Integrating Weight Training with Rugby Units Skill Training

TAGS: Quadrant Management, upper body mass, weight training for rugby players, Rugby Units Skill Training, rugby program design, Marc Keys, Ashley Jones

column-gray-032715

One of the many complex issues to break down is the integration of rugby units' skills (when the forward and backs break into separate groups to work on the collective skills for that group) with the weight training that complements the activity. Many programs deal with this situation as two distinct sessions. I have attempted to integrate both training sessions this season, with various degrees of success. The model I am proposing in this article attempts to sequence weight training and skills, with the weight training acting as a neural primer before moving to skill work and then bringing the players back to the weight room to complete the lower body session. The upper body training in this article revolves around a specific case where the player needed to gain upper body mass. Sets and reps can be easily modified. The program was an off-season/pre-season plan when no competition matches were scheduled.


LISTEN: The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Podcast with Ashley Jones


These sessions should be performed twice in the pre-season training weeks (e.g., on a Monday and a Thursday) to ensure good recovery between sessions. Keep in mind that this article is taken in isolation from the rest of the training items at this important time of the year. Additional scrum and lineout sessions will be scheduled during team run sessions as well, so forwards coaches do not need to worry about losing input.

Players not focusing on extra upper body hypertrophy can schedule their training sessions on a Tuesday and a Friday around the conditioning running sessions, but the player who needs extra upper body mass will have to do an extra session and program accordingly.

Forwards

Session 1

  • Cleans, Snatches, or Pulls superset with 10-Meter/20-Meter Accelerations
  • Scrum Session
  • Squats
  • Posterior Chain
  • Loaded Core
  • Stretch and Foam Roller Restoration Session

Session 2  

  • Push Press, Split Jerk, Block Clean into Push Press, or Clean Grip Power Snatch from Blocks
  • Lower Body Gym-Based Plyometrics and Medicine Ball Tosses
  • Lineouts
  • Unilateral Lower Body Push
  • Unilateral Posterior Chain
  • Endurance Core
  • Stretch and Foam Roller Session

Backs

Session 1

  • Cleans, Snatches, or Pulls
  • Field-Based Plyometrics
  • Acceleration Speed Session
  • Set Piece Moves/Strikes
  • Squats
  • Posterior Chain
  • Loaded Core
  • Stretch and Foam Roller Restoration Session

Session 2

  • Push Press, Split Jerk, Block Clean into Push Press, or Clean Grip Power Snatch from Blocks superset with Lower Body Gym-Based Plyometrics
  • Maximum Velocity Speed Session
  • Set Piece Moves/Strikes/Catch and Pass Skills
  • Unilateral Lower Body Push
  • Unilateral Posterior Chain
  • Endurance Core
  • Stretch and Foam Roller Restoration Session

In regard to the methods I would use in this integrated training, I would move towards the Quadrant Management approach as I have written previously about, and offer the following chart for players to discuss options and then put in place for a block of training time.

Screenshot 2017-12-04 17.14.33

Upper Body Size Program

Session 1 — Monday

Bench Press superset with Pendlay Row

  • 2 x (6/5/4) with (75%, 80%, 85%)
  • 2 x (5/4/3) with (80%, 85%, 90%)
  • 2 x (4/3/2) with (85%, 90%, 95%)

Dumbbell Shoulder Press superset with Lat Pulldown to Chest

  • 5 x 8-12, to failure each set
  • 6 x 6 with 30 seconds rest between sets
  • 4 x (10/8/6/15)

Machine Incline Bench Press superset with Machine Horizontal Row

  • 50 with 10RM weight
  • 30 with 6RM weight
  • 40 with 8RM weight

Close Grip Bench Press superset with Barbell Curl

  • 5 x 10
  • 3 x 12
  • 4 x 8

Session 2 — Wednesday

Military Press superset with Chin-Ups

  • 2 x (6/5/4) with (75%, 80%, 85%)
  • 2 x (5/4/3) with (80%, 85%, 90%)
  • 2 x (4/3/2) with (85%, 90%, 95%)

Triple Angle Drop Dumbbell Bench Press (45/30/15 Degree Inclines) superset with Mechanical Advantage Chin-Up Complex (Pronated Wide Grip/Neutral Grip/Supinated Grip Shoulder Width)

  • 5 x (5/5/5)
  • 4 x (4/4/4)
  • 6 x (3/3/3)

Weighted Push-Ups superset with Dumbbell Shrugs

  • 50 with 10RM weight
  • 30 with 6RM weight
  • 40 with 8RM weight

Barbell Floor Press superset with Dumbbell Twist Curl

  • 5 x 10
  • 3 x 12
  • 4 x 8

Session 3 — Friday

Incline Bench Press superset with Supinated Grip Bentover Row

  • 2 x (6/5/4) with (75%, 80%, 85%)
  • 2 x (5/4/3) with (80%, 85%, 90%)
  • 2 x (4/3/2) with (85%, 90%, 95%)

Dumbbell Bench Press superset with One-Arm Dumbbell Row

  • 5 x 8-12, to failure each set
  • 6 x 6 with 30 seconds rest between sets
  • 4 x (10/8/6/15)

Dumbbell Shoulder Press superset with Chin-Ups

  • 50 with 10RM weight
  • 30 with 6RM weight
  • 40 with 8RM weight

Rolling Dumbbell Extensions superset with Dumbbell Hammer Curl

  • 5 x 10
  • 3 x 12
  • 4 x 8

If you are more attuned to working in straight sets rather than wave loading, especially for the primary work sets on each training day, I would recommend this protocol to you. I owe my former assistant Marc Keys for guiding me in this direction. Having programmed for a number of players now using this method, I can attest to its effectiveness and simplicity, which are key elements of my training philosophy.

  • Week 1: 6 x 6 with 75% (INOL – 1.44)
  • Week 2: 6 x 4 with 85% (INOL – 1.60)
  • Week 3: 5 x 5 with 80% (INOL – 1.50)
  • Week 4: 6 x 3 with 90% (INOL – 1:80)

I am constantly reviewing and refining how my programs work with the teams I coach and your feedback via your posts, and questions are essential in this process, so I welcome your comments and discussion.

erect-a-rack-home

Loading Comments... Loading Comments...