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Rugby fitness training - Resistance exercises

Resistance training is used to enhance your strength, muscle size and coordination. Strength can be defined as the maximum force produced at a specific velocity (speed).

The definition refers to the element of how quickly a force is applied. The speed a force is applied is an important yet often overlooked element of strength. Traditionally strength is perceived as the ability to move the heaviest weight possible. However, this is just one aspect within the overall picture.

The application of time to the definition of strength means it can be classified as either slow speed maximum strength or fast speed strength.

Slow-speed strength.

This is also referred to as maximum strength. It is the maximum amount of force that can be produced e.g. the heaviest weight you can lift or the most force you can push with during a ruck or maul. This is an important aspect in rugby where the player who holds the greater maximum strength will prove dominant in contact situations.

Fast-speed strength.

Fast-speed strength, or just speed strength is defined as the force produced at high velocities. It is the force produced in around 0.2 sec or less. Training for speed strength increases the amount of force the athlete can produce within this 0.2sec time frame. Speed strength may often be called his power

Resistance training

The objective of resistance training is to increase a player's fast speed and slow speed strength as well as muscle size if so necessary. A players strength has a major influence upon performance as it underlies speed, agility and success in contact situations.

Development of muscle mass increases the athlete's weight and positively influences maximum strength. An additional benefit of resistance training is that the stronger muscles protect the joints and therefore decrease the chances of injury.

Resistance training techniques.

There are an almost endless combination of resistance training programmes that can be designed by adjusting the variables of reps, rest, sets, exercise order, intensity (weight used) or exercise performed.

The specific combination of these variables can dramatically change the effect of training to produce increases in maximum strength, muscle size, endurance, power.

Periodization - the key to success in resistance training

The theory of periodization was designed to optimize results from weight lifting. It is essential you use this or you will never achieve your potential. Every professional athlete in the world uses it and so should you. The belief that one training programme will achieve all your goals is totally wrong and undermines your best efforts. Read more about periodization here.

Combining the techniques

Resistance training is just one of the different training areas any serious rugby player should focus upon.

The mains areas to focus upon are agility, sprint training, plyometrics, resistance training, aerobic fitness, core and flexibility. The combination of these based upon your specific needs will produce dramatic results.

To optimize the benefits from training any conditioning routine must be backed up by nutrition. The most effective sports nutrition system in the world is metabolic typing. It is used by many professional teams. It is based on discovering your unique nutritional needs.

The final aspect of performance is ensuring the mind is tuned for success. This can be done by using Emotional freedom technique (EFT). A powerful psychological method.


Ben Wilson Rugby Fitness Training

Ben Wilson Conditioning Coach

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