fartlek training. After a brief warm up, go for a run and mix your pace at random to include running, walking, sprinting and jogging. Also include changes of direction as well as changes in speed.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 1 - WEEK 4

This week incorporates a slight reduction in training volume while training intensity remains high. This should boost recovery so that you start the next phase of training feeling fresh and well-rested.

MONDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBox Jumps4560 sec
1.Front Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Front Squats @ 75% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Rear foot elevated split squats 28-1290 sec
4.Leg Curls28-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise28-1290 sec
6.Single arm farmer’s walk220m per side90 sec
7.Weighted planks 245 sec60 sec
8.Cardio finisher (superset)AMSAP20 mins-
Pull-ups5
Burpees10
Push-ups15
Squats20
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorPlyo Push-Ups4560 sec
1.Paused Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused Bench Press @ 75% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Pull-ups2AMRAP90 sec
4.Seated dumbbell shoulder press 28-1290 sec
5.Single arm dumbbell row28-1290 sec
6a.EZ bar biceps curls 28-12Superset
6b.Supine EZ bar triceps extensions28-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals630 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort15 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Paused deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Paused deadlifts @ 75% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Walking lunges28-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions28-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise28-1290 sec
6.Single arm waiter's walk220m / side60 sec
7.Side planks230-45 sec60 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorOverhead medicine ball throws4560 sec
1.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 6120 sec
2.Standing barbell shoulder press @ 75% 1RM1AMRAP120 sec
3.Horizontal body rows 2AMRAP90 sec
4.Dumbbell bench press 28-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns28-1290 sec
6a.Dumbbell hammer curls 28-12Superset
6b.Supine dumbbell triceps extensions28-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Intervals630 sec90 sec
2.Rest2 mins
3.Max Effort15 mins90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

20 minutes Fartlek training. After a brief warm up, go for a run and mix your pace at random to include running, walking, sprinting and jogging. Also include changes of direction as well as changes in speed.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 2 - WEEK 1

This second block of training is designed to continue your momentum from block one while introducing some new exercises and increasing training intensity and volume.

MONDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBarbell Squat Jumps4560 sec
1.Back Box Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Back Box Squats @ 60% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.TRX Rear foot elevated split squats38-1290 sec
4.Romanian deadlift 38-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise28-1260 sec
6.Pallof press38-1260 sec
7.Stability ball weighted planks 330-45 sec60 sec
Cardio FinisherBurpeesDecline from 1212 to 120 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorSupine medicine ball chest throw4560 sec
1.Floor Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Floor Press @ 60% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups3AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing single arm dumbbell shoulder press38-1290 sec
5.Bent over barbell row38-1290 sec
6a.Alternating dumbbell biceps curls38-12Superset
6b.Cable triceps pushdown 38-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint1400m180 sec
2.Sprint2200m180 sec
3.Sprint3100m180 sec
4.Sprint450m180 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Deficit deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Deficit deadlifts @ 60% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges38-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions38-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Dumbbell side bends 38-1260 sec
7.Ab roll outs38-1260 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Push Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Push Press @ 60% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Seated cable rows38-1290 sec
4.Single arm dumbbell bench press 38-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns38-1290 sec
6a.Reverse barbell curls38-12Superset
6b.Parallel bar dips 3AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Broken 100s10-5-10-15-2090 sec
2.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
3.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
4.50m Turn Arounds2 lengths100m90 sec
5.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
6.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

Mile repeats – after a warm up, run a measured mile as fast as you can. Rest five minutes, and repeat twice more to total three miles. Cool down on completion.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

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

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBarbell Squat Jumps4560 sec
1.Back Box Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Back Box Squats @ 65% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.TRX Rear foot elevated split squats48-1290 sec
4.Romanian deadlift 48-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise48-1260 sec
6.Pallof press48-1260 sec
7.Stability ball weighted planks 430-45 sec60 sec
Cardio FinisherBurpeesDecline from 1515 to 120 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorSupine medicine ball chest throw4560 sec
1.Floor Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Floor Press @ 65% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups4AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing single arm dumbbell shoulder press48-1290 sec
5.Bent over barbell row48-1290 sec
6a.Alternating dumbbell biceps curls48-12Superset
6b.Cable triceps pushdown 48-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint2400m180 sec
2.Sprint3200m180 sec
3.Sprint4100m180 sec
4.Sprint550m180 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Deficit deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Deficit deadlifts @ 65% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges48-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions48-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise48-1260 sec
6.Dumbbell side bends 48-1260 sec
7.Ab roll outs48-1260 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Push Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Push Press @ 65% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Seated cable rows48-1290 sec
4.Single arm dumbbell bench press 48-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns48-1290 sec
6a.Reverse barbell curls48-12Superset
6b.Parallel bar dips 4AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Broken 100s10-5-10-15-2090 sec
2.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
3.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
4.50m Turn Arounds2 lengths100m90 sec
5.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
6.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

Mile repeats – after a warm up, run a measured mile as fast as you can. Rest five minutes, and repeat three more times to total four miles. Cool down on completion.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 2 - WEEK 3

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

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBarbell Squat Jumps4560 sec
1.Back Box Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Back Box Squats @ 70% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.TRX Rear foot elevated split squats58-1290 sec
4.Romanian deadlift 58-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise58-1260 sec
6.Pallof press48-1260 sec
7.Stability ball weighted planks 430-45 sec60 sec
Cardio FinisherBurpeesDecline from 2020 to 120 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorSupine medicine ball chest throw4560 sec
1.Floor Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Floor Press @ 70% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups5AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing single arm dumbbell shoulder press58-1290 sec
5.Bent over barbell row48-1290 sec
6a.Alternating dumbbell biceps curls48-12Superset
6b.Cable triceps pushdown 48-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint3400m180 sec
2.Sprint4200m180 sec
3.Sprint5100m180 sec
4.Sprint650m180 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Deficit deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Deficit deadlifts @ 70% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges48-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions48-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise48-1260 sec
6.Dumbbell side bends 48-1260 sec
7.Ab roll outs48-1260 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Push Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Push Press @ 70% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Seated cable rows48-1290 sec
4.Single arm dumbbell bench press 48-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns48-1290 sec
6a.Reverse barbell curls48-12Superset
6b.Parallel bar dips 4AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Broken 100s10-5-10-15-2090 sec
2.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
3.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
4.50m Turn Arounds2 lengths100m90 sec
5.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
6.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

Mile repeats – after a warm up, run a measured mile as fast as you can. Rest five minutes, and repeat three more times to total four miles. Cool down on completion.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 2 - WEEK 4

This week incorporates a slight reduction in training volume while training intensity remains high. This should boost recovery so that you start the next phase of training feeling fresh and well-rested.

MONDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorBarbell Squat Jumps4560 sec
1.Back Box Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Back Box Squats @ 75% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.TRX Rear foot elevated split squats38-1290 sec
4.Romanian deadlift 38-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Pallof press38-1260 sec
7.Stability ball weighted planks 330-45 sec60 sec
Cardio FinisherBurpeesAMRAP10mins
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorSupine medicine ball chest throw4560 sec
1.Floor Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Floor Press @ 75% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups3AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing single arm dumbbell shoulder press38-1290 sec
5.Bent over barbell row38-1290 sec
6a.Alternating dumbbell biceps curls38-12Superset
6b.Cable triceps pushdown 38-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint1400m180 sec
2.Sprint2200m180 sec
3.Sprint3100m180 sec
4.Sprint450m180 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorStanding Long Jumps4560 sec
1.Deficit deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Deficit deadlifts @ 75% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges38-1290 sec
4.Leg Extensions38-1290 sec
5.Seated calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Dumbbell side bends 38-1260 sec
7.Ab roll outs38-1260 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Push Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 3120 sec
2.Push Press @ 75% 1RM2AMRAP120 sec
3.Seated cable rows38-1290 sec
4.Single arm dumbbell bench press 38-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns38-1290 sec
6a.Reverse barbell curls28-12Superset
6b.Parallel bar dips 2AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - Rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Broken 100s10-5-10-15-2090 sec
2.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
3.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
4.50m Turn Arounds2 lengths100m90 sec
5.50m Turn Arounds4 lengths200m90 sec
6.50m Turn Arounds6 lengths300m90 sec
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

Out and back 1.5 mile run. Jog 1.5 miles at an easy pace, noting your start and finish point. On completion, rest a few minutes, stretch, and then run the same course as fast as you can. Your aim is to finish the run feeling like you could not have run any faster. Cool down.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 3 - WEEK 1

This final block of training is designed to bring your strength and conditioning to a peak, ready for the competitive season.

MONDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorJump Rope450 Jumps60 sec
1.Back Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Back Squats @ 60% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Step-ups with knee drive38-1290 sec
4.Single leg Romanian deadlift38-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Cable wood chop38-1260 sec
7.Hanging knee raise38-1260 sec
Cardio FinisherSuperset430 sec / exercise90 sec
Bodyweight Squats
Push-Ups
V-Sits
Lunges
Burpees
Crunches
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorMedicine ball slams4560 sec
1.Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Bench Press @ 60% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups3AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing dumbbell push-press38-1290 sec
5.Pendlay row38-1290 sec
6a.Barbell power curl38-12Superset
6b.Close grip bench press38-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch starting on the Try line
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
Belly starts5Lie on your stomach, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Back starts5Lie on your back, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Pick-ups5Jog to the 22, sprint to halfway, jog to the next 22, and sprint to the final try line. Walk back to the start.
Lengths and sides5Sprint the length of the pitch, walk the width of the pitch. That’s one rep.
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorKettlebell Swings4560 sec
1.Deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Deadlifts @ 60% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges38-1290 sec
4.Single Leg Extensions38-1260 sec
5.Seated calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Saxon side bends 38-1260 sec
7.Turkish get ups38-1260 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Hang clean and push press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Hang clean and push press @ 60% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Single arm cable rows38-1290 sec
4.Incline alternating dumbbell bench press 38-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns38-1290 sec
6a.Zottman dumbbell curls 38-12Superset
6b.Hands on medicine ball push-ups 3AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint425mWalk back
2.Sprint450mWalk back
3.Sprint475mWalk back
4.Sprint4100mWalk back
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

FCR – fast continuous run. After a warm up, run as far as possible in 20 minutes. Maintain the highest sustainable speed for the entire distance. You should be working at your anaerobic threshold meaning if you go any faster, you’ll have to slow down. You can also row or cycle if preferred.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 3 - 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

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorJump Rope450 jumps60 sec
1.Back Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Back Squats @ 65% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Step-ups with knee drive38-1290 sec
4.Single leg Romanian deadlift48-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Cable wood chop48-1260 sec
7.Hanging knee raise48-1260 sec
Cardio FinisherSuperset430 sec / exercise90 sec
Bodyweight Squats
Push-Ups
V-Sits
Lunges
Burpees
Crunches
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorMedicine ball slams4560 sec
1.Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Bench Press @ 60% 1R53AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups4AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing dumbbell push-press48-1290 sec
5.Pendlay row38-1290 sec
6a.Barbell power curl38-12Superset
6b.Close grip bench press38-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch starting on the Try line
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
Belly starts7Lie on your stomach, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Back starts7Lie on your back, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Pick-ups7Jog to the 22, sprint to halfway, jog to the next 22, and sprint to the final try line. Walk back to the start.
Lengths and sides7Sprint the length of the pitch, walk the width of the pitch. That’s one rep.
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorKettlebell Swings4560 sec
1.Deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Deadlifts @ 65% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges48-1290 sec
4.Single Leg Extensions3=48-1260 sec
5.Seated calf raise38-1260 sec
6.Saxon side bends 48-1260 sec
7.Turkish get ups48-1260 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Hang clean and push press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Hang clean and push press @ 65% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Single arm cable rows48-1290 sec
4.Incline alternating dumbbell bench press 48-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns38-1290 sec
6a.Zottman dumbbell curls 48-12Superset
6b.Hands on medicine ball push-ups 4AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint625mWalk back
2.Sprint650mWalk back
3.Sprint675mWalk back
4.Sprint6100mWalk back
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

FCR – fast continuous run. After a warm up, run as far as possible in 25 minutes. Maintain the highest sustainable speed for the entire distance. You should be working at your anaerobic threshold meaning if you go any faster, you’ll have to slow down. You can also row or cycle if preferred.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 3 - WEEK 3

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

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorJump Rope450 jumps60 sec
1.Back Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Back Squats @ 70% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Step-ups with knee drive48-1290 sec
4.Single leg Romanian deadlift48-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise48-1260 sec
6.Cable wood chop48-1260 sec
7.Hanging knee raise48-1260 sec
Cardio FinisherSuperset630 sec / exercise90 sec
Bodyweight Squats
Push-Ups
V-Sits
Lunges
Burpees
Crunches
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorMedicine ball slams4560 sec
1.Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Bench Press @ 70% 1R53AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups4AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing dumbbell push-press48-1290 sec
5.Pendlay row48-1290 sec
6a.Barbell power curl48-12Superset
6b.Close grip bench press48-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch starting on the Try line
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
Belly starts7Lie on your stomach, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Back starts7Lie on your back, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Pick-ups7Jog to the 22, sprint to halfway, jog to the next 22, and sprint to the final try line. Walk back to the start.
Lengths and sides7Sprint the length of the pitch, walk the width of the pitch. That’s one rep.
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorKettlebell Swings4560 sec
1.Deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Deadlifts @ 70% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges48-1290 sec
4.Single Leg Extensions48-1260 sec
5.Seated calf raise48-1260 sec
6.Saxon side bends 48-1260 sec
7.Turkish get ups43-690 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Hang clean and push press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Hang clean and push press @ 65% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Single arm cable rows48-1290 sec
4.Incline alternating dumbbell bench press 48-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns48-1290 sec
6a.Zottman dumbbell curls 48-12Superset
6b.Hands on medicine ball push-ups 4AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint825mWalk back
2.Sprint850mWalk back
3.Sprint875mWalk back
4.Sprint8100mWalk back
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

FCR – fast continuous run. After a warm up, run as far as possible in 30 minutes. Maintain the highest sustainable speed for the entire distance. You should be working at your anaerobic threshold meaning if you go any faster, you’ll have to slow down. You can also row or cycle if preferred.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

BLOCK 3 - WEEK 4

This week incorporates a slight reduction in training volume while training intensity remains high. This should boost recovery so that you start the next phase of training feeling fresh and well-rested.

MONDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorJump Rope450 jumps60 sec
1.Back Squats @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Back Squats @ 75% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Step-ups with knee drive28-1290 sec
4.Single leg Romanian deadlift28-1290 sec
5.Standing calf raise28-1260 sec
6.Cable wood chop28-1260 sec
7.Hanging knee raise28-1260 sec
Cardio FinisherSuperset530 sec / exercise90 sec
Bodyweight Squats
Push-Ups
V-Sits
Lunges
Burpees
Crunches
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.

TUESDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorMedicine ball slams4560 sec
1.Bench Press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Bench Press @ 75% 1R53AMRAP120 sec
3.Weighted Pull-ups2AMRAP90 sec
4.Standing dumbbell push-press28-1290 sec
5.Pendlay row28-1290 sec
6a.Barbell power curl28-12Superset
6b.Close grip bench press28-1260 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch starting on the Try line
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
Belly starts5Lie on your stomach, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Back starts5Lie on your back, jump quickly to your feet, and sprint to the halfway line. Walk back to start and repeat.
Pick-ups5Jog to the 22, sprint to halfway, jog to the next 22, and sprint to the final try line. Walk back to the start.
Lengths and sides5Sprint the length of the pitch, walk the width of the pitch. That’s one rep.
Cool Down3-5 mins

WEDNESDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section

THURSDAY

Lower body strength and aerobic conditioning

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorKettlebell Swings4560 sec
1.Deadlifts @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Deadlifts @ 75% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Front foot elevated reverse lunges28-1290 sec
4.Single Leg Extensions28-1260 sec
5.Seated calf raise28-1260 sec
6.Saxon side bends 28-1260 sec
7.Turkish get ups23-690 sec

FRIDAY

Upper body strength & anaerobic conditioning ​

 ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Warm UpUse one of the supplied warmups or one of your own devising.
Nervous system potentiatorClap push-ups4560 sec
1.Hang clean and push press @ 90% 1RMRAMP UPTOPSET = 1120 sec
2.Hang clean and push press @ 75% 1RM3AMRAP120 sec
3.Single arm cable rows28-1290 sec
4.Incline alternating dumbbell bench press 28-1290 sec
5.Lat pulldowns28-1290 sec
6a.Zottman dumbbell curls 28-12Superset
6b.Hands on medicine ball push-ups 2AMRAP60 sec
Cool downPulse lowerer and static stretches for major muscles with lower body emphasis.
3-4 Hours later
Interval Training - on a rugby pitch
Warmup5-10 mins2 mins
1.Sprint525mWalk back
2.Sprint550mWalk back
3.Sprint575mWalk back
4.Sprint5100mWalk back
Cool Down3-5 mins

SATURDAY

Conditioning

FCR – fast continuous run. After a warm up, run as far as possible in 20 minutes. Maintain the highest sustainable speed for the entire distance. You should be working at your anaerobic threshold meaning if you go any faster, you’ll have to slow down. You can also row or cycle if preferred.

SUNDAY

Rest and prehab

Choose one or more strategies from the Recovery section