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Before starting an off season training cycles, you will need to structure it (see prev) But where to start in terms of volume and poundage? This can be guessed but is much better calculated from real results- so lets take a test day.


These must be measureable, specific and controlled- Measureable so results can be easily and accurately recorded, specific, as the tests must at leat partially require traits of strength and conditioning that are specific to rugby and controlled so that it is only your personal performance that varies the results, not any external factors. If you have already been training, and are familiar with the moves, i would use the following tests-
– SQUAT or DEADLIFT to maximum- perform whichever move you are most TECHNICALLY suited to- we want any difficulty or struggle in performance to come from the work the muscles are under, not due to a breakdown in technique. USE GOOD FORM.
The aim is for the maximum WEIGHT to RISE over time, testing and showing improvement in lower body STRENGTH.

– Dips for rep max- if you are able to more than 10, use weight between the legs.This will test the pressing musculature of the upper body in both strength and endurance.
– Chin ups for maximum repetitions.This will test the grip and all pulling muscles in the upper body for strength and endurance.
– Situps for 30 seconds- to determine core strength.
– Grip dynamometer, for specific grip and hand strength
– 5 x 50m sprints (timed) with 30 second breaks between each. This closely represents the game. The aim is to maintain the minimum time for the sprints over the 5 attempts.

These test results can be recorded and, on completion of your training block, repeated in order to guage progress.You will be able to find out where you are naturally weak and or strong and focus target these areas throughout the training period.

REMEMBER you only get OUT of training what you put IN.
Take the time to plan an affective schedule so you can maximise your results.

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