Rugby players do spend a good portion of a game running but their most powerful asset to have on the field is strength. Rugby is a high impact contact sport that is brutal, physically intense and demanding.
As brutal as rugby is, it is one of the very few sports where players are not padded up to the nines in protective gear. In fact, rugby players need to rely on the power and strength of their bodies and minds to protect themselves from grave injury.
Mental focus is key to being alert, following the strict rules and aiming for that touch down. Some positions are more gruelling than others which means players need to train according to their spot on the team but overall strength is a necessity for all of the players.
The players all look powerful and endowed with strength but it those that perform the best are those that have the rugby bets placed on them. It is also those rugby players that perform the best, which have the greatest rugby strength training programmes.
Pre-Season Power and Strength Training
Before players focus their training on stamina, they focus exclusively on power and strength. This means heavy lifting. Rugby weight training is all about lifting as heavy as possible but a good warm up is key to not hurting any muscles and it is important for players to not over lift if their power is not already up to standard.
Rugby weight training starts with deep and heavy squats. Thereafter players focus on chin ups and other power building exercises that work and strengthen the correct muscles.
What a Strength Training Programme Involves
A player might undertake three days of full body weight training and one day of cardio per week. Squats, bench presses, bent over row, seated external rotation, chin ups, military press, deadlift, planks, good mornings and farmer’s walk work outs are some of the most common weight training exercises.
Players start their week at a certain weight and do a specific number of reps. Each day, or even rep, can see an increase in weight and an increase in the number of reps done.
It is important that players take care of their backs and do not over lift anything. Strengthening their backs is, of course, a vital part of their training.
Nutrition for Power and Strength
Nutrition is a very important part of rugby players maintaining their power and strength. A healthy diet fuelled with fish, chicken, greens, fruit and nuts and so on is important but a steady intake of carbohydrates is essential for rugby strength training.
Down days can see a low intake of carbohydrates but when players are training and right before a game, they must have a healthy dose of carbohydrates to burn off.
Staying hydrated is also essential for rugby players so drinking plenty of water at all times is a must. Steering clear of foods and drinks with high sugar is important too.