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rugby strength program

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.

Yes, you’ll likely get bigger using our off season rugby strength program. But ideally, you’ll increase your raw strength without adding significant size. This will improve your power to weight ratio, and speed when you enter the pre-season training period. 

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check mark strength

being strong makes you faster

check mark strength

being strong helps minimize fatigue

check mark strength

being strong can prevent injuries



The attached eBook contains training programs 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: lower intensity, high volume, strength-focused training to avoid failure in sets

Degree of difficulty: 8/10

NOTE: if you are a less-experienced weight lifter who is considering taking on this program, please skip to page 21 for notes on adapting these sessions to your needs.

“Getting really good at the basics allows us to work super hard, because we’re familiar with what we’re doing.”

– Nick Gill, All Blacks’ Strength and Conditioning Coach



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


LIKE THIS: 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 it the perfect partner exercise for supersetting with the barbell bench press when seeking to develop raw upper-body strength.


That cover rugby strength training topics

To date, more than 1,500 rugby players are currently using our rugby strength training program in their off-seasons. But they’re also supplementing this eBook with a bunch of other resources from the Ruck Science website. Here are a few of the strength training topics that we’ve covered that can help you understand the principles behind our superset sessions book. 

rugby pro strength program

How to build rugby prop strength

How do you build the strength of a rugby prop? This prop workout program is designed to help you develop the strength to play in the front row. Props need to be bulky, powerful and ultimately, really damn strong – that’s what this program promises.

Neck trap strength rugby

Building neck and trap strength for rugby players

For props and hookers especially it’s imperative that you have a strong neck and traps to scrummage. Here’s how to build that neck and trap strength for all rugby players. It’s most important for the front-row but all rugby players need strong necks.

get strong ruggers big will take care of itself

Get strong ruggers, big will take care of itself

Should rugby players lift for size, strength or both? In this article, we lay out the case for rugby players training to get stronger rather than bigger. The recommendation is underpinned by the fact that professional rugby players are getting much leaner.


that might help you during a strength-training module

Not every supplement or stack on ruckscience.com is ideal for helping you during the off-season strength training phase. During this time, you’re likely going to need ready access to pre-workouts, branch-chain amino acids and creatine. These supplements might be able to help you push harder during lifting sessions. In addition, we suggest you pair them with a high-quality whey protein powder like Rugby Whey to fuel lean muscle development and boost protein synthesis in the hours after you’ve finished your session.  Here’s a quick look at the supps and stacks that we’ve designed for the off-season. 

  • post rugby supplement cranberry pineapple


    4.69 out of 5
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  • rugby pre workout supplement fruit punch

    Twitch Faster

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

    Ruck Training

    4.67 out of 5
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  • ruck everything supplement stack

    Ruck Everything

    4.75 out of 5
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Remember ---- 10% of every ruckscience.com order is donated to the rugby club of your choice!