Gym Programming Variation Across a Team

TAGS: pre-season programming, gym programming, rugby program, individualization, off-season programming, Ashley Jones

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In this month's column, I want to address a question that has been asked of me many times:

"How do you manipulate the training programs across a rugby team during a season and ensure everyone's needs met?"

I have said many times that I consider the individualization of programming in a team sport to be the Holy Grail of strength and conditioning. I wanted to share with you several programs that were used during our last season to highlight not only the variety that you can achieve but also to show you the range and breadth of programming in a team sport.

Off-Season/Pre-Season Programming

In this metabolic priority example, a player will complete a circuit, since the improvement in general fitness is the key to performance improvement. Following on from this, they would then do a four-exercise strength program with lower body exercises alternating each session between a bilateral and a unilateral movement. The workout would finish with the individual selection of five movements as part of the Core Accessory Rehab Exercise (CARE) package—an injury prevention strategy.

Metabolic Off-Season Program

Day 1: (Beast Circuit) x 6:

Deadlift/Power Clean from Hang/Front Squat/Push Press/Bent Over Row/Romanian Deadlift 45 seconds on Watt Bike going every 4 minutes.

Day 2: (Otago Circuit) x6:

Row 300m in <1 minute/10 Full Burpees with jump/10 x 36kg 2 arm swing with KB/10 x Reverse Lunge each leg/10 x DB Hang Clean/10kg Med Ball slam to ground 10 each side

Day 3: (Loaded Carry Circuit) x 6:

50m Prowler®/50m Overhead Carry/50m Farmer's Walk/50m Zercher Carry/Tire Flip/12 Calories on Assault Bike

  • 1 x Lower Body Push (Day 1 Bilateral, Day 2 Unilateral)
  • 1 x Lower Body Pull (Hinge) (Day 1 Unilateral, Day 2 Bilateral)
  • 1 x Upper Body Push & Pull (superset)

 

Lower Body

Bilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 6                        Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Unilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 12                      Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

 

Upper Body

Push: Week 1 – 4 x 6              Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Pull:   Week 1 – 4 x 12            Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

 

Core Accessory Rehab Exercise (CARE) Program

2 x 10 reps on each

  •  1 x Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up.
  •  2 x Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Lunge Complex, Nordics, 2 Bench Hip Thrust, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.
  •  1 x Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press, DB Scarecrow.
  •  1 x Neck: Iron Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2 ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Away

In the next program, the aspect of speed and explosiveness is the prioritized quality to be trained. The first three movements are performed as a tri-set with minimal rest in between each activity. In these movements, the lower third of the force-velocity curve is targeted (velocity preference) and is used as a potentiation protocol. After completing four sets of this complex, the player would then choose a maximal force movement from their repertoire and then a secondary movement utilizing a unilateral (single-leg) movement. My preference is to use twice the number of reps when training unilaterally than bilaterally to increase the volume. The last movements are an upper-body push and pull superset with the CARE package rounding out this program once again.

Speed and Power Off-Season Program

1a – Loaded Sprint

1b – Velocity Power Movements

Choose 1: Jump Shrug/Hang High Pull/Mid-Thigh Power Clean or Snatch

1c Unweighted Lower Body Plyometric Movements:

Choose 1: Box Jumps/Hops, Depth Jumps into long jump or hurdle jump, Repeat Long Jumps/Hops, Repeat Hurdle Jumps/Hops, Borzov Hops, Alternating Bench Blasts, Knees to Feet jumps, Squat to Split.

2 – Maximal Force Movements

Choose from either Squat or Deadlift option

3 – Secondary Force Movements; if you chose a squat, do a single-leg hinge; if you chose the deadlift, do a single leg squat

4 – Upper Body Push and Pull Super Set 

 

Lower Body

Bilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 6                        Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Unilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 12                      Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

 

Upper Body

Push: Week 1 – 4 x 6              Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Pull:   Week 1 – 4 x 12            Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

 

CARE Program

2 x 10 reps on each

  •  1 x Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up.
  •  2 x Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Lunge Complex, Nordics, 2 Bench Hip Thrust, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.
  •  1 x Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press, DB Scarecrow.
  •  1 x Neck: Iron Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2-ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Away

In the next program, the aspects of strength and size are the priority for the individual player. A standard four-movement strength program, as seen in a previous program, is used first with the inclusion of a weighted carry option to finish this first aspect of the program. Following on from this is the use of a variety of body part specific training programs. The players are assisted in the choices of those programs which are most specific to their needs. Also, a player may choose to do a bodybuilding-style split for chest and back, and shoulder and arms. The volume is regulated to ensure player recovery. The program concludes with attention to the injury prevention protocols of the other programs.

Strength and Size Off-Season Program 

  • 1 x Lower Body Push (Day 1 Bilateral, Day 2 Unilateral)
  • 1 x Lower Body Pull (Hinge) (Day 1 Unilateral, Day 2 Bilateral)
  • 1 x Upper Body Push & Pull (superset)
  • 1 x Loaded Carry (Farmer's Walk, Waiter's Walk, Suitcase, Combo, Overhead) 

 

Lower Body

Bilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 6                        Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Unilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 12                      Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

 

Upper Body

Push: Week 1 – 4 x 6              Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Pull:   Week 1 – 4 x 12                        Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

  • Armor Plating Upper Body Size options
  • Big Back Maniac, Arms Race, Boulder Shoulders, Pectoral Punishment

CARE Program

2 x 10 reps on each

  •  1 x Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up.
  •  2 x Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Lunge Complex, Nordics, 2 Bench Hip Thrust, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.
  •  1 x Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press, DB Scarecrow.
  •  1 x Neck: Iron Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2-ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Away

All these three programs are entirely interchangeable, so realistically if you were more concerned with a balanced gym program for a training week, you could do one of each. If this were the case, program from Neural to Metabolic, so Monday would be Speed and Power, Wednesday would be Strength and Size, and Friday's workout would be Metabolic. There are certain members of the playing group that were on such a program and others who may need a combination of two elements so they would then perform the priority sessions on a Monday and a Friday and the secondary program on Wednesday. You can see that there are specific similarities across the three programs which makes either of the options described quite achievable over a training week.

The next couple of programs were designed for special attention cases within the playing group that required either more work to improve metabolic fitness and also body composition but ensuring that the player still touched on areas of strength and power 

Combination Metabolic/Strength and Power

Monday: (Full Body Combination) 

5 minutes Bike: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Front Squat (6 sets x 4 reps every 2 minutes)

5 minutes Concept II Ski Erg: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Trap Bar Deadlift (5 sets x 5 reps every 2 minutes)

5 minutes Versa Climber: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Incline Bench Press s/s Bent Over Row (4 sets x 6 reps every 90 seconds)

5 minutes Concept II Row: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Shoulder Press s/s High Pulls from Hang (3 sets x 8 reps every 90 seconds)

5 minutes Assault Bike: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Close Grip Bench Press s/s Chin Ups (2 sets x 12 reps 60 seconds between sets)

5 minutes Concept II Row: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Loaded Carry (1 set x 100 meters)

 

Wednesday: (Full Body Power & Strength)

1 – Power Speed Complex

Power Clean s/s Depth Jumps s/s Run Rocket 10 meters

Week 1: 5x5, Week 2: 4x4, Week 3:

2 – Maximal Force Movements

Choose from either Squat or Deadlift option

3 – Secondary Force Movements; if you chose a squat do a single-leg hinge; if you chose deadlift, do a single-leg squat

4 – Upper Body Push s/s Pull 

 

Lower Body

Bilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 6                        Week 2 – 4 x 4                        Week 3 – 4 x 2

Unilateral

Week 1 – 4 x 12                      Week 2 – 4 x 8                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

 

Upper Body

Push: Week 1 – 4 x 8              Week 2 – 4 x 6                        Week 3 – 4 x 4

Pull:   Week 1 – 4 x 12            Week 2 – 4 x 10                      Week 3 – 4 x 8

 

Friday: (Full Body Combination)

5 minutes Bike: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Snatch Grip High pulls (6 sets x 4 reps every 2 minutes)

5 minutes Concept II Ski Erg: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Zercher Squat (5 sets x 5 reps every 2 minutes)

5 minutes Versa Climber: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Football Bar Pendlay Row s/s Bench Press (4 sets x 6 reps every 90 seconds)

5 minutes Concept II Row: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

DB Arnold Press s/s Incline DB Row (3 sets x 8 reps every 90 seconds)

5 minutes Bike: Aerobic – continuous or Anaerobic - Tabata intervals 20:10

Floor Press s/s DB Renegade Row (2 sets x 12 reps 60 seconds between sets)

5 minutes Concept II Row/day 1 continuous/day 2 Tabata intervals 20:10

Loaded Carry (1 set x 100 meters)

 

CARE Program

2 x 10 reps on each

  •  1 x Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up.
  •  2 x Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Lunge Complex, Nordics, 2 Bench Hip Thrust, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.
  •  1 x Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press, DB Scarecrow.
  •  1 x Neck: Iron Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2 -ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Away

This next program was at the request from a player who had read about a particular programming style from a French sports scientist. After reading more details about the program, I utilized the main elements of his program detail and tried to build my perspective into the plan. The program is specifically for strength, with an accompanying increase in size as well.

Three Days a Week

Planning using the French Method of Emmanuel Legeard

Monday

Squat and Bench Press (4’ rest between sets)

  • Set 1: 3 @ 90%
  • Set 2: 2 @ 92.5%
  • Set 3: 1 @ 90%
  • Set 4: 7 @ 80%
  • Set 5: 6 @ 82.5%
  • Set 6: 5 @ 80%
  • Series 7: Wk1 - 1 @ 95%, Wk2 – 2 x 1 @ 95%, Wk3 – 3 x 1 @ 95%, Wk4 – 4 x 1 @ 95%, Wk5 – DELOAD, Wk6 – Test for new 1RM

 

Supplemental Work (1' rest between sets)

  • Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat s/s Reverse Lunge Front squat bar hold – 5 x 8
  • DB Low Incline Bench Press s/s Pendlay Row – 4 x 10
  • DB Arnold Shoulder Press s/s DB Shrugs 3 x 12
  • Dips s/s Chin-ups – 4 x 8
  • CARE program 5 exercises

 

Wednesday (3' rest between sets 8 – 6 – 4 reps, add weight each set

  • Power Clean
  • Push Press
  • Box Squat

 

Supplemental Work (1' rest between sets)

  • Triple Drop Bench Press 5 x 5/5/5 s/s Renegade DB or KB Row 5 x 10 each side
  • DB Hammer Curls s/s Low Incline DB Tate Presses
  • CARE program 5 exercises

 

Friday

Deadlift & Overhead Press (4’ minutes rest between sets)

  • Set 1: 3 @ 90%
  • Set 2: 2 @ 92.5%
  • Set 3: 1 @ 90%
  • Set 4: 7 @ 80%
  • Set 5: 6 @ 82.5%
  • Set 6: 5 @ 80%
  • Series 7: Wk1 - 1 @ 95%, Wk2 – 2 x 1 @ 95%, Wk3 – 3 x 1 @ 95%, Wk4 – 4 x 1 @ 95%, Wk5 – DELOAD, Wk6 – Test for new 1RM

 

Supplemental Work (1' rest between sets)

  • Front Squat s/s Bosch Single Leg RDL – 5 x 8
  • High Incline DB Bench Press s/s One Arm DB Row – 4 x 10
  • 3 Way Shoulder (DB Lateral, Plate Front Raise, Cable Face Pull with External Rotation) – 3 x 12
  • Floor Press s/s Barbell Curls – 4 x 8
  • CARE program 5 exercises

The final program in this section was designed for a player with a very young training age. It was an elementary introduction to gym training, optimizing gains in both size and strength for the offseason.

Size and Strength Program

Three Days a week, alternate each training session:

Session One

  • Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Bent-over Row
  • Seated DB Shoulder Press
  • DB Shrugs

Session Two

  • Trap Bar (Hex Bar) Deadlift
  • Front Squat
  • Push Press
  • Chin-ups or Pull-ups (Banded if necessary)
  • Incline DB Bench Press
  • DB One Arm Row

 

  • Week 1: 4 x 6
  • Week 2: 4 x 8
  • Week 3: 5 x 5
  • Week 4: 5 x 8

Each Session finish with Neck and Core work (2 sets x 10 reps):

  • Neck: Wrestler's Bridge 2-ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Away
  • Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up

 

In-Season Programming

This first program is designed for a player required to increase overall body size while also increasing strength.

Workout 1 (Upper Body)

a. Swiss Bar Bench Press or Swiss Bar Military Press

  • Week 1: Work to a max set of 8 reps
  • Week 2: Work to a max set of 6 reps
  • Week 3: Work to a max set of 4 reps
  • Week 4: Work to a max set of 2 reps

b. Javelin Press or Close-grip Bench Press 3,4,5,5 x 10 (add a set each week) s/s Yates Row or Pulldowns 3,4,5,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. JM Press s/s EZ Bar Curls 2,3,4,4 x 6 – 12 reps (add a set each week)

d. Choose one from each group and perform 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps

  • Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press*, DB Scarecrow, Plate Bus Driver
  • Neck: Iron Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2-ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Aways

Workout 2 (Lower Body)

a. Box Squat or Trap Bar Deadlift

  • Week 1: Work to a max set of 8 reps
  • Week 2: Work to a max set of 6 reps
  • Week 3: Work to a max set of 4 reps
  • Week 4: Work to a max set of 2 reps

b. RDL or TRU Squat 2,3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week) s/s Bulgarian Sprinter's Squat or Split Stance Romanian Deadlift 2,3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. Pull Throughs alternate Bosch Squat 2,3,4,4 x 6 – 12 reps (add a set each week)

d. Choose two from each group and perform 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps

  • Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up, Leaning Pallov Press to Overhead position on the TRX.
  • Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Crab Walk with Band, Lateral Lunge, Nordics, Swiss ball Leg Curl, Banded Leg Curl, Hip Thrusts, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.

Workout 3 (Captain's Run Primer session with team as per sheet)

 

Captain's Run Option

Power Speed Activation Session

You can choose any of the following to perform in this session. Performance is the key exercise selection.

Weighted Power Movements

3x 5 reps @ 60% - 70%                                  

  • Cleans or Snatch or Pulls from floor/hang/blocks
  • Hip Thrusts with bands or bar
  • Jump Squats or Band Box Squats
  • Push Press or Spit Jerk

3 x 10 meters                                                 

  • Prowler® Push (High or Low handles)

3 x 10 each leg                                   

  • Banded Leg Drive

Unweighted Lower Body Plyometric Movements

3 sets x 5 reps                                    

  • Box Jumps/Hops
  • Depth Jumps
  • Repeat Long Jumps/Hops
  • Repeat Hurdle Jumps/Hops
  • Borzov Hops
  • Alternating Bench Blasts
  • Knees to Feet

Upper Body

3 x 5 reps @ 60 – 70%                       

  • 1 x Push s/s Pull

Hybrid Program

In the next program, the player requested specific aspects of explosive power development as the priority at the start of the week. The next workout in the week was more slanted to overall body size and strength. The final workout was the generic programming, as listed with the previous program performed the day before the game.

Session One

a. Warm-up with a superset of Bosch Squat & Borzov Hops 2 x 10

b. Clean or Snatch or Pulls from floor or Band Box Squats or Prowler® s/s Lower Body Plyometrics

c. Push Press or Split Jerk or Band Bench Press s/s Upper Body Plyometrics

  • Week 1: 4 x 6 @ 60% Tuck Jumps/MB Drops 4 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 3 @ 80% Box Jumps/Chest Clap Push Ups 5 x 6
  • Week 3: 6 x 4 @ 70% Knees to Feet/MB Chest Pass 6 x 8
  • Week 4: 4 x 2 @ 90% Depth Jumps/Depth Push Ups 4 x 4

d. + CARE

e. + Finisher (Chest & Back or Shoulder & Arms)

Session Two

Week 1: Push: Squat (Back Squat, Front Squat, Box variations)

  • Week 1: 4 x 6 @ 75%
  • Week 2: 5 x 3 @ 90%
  • Week 3: 6 x 4 @ 85%
  • Week 4: 4 x 2 @ 95%

Week 2: Push: Single Leg (split squat, sprinter's squat, step-ups)

  • Week 1: 4 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 6
  • Week 3: 6 x 8
  • Week 4: 4 x 4 

Week 1: Pull: Power Snatch, Power Clean, Pulls, Deadlift, RDL, Good Morning

  • Week 1: 4 x 6 @ 75%
  • Week 2: 5 x 3 @ 90%
  • Week 3: 6 x 4 @ 85%
  • Week 4: 4 x 2 @ 95%

Week 2: Pull: Unilateral Hamstring/Lower Back (Split Stance RDL, Hip Thrusts, Bosch RDL, Arabesque)

  • Week 1: 4 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 6
  • Week 3: 6 x 8
  • Week 4: 4 x 4 

2 x Push/Pull super set Upper Body

Push

  • Incline (bar, DB, Cambered)
  • Shoulder (bar, DB, Cambered, Trap)
  • Flat Press (close grip, reverse, floor, bench)

 

  • Week 1: 4 x 6 @ 75%
  • Week 2: 5 x 3 @ 90%
  • Week 3: 6 x 4 @ 85%
  • Week 4: 4 x 2 @ 95%

AND 

Pull

  • Row (Bent over, Pendlay, Trap Bar, Yates)
  • Chin (bar, towel, rope)
  • Traps (Reverse Shrug, DB, Trap Bar, Upright Row, Seated Snatch, Seated Clean)

 

  • Week 1: 4 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 6
  • Week 3: 6 x 8
  • Week 4: 4 x 4

+ CARE

Session Three

As per Captain's Run program, if selected to play.

Repeat session one or two if not selected to play.

Westside Rugby

In the final two programs, I wish to share with you my attempts to incorporate elements of the Westside training program. If you are interested in my complete Westside programming, please contact the Westside Conjugate Club. They have year-round programs for rugby, which I have written.

Workout 1 (Upper Body)

a. Swiss Bar Bench Press or Swiss Bar Military Press

Week 1: work to a max set of 5 reps

Week 2: work to a max set of 3 reps

Week 3: work to a max set of 1 rep

b. Javelin Press or Close-grip Bench Press 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

Superset with

Yates Row or Pulldowns 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. JM Press s/s EZ Bar Curls 2,3,4 x 6 – 12 reps (add a set each week)

d. Choose one from each group and perform 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps.

  • Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press*, DB Scarecrow, Plate Bus Driver
  • Neck: Rotary Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2-ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Aways

Workout 2 (Lower Body)

a. Safety Bar Box Squat or Trap Bar Deadlift

  • Week 1: work to a max set of 5 reps
  • Week 2: work to a max set of 3 reps
  • Week 3: work to a max set of 1 rep

b. Good Morning or Belt Squat 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

Superset with

Bulgarian Sprinter's Squat or Split Stance Romanian Deadlift 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. Glute Ham Raise or Reverse Hyper® 2,3,4 x 6 – 12 reps (add a set each week)

d. Choose two from each group and perform 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps.

  • Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up, Leaning Pallov Press to Overhead position on the TRX.
  • Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Crab Walk with Band, Lateral Lunge, Nordics, Swiss Ball Leg Curl, Banded Leg Curl, Hip Thrusts, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.

Workout 3

a. Box Squat with Bands

Week 1: 50% + Bands 12 x 2

Week 2: 55% + Bands 10 x 2

Week 3: 60% + Bands 8 x 2

Posterior Chain superset

Bosch Squat s/s Bosch Hamstring 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

 

b. Band Bench Press

Week 1: 50% + Bands 8 x 3

Week 2: 55% + Bands 9 x 3

Week 3: 60% + Bands 10 x 3

 

c. 3-way Shoulder Raise

(DB Lateral Raise, Plate Front Raise, Bent Raise)

d. Football Bar Bench Press 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

S/S

Pendlay Row 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

 

e. + CARE x 5 exercises

In-season Gym Program

Optional Workout (if not selected to play)

a. Warm-up with a superset of Bosch Squat and Borzov Hops 2 x 10

b. Clean or Snatch or Pulls from floor or Band Box Squats or Prowler®

s/s Lower Body Plyometrics

c. Push Press or Split Jerk or Band Bench Press

s/s Upper Body Plyometrics

  • Week 1: 4 x 6 @ 60% Tuck Jumps/MB Drops 4 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 3 @ 80% Box Jumps/Chest Clap Push Ups 5 x 6
  • Week 3: 6 x 4 @ 70% Knees to Feet/MB Chest Pass 6 x 8
  • Week 4: 4 x 2 @ 90% Depth Jumps/Depth Push Ups 4 x 4

d. + CARE           + Finisher (Chest & Back or Shoulder & Arms) 

Workout 1 (Upper Body)

a. Swiss Bar Bench Press or Swiss Bar Military Press

  • Week 1: Work to a max set of 5 reps
  • Week 2: Work to a max set of 3 reps
  • Week 3: Work to a max set of 1 rep

b. Javelin Press or Close-grip Bench Press 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

Superset with

Yates Row or Pulldowns 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. JM Press s/s EZ Bar Curls 2,3,4 x 6 – 12 reps (add a set each week)

d. Choose one from each group and perform 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps.

  • Shoulder/Rotator Cuff: Incline YTI's, Bottom-up KB Press, Cuban Press*, DB Scarecrow, Plate Bus Driver
  • Neck: Rotary Neck, Wrestler's Bridge 2-ways, Neck Planks 3-ways, Band Look Aways

Workout 2 (Lower Body)

a. Safety Bar Box Squat or Trap Bar Deadlift

  • Week 1: Work to a max set of 5 reps
  • Week 2: Work to a max set of 3 reps
  • Week 3: Work to a max set of 1 rep

b. Good Morning or Belt Squat 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

Superset with

Bulgarian Sprinter's Squat or Split Stance Romanian Deadlift 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. Glute Ham Raise or Reverse Hyper® 2,3,4 x 6 – 12 reps (add a set each week)

d. Choose two from each group and perform 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps.

  • Core: ½ Turkish Get-up, Windmills, Rollouts, Suitcase Deadlift, Combat Twist, Weighted Sit-up, Leaning Pallov Press to Overhead position on the TRX.
  • Hips, Hamstrings, Calf & Knee: Copenhagen Plank, Crab Walk with Band, Lateral Lunge, Nordics, Swiss ball Leg Curl, Banded Leg Curl, Hip Thrusts, Calf Raise, Petersen Step-ups.

Workout 3

a. Box Squat with Bands

  • Week 1: 50% + Bands 12 x 2
  • Week 2: 55% + Bands 10 x 2
  • Week 3: 60% + Bands 8 x 2

b. Posterior Chain superset

Bosch Squat s/s Bosch Hamstring 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

c. Band Bench Press

  • Week 1: 50% + Bands 8 x 3
  • Week 2: 55% + Bands 9 x 3
  • Week 3: 60% + Bands 10 x 3

d. 3-way Shoulder Raise

(DB Lateral Raise, Plate Front Raise, Bent Raise)

e. Football Bar Bench Press 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

S/S

Pendlay Row 3,4,5 x 10 (add a set each week)

f. + CARE x 5 exercises

In closing, I sincerely hope that you find some elements of these programs that you may be able to utilize in either your training or that of the training of your players, irrespective of whether they are rugby players or football players. I believe there is a good positive transfer to be achieved with these methods.

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