Want to download the eBook? Let us know where to send it.

This is a free resource, all you have to do is login.

Registering gives you access to all of our free resources. Go on. You know you want to!

This field type has no output
This field type has no output
This field type has no output

Login to download the eBook.

OR

You can always register here.

superset-sessions-hero-banner

6 superset sessions
for rugby-focused strength

All rugby players need to be strong. But getting stronger requires effort. Train the wrong way and you’ll find yourself tired, injured and avoiding the gym. This rugby strength training program is designed for rugby players to use during the off-season training period. 

The objective of the program is NOT to help you add bulk. Instead, we want you to get much stronger without adding a whole lot of extra muscle mass.

INTRODUCTION

The following superset programs are designed for rugby players to develop off-season strength. Each of these superset sessions is based on the principles of gymnastic strength and low-rep strength training protocols used by athletes like Charles Poliquin, Pavel Tsatsouline and Christopher Sommer. They are intended for experienced athletes with a moderate to advanced background in gym training and should not be attempted by novices or beginners.

Audience: you want to get stronger during the rugby off-season

Situation: you’ve been training pretty hard but you’ve hit a plateau

Reason: you’re likely not doing enough quality reps

Solution: low intensity, high volume, strength-focused training

Degree of difficulty: 8/10

NOTE: if you are a less-experienced weight lifter who is considering taking on this program, please skip to the conclusion section of this page for notes on adapting these sessions to your needs.

6 Superset Sessions

1. RAW STRENGTH
Bench + Farmers Walk

2. BODYWEIGHT
Pull-ups + Jefferson Curls

3. EXPLOSIVE POWER
Hang Clean + Hollow Holds

4. MOBILITY
Cossack Squats + Crab Walks

5. SCRUM STRENGTH
CT Squats + Loaded Crawls

6. LINEOUT SPEED
Hang Clean and Press + Depth Jump

1. RAW STRENGTH (Bench + Farmer's Walk)

Why The Barbell Bench Press?

Depending what online blog you’re reading, the barbell bench press is either the best or the worst exercise in the world. Some people will list the bench’s drawbacks by saying that it’s too linear because you’re laying flat on your back and not engaging supporting muscles. To that we say “great theory” but any exercise you could hope to substitute for the bench will have as many or more drawbacks.

Dips are tough on your shoulders if you have a narrow frame, push-ups are fine, but you’re only moving 60% of your bodyweight and most rugby players don’t have the shoulder mobility for ring work (more on that later). So for developing upper-body strength, and preventing injury while training, the bench press has the most upside and the least downside. You could also substitute in dumb bells if you really want to. But understand that this will require using a lower total weight.

Why The Farmer’s Walk?

One of the most common strongman lifts, the farmer’s walk is an oldie but a goodie. Unlike the bench, which is push-specific and can be done quite quickly, the farmer’s walk uses a whole range of upper body muscles and should be performed for extended periods to get the most benefit.

Your arms will be torched. Your core will be activated. Your back and shoulders will burn. In essence, everything that’s not your chest and anterior deltoids is fully activated during the farmer’s walk. This makes the Farmer’s Walk the perfect partner exercise for super-setting with the barbell bench press when seeking to develop raw upper-body strength.

RAW STRENGTH PROGRAM

30 min session - 10 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

 EXERCISEREPSWEIGHTTIMING
BARBELL BENCH1025% of 1RM3 mins
1BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
2BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
3BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
4BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
5BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
6BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
7BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
8BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
9BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset
10BARBELL BENCH360% of 1RM3 mins
FARMER'S WALK40m25-45 lbs / ArmSuperset

Tips and Tricks

Setup – do a couple of sets of bench press to get limber. Your warm up should be at about 30% of your 1RM. Then stack on your weights up to 60% of your 1RM for your working sets. Find a space where you can comfortably walk 20-30m without bothering anyone. Place two 45lb plates at one end of that area.

Start the Clock – this session is time-based. We are going to be restricting rest intervals so that each new set starts on 3mins. Set 1 starts at 0, set 2 starts at 3, set 3 starts at 6 and so on. Do not mess with these intervals. If you have not recovered sufficiently from the previous set to perform the upcoming set, reduce the weight you are working with or the distance of your farmer’s walk.

Focus on Form – because we’re not working with 100% of our 1RM, we can focus on getting our technique right during lifts. For the bench, that means pinching your shoulder blades, moving the bar smoothly without a bounce and gripping as hard a possible. For the farmer’s walk, keep your head & eyes up, your shoulders down and take smaller steps than if you were walking normally.

Rest Periods – your setup and working periods should max out at about 90 sec (if you have a lonnnnng farmer’s walk) which will leave you plenty of rest time. Breathe deeply and clear your head before your next set.

Forearm Explosion – there’s a good chance that this session is going to destroy your forearms. When that happens, feel free to break up the Farmer’s Walk with another static strength movement like the Hollow Hold. Try the variation below when you hit your forearm limit.

Superset Variation

Barbell Bench + Farmer’s Walk
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

Barbell Bench + Hollow Holds
4 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

Barbell Bench + Farmer’s Walk
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

2. BODYWEIGHT (Pull-ups + Jefferson Curls)​

Why the pull-up?

There isn’t a better exercise for improving your power-to-weight ratio than the pull-up. Pull-ups are recommended by almost every S&C coach in the business because they provide an equipment-free way to train the entire posterior chain, forearms, shoulders and core. Powerlifters have long known that improving your lat strength using pull-ups has a positive effect on your bench, squats and deadlifts as well. It’s also an excellent test of your power to weight ratio.

While strength is the ultimate goal of the programs on this page, adding superficial bulk is not. If you’ve been training for 3 months say and you’ve put on 10lbs of muscle, but you can still only do a set of 4 pull-ups, there’s a good chance you’ve been wasting your time. Having enough mass is important for rugby players, but our power to weight ratio is a much better test of a rugby player’s strength and conditioning. That’s why you’ve seen rugby players get dramatically leaner over the past decade.

Why the Jefferson Curl?

We’ve spoken in several blog posts about why the Jefferson curl is one of the best exercises for rugby players, especially when used prior to rugby training to help prevent hamstring injuries. But it’s also the perfect exercise to pair with pull-ups when you’re looking to develop posterior chain strength and flexibility.

J-Curls are useful because they are a weighted stretch. Stretching generally is something most rugby players don’t do enough of. The J-Curl is a very simple way to increase hamstring flexibility, core strength (especially in the mid back) and grip strength. When super-setted with the pull-up, this movement provides a complete posterior chain workout at low intensity and using very little weight.

BODY WEIGHT PROGRAM

30 min session - 10 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

 EXERCISEREPSWEIGHTTIMING
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RM2 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RM2 mins
1PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
2PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
3PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
4PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
5PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
6PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
7PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
8PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
9PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset
10PULL-UPS3Bodyweight3 mins
JEFFERSON CURLS325% of 1RMSuperset

Tips and Tricks

Setup – do a couple of sets of J Curls to get warm. Start with the same weight as you would during a working set. But because you’re cold, you naturally won’t have the same range of motion as during the rest of the workout. Hold your warm up sets for slightly longer at the bottom of the movement.

Start the Clock – this session is also time-based. Start each new set of pull-ups on the 3min. A set of 3 J-Curls should take between 50-60 seconds. So if your pull-ups start on the top of the minute, start your J Curls after 30 seconds. If it takes you 60 seconds to complete, your working time will be 90 seconds and your rest time will be 90 sec.

Focus on Form – if you haven’t done a lot of pull-ups before, don’t worry. The goal is not to crank out 10 max sets. That would be crazy talk. If your max set is say 6 reps, try to do 10 sets of 2 during the course of the 30 min superset session. If your max reps set is 15, maybe go as high as 4. But whatever you do, don’t give up after 4 sets. If the last 2-3 sets need to be single rep sets, that’s totally fine. Keep at it!

Rest Periods – ideally you want to be working and resting for about the same period, 90 seconds and 90 seconds.

Forearm Explosion – as with the first superset session, your forearms are going to be burning. When (not if) this happens, try the variation below to help you get through the 30 mins.

Superset Variation

Pullups + Jefferson Curls
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

Jefferson Curls + Hollow Holds
4 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

Pullups + Jefferson Curls
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

3. EXPLOSIVE POWER (Hang Clean + Hollow Hold)

Why the Hang Clean?

For explosiveness and gains in athletic performance, hang cleans bridge the gap between strength and speed better than any other weight room exercise. The hang clean, performed at a submaximal level is one of the most effective tools for developing speed-strength and strength-speed portions of the force-velocity curve. We recommend the hang clean over the full clean for its simplicity. Movement from the floor is fantastic for developing raw strength.

But the hang clean is a better choice for rugby players as it requires triple extension of the hips, knees, and ankles in a coordinated, explosive pattern – a movement that simulates the triple extension in both sprinting and jumping. It’s also a very similar exercise to the log lift recommended by World Rugby fitness expert Ben Gotting in this video.

Why the Hollow Hold?

While the Jefferson Curl is the perfect way to work your entire posterior chain, the Hollow Body Hold (Hollow Hold) gives you the same effect on your anterior chain. Both movements are essential components of gymnastic strength training which requires a huge amount of core strength endurance.

What else requires core strength endurance? Rugby. Scrummaging, lineouts, tackling, driving, we’re using our core in everything we do on the rugby field. So the Hollow Hold can give us the core strength to excel in those functional movements during a game of rugby.

EXPLOSIVE POWER PROGRAM

30 min session - 10 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

 EXERCISEREPSWEIGHTTIMING
DEADLIFT525% of 1RM2 mins
HIGH PULL525% of 1RM2 mins
1HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
2HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
3HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
4HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
5HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
6HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
7HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
8HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
9HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
10HANG CLEAN360% of 1RM3mins
HOLLOW HOLD30 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset

Tips and Tricks

Setup – warmup for this workout using the same weight you would during working sets. Do 1-2 sets of 3-5 deadlifts and 1-2 sets of 3-5 high pulls. Find an area for Hollow Holds, preferably near a mirror so you can check your form during the movement.

Start the Clock – each set begins on 3 mins. If you’re doing a set of 2 hang cleans, these should be completed within 10-15 seconds. Followed by a 30 sec Hollow Hold. That should leave you a little over 2:15 rest time. This additional rest time (over and above the other programs in this eBook) is important because your body needs time to recover for the hang clean movement.

Focus on Speed – doing 30 reps of hang cleans probably seems like a lot, doesn’t it? That would definitely be the case if we were asking you to do 3 sets of 10 with 30 seconds rest. But this session aims to develop strength-speed and speed-strength by getting you to perform your hang clean at maximal speed with well over 2 mins rest between sets. This formula is known by the term “HS, LR” (high-set, low-rep) and has been successfully employed by strength athletes like Charles Poliquin, Doug Hepburn, Pat Casey and Christian Thibaudeau.

Substitute High-Pulls – The All Blacks’ are well known for their team’s collective strength and power outputs. One of the exercises you’ll see them doing a lot of is the high-pull. Catch Owen Franks cranking these out in our prop workout program. This movement is a simplified variation on the Hang Clean which still gives you a solid pull motion but allows you to use a higher weight because there’s no ‘catch’ at the top of the movement.

Superset Variation

Hang Clean + Hollow Hold
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

High Pull + Hollow Hold
4 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

Hang Clean + Hollow Hold
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

4. MOBILITY (Cossask Squats + Crab Walks)

Why the Cossack Squat?

The human body has 3 planes of movement; Sagittal, Coronal and Transverse. When we’re weightlifting, we typically only work on the Sagittal plane meaning forwards and backwards. The lack of movement in the Coronal (side to side) and Transverse planes (horizontal) in training can leave rugby players susceptible to overuse injury and muscular and joint imbalances/weakness.

The Cossack Squat is the ultimate solution to the range of motion (ROM) issues caused by straight-line leg work like the Squat and Deadlift. For the purposes of this superset workout, we’ve chosen the Cossack Squat because it will help us restore our ROM and improve joints and connective tissues in the process.

Why the Crab Walk?

Again, this module is all about mobility. One of the greatest limiting factors for rugby players in developing upper body strength is the flexibility and ROM of their shoulder joints especially during extension. Getting into a standard Crab position can be damn near impossible for the average rugger who has spent too many years benching and not enough time on shoulder mobility.

The Crab Walk is an elegant solution that can be done anywhere and requires no equipment. There is a good chance that the first time you do this module, you won’t be able to walk forwards. That’s ok! Just work on getting into the position for now and build up to walking in subsequent attempts. Hollow holds will definitely help get your core to a point where Crab Walks are easy.

MOBILITY PROGRAM

30 min session - 10 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

 EXERCISEREPSWEIGHTTIMING
COSSACK SQUATS5BODY WEIGHT2 mins
COSSACK SQUATS5BODY WEIGHT2 mins
1COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
2COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
3COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
4COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
5COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
6COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
7COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
8COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
9COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset
10COSSACK SQUATS360% of 1RM3mins
CRAB WALK20 secBODY WEIGHTSuperset

Tips and Tricks

Setup – warm up for Cossack Squats using just your body weight. After you’ve done 2-3 sets of 3-4 reps, find a Kettlebell of adequate but not crazy size for use during your working sets. Use a mat for Crab Walks and Holds. But ideally you want to be in a wide area away from people.

Start the Clock – do your squats first and wait until the top of the next min before starting your walks. 20 sec doesn’t sound like much for the Crab Walks, but during your 1st session, this is plenty.

Focus on Form – Cossack Squats don’t need to be super fast. In fact, you’re better off taking it slow. Remember, we’re working on a plane of movement that is chronically under-utilized so your body is going to take some time to loosen up. Do not start walking forwards in a Crab position until you can hold your body horizontal for at least 30 seconds. If you start moving like the joker in that first video link, you may as well just crawl on the floor like a 2yr old.

Recovery – if you already have pretty strong legs, you’re not going to find the Cossack Squats terribly taxing, but you will notice muscle soreness in your IT band, hamstrings and adductors. Both of these exercises have the potential to improve joint flexibility and connective tissue strength. 

But it’s important to realize that connective tissue, due to the lack of bloodflow in joints, takes longer to repair than normal muscle fibers. If you are doing all the other modules on the list once a week, we suggest doubling the rest time on the Mobility module to give that connective tissue time to recover.

Superset Variation

Hang Clean + Hollow Hold
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

High Pull + Hollow Hold
4 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

Hang Clean + Hollow Hold
3 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

5. SCRUM STRENGTH (CT Squats + Loaded Crawls)

Why the Constant Tension Squat?

Our next two modules are all about forward-specific strength training. The first being situationally focused on scrummaging. What’s happening in a scrum? Well, you’re in a crouched position, with a flat back and you’re pushing with 7 of your mates against 8 other people. The result is a complex movement that requires strength and power under tension. Standard squats are a great way to build your strength base. But they don’t replicate what it’s like to be in a scrum.

You can’t pause at the top of a rep with straight legs while scrumming. You can’t rep twice while scrumming and then bail out. No, instead, scrumming will force you to remain under tension (or load) for an extended period (10+ seconds) and to work within a small range without ever reaching either end of the movement. In other words, a constant tension squat. The CT Squat is performed using much less than your 1RM lifting weight. Take it down to around 50% and focus on staying under load for about 20 seconds.

Why the Loaded Crawl?

The CT Squat is about as close to a scrumming movement as you can get, but the Loaded Crawl is the perfect partner because it puts you in an actual scrumming position. Loaded Crawls can be performed using a 45lb plate on your back, or even just body weight. The idea is NOT to race forwards splaying out your feet and swiveling your hips. Instead, keep your head up, your ass down, your back flat, your knees at 90 degrees and your toes and feet facing fowards in perfect alignment. Now, walk forwards 10-12 paces and then backwards 10-12 paces.

SCRUM STRENGTH PROGRAM

30 min session - 10 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

 EXERCISEREPSWEIGHTTIMING
COSSACK SQUATS10 Sec25% 1RM2 mins
COSSACK SQUATS10 Sec25% 1RM2 mins
1COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
2COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
3COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
4COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
5COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
6COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
7COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
8COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
9COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset
10COSSACK SQUATS25 Sec25% 1RM3 mins
LOADED CRAWL10m25-45 lbsSuperset

Tips and Tricks

Setup – unless you feel comfortable cleaning and pressing a loaded bar overhead into a squatting position 30 times, we suggest working in a standard squat rack for the CT Squat. No, you don’t have to. Yes, you probably should. During a CT squat, it’s more important to stay under load for the correct time than it is to use more weight. So only move up to a new weight once you can comfortably perform this module with 25 sec CT Squat sets. Find plenty of room for your Loaded Crawls. You should be working in the same physical space as you were for the Crab Walks.

Start the Clock – perform your set of CT Squats and wait until the top of the next minute to begin your Loaded Crawls. You should finish your crawls with about 75 seconds left before your next set of squats. That’s less rest time than the other modules in this eBook. So be mindful of that when you get started.

Vary your Speed – scrumming isn’t a tempo movement. At different times you’re going to give or receive pressure, but this won’t happen at a standardized interval. To get the most out of this module, vary the speed of your flexion and extension during the CT squat and vary your moving speed during the crawls to simulate what will actually happen during a scrum.

Superset Variation

CT Squat + Loaded Crawl
3 sets of 20 sec squats + 10-12 rep crawls in each direction

CT Squat + Hollow Holds
4 sets of 20 sec squats + 30 sec holds

CT Squat + Loaded Crawl
3 sets of 20 sec squats + 10-12 rep crawls in each direction

6. LINEOUT SPEED (Hang Clean n Press + Depth Jump)

Why the Hang Clean and Press?

In Module 3 – Explosive Power – we talked about the Hang Clean and why it’s so good for developing full body power. Module 6 – Lineout Speed – is based on the same principles but adds in the overhead press to the movement. The HC&P is virtually the exact same movement as recommended by World Rugby for developing upper body strength. By performing sets of 2-3, you’ll be working on strength-speed part of the force velocity curve which aims to give you explosive power through your lineout lifts.

Why the Depth Jump?

You’ve probably seen plenty of athletes doing box jumps as part of a plyometric workout. They’re a pretty standard part of beginners plyo work and make for great Instagram content showing rugby players like Carlin Isles or Perry Baker leaping over huge weight racks. What they don’t tell you on Instagram, however, is that standard box jumps aren’t the best way to improve your vertical jump.

Box jumps, weighted jumps and other “up” movements focus on the concentric portion of the jump more than it does the “down” or eccentric portion. This is unfortunate, because training the eccentric portion actually translates to greater increases in vertical jump performance. In short, the depth jump will give you MUCH greater gains in VJ than will a standard box jump.

LINEOUT SPEED PROGRAM

30 min session - 10 sets of 2-3 every 3 mins

 EXERCISEREPSWEIGHTTIMING
1HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
2HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
3HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
4HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
5HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
6HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
7HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
8HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
9HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset
10HANG CLEAN + PRESS350% 1RM3 mins
DEPTH JUMP3BODY WEIGHTSuperset

Tips and Tricks

Setup – because you’re doing 30 sets of the HC&P, we don’t want to work with a maximal weight. Keep it to around 50-60% of your 1RM. Depth jumps are a different story. They’re completely based on your ability to absorb impact through your ankle and knee joints. Make sure you’re not jumping from higher than your joints (knees, ankle and back) can handle.

Start the Clock – perform your set of HC&P and move immediately to the
depth jump. Don’t pause until the top of the minute. Don’t perform more than
4 depth jumps (2 on each leg). Even going as high as 3 jumps per leg is going
to prevent you from getting the most out of the exercise. As you fatigue during the set, you’ll notice your explosive power declines.

There’s no point practicing the movement under fatigue within a set, that’s just going to make you slower. Instead, rest for the full 2:00 and try again on the next set. You should be able to replicate your maximum jump height for the full 90 min session if don’t go crazy within each set.

Extension – after speaking to USA Eagles Prop, Chris Baumann, about lineout technique, he made it clear that extension at the top of your lift is crucial “otherwise, you’re cheating your jumper”. So during each press movement, get to and hold at the top of the lift. Even come up onto your toes if possible. It’s not good enough to get a jumper to the top of their jump, you may need to keep them there for a couple of seconds waiting for the throw to arrive or to setup a driving maul. You can practice this by staying extended at the top of your lift.

Superset Variation

Hang Clean & Press + Depth Jump
3 sets of 2 presses and 4 depth jumps on 3 mins

Bent Over Row + Depth Jump
4 sets of 2 presses and 4 depth jumps on 3 mins

Hang Clean & Press + Depth Jump
3 sets of 2 presses and 4 depth jumps on 3 mins

WARNING (For Less Experienced Lifters)

The workouts contained in this eBook are designed for intermediate to advanced weight lifters. Doing 30 repetitions of any exercise at around 60% of your 1RM is going to require a base level of strength that most beginners have yet to develop.

But if you are less experienced, you can easily modify these workouts to produce fantastic and most importantly low-risk results by shortening the length of each session. Instead of doing 10 sets of 3 on 3 mins. Do 7 sets or even as few as 5 sets. Our product testing team is currently running a test group of athletes beginning at 5 sets and working up to 15. There’s no reason you need to start at the high end of this range. 8 sets of 3 is more than enough volume to produce results.

The key thing to remember is that you always want to avoid failure. The final rep of each set should not be a struggle. If it is, you’re doing either too many reps OR (more likely) you’re pushing too much weight. Reduce the load and work within your limits. Working to failure within a set is going to extend your recovery time, meaning that you won’t have recovered before your next set begins. Aim for more sets, not more reps within each set.