LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE! Blog 5 Jamie Burke: Training Tips From the Best: Includes Video Of A 320KG Bench Press @ 101 KG Body Weight!!!!!!!!!!!

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Getting the right environment for productive training is so important….

You don’t go to a nightclub and wear earphones!

You don’t study for your exams during a rock concert!

You don’t relax with a beer in the middle of a scrum!


So here are some of the things we do and don’t need to ensure a nourishing, productive and motivating training environment!

-Stick to the basics
Most of the training we will be doing will focus around very basic training that targets the body as a whole- legs, back, hips, chest and shoulders. Try to use a gym that supports – and provides for- this kind of training. If you use a gym that is full of isolation machines, such as leg extension, pek dek etc, then you will most likey get into using them too, which is not going to give you the kind of results you could achieve by sticking to basics- squats, bench press/dips/overhead press, deadlift, chins, side bends, weighted crunches etc

– Train with like minded people
If you are trying to get in great condition for a sport and you are training with someone who wants bigger arms for the summer, the chances are your training will not be as productive as it might be were you training with someone with similar goals.
I tend to coach teams as mini packs, of 4-12 members. This will help keep motivation high and provide a level of ‘in house’ healthy competition to keep all trainees working hard and trying to improve themselves each outing, as well as pushing their team mates- the more shared and endured, the stronger the pack- especially when the workouts are becoming tougher approaching the start of the season. You’ll need a wing man, it will get tough.

– Use a gym with few distractions
With music blaring, social gatherings, sensual sights and busy periods all trying to distract you may find it can be impossible to keep your mind on where it needs to be for serious training. Essentially you need a gym full of like minded people as we’ve described and free of such distractions- training is hard work and finishing the last few reps of your work sets can be super demanding, create an environment that nourishes and encourages this kind of effort! If you have to train in a commercial gym, try to go at quieter times, ask the staff to turn the music down (or put on something that will help you) and get the job done.

– Self consciousness
For men and women, if you are training in a strength and conditioning routine focusing on basic drills and weight training exercises, and you are training in a commercial environment, you may find that you are the only one in the gym training that way.
This is normal and a testament to how training has been diluted in recent years in an attempt for gym owners to make more money and have less supervision costs by offering ‘safer’ exercise equipment.
When was the last time you were in a commercial gym and saw someone really paying their dues in the squat rack with below parallel squats with 300lbs or more? Or deadlifting 300lbs or more? Not so many. So accept that you are there to do a job that others are not, keep your like minded training partners close and get to work and do not feel the need to justify your self to anyone.

– Over-reliance on supplementation
Selling food supplements is a very lucrative sideline for any gym. Supplements are promoted hard and can be marketed as a ‘patch for all sores’ . Quite simply, they are not. If your training is not productive, from 15 years experience i can tell you, that it is down to one or more of these factors being out of balance with the others- training intensity and frequency, rest and recovery ie-sleep quality and good nutrition.
This is not to say that any athlete would not benefit from the use of a good quality protein powder- they would and we will be looking at sports supplementation at a later date. At this time i would advise using a few protein shakes a day to help speed recovery and ignore all else- especially ANY kind of prohormone- these are simply watered down, over the counter steroids, with poor effects relative to their often severe side effects. Keep it real, and natural.

Bullies and show offs
Unsympathetic and disrespectful people who hog equipment, do not allow people to have their turn, pass belittling comments about others who have lesser builds than them, only serve to alienate people. Any gym with a lot of these kind of trainees is somewhere to be avoided.
Everyone likes to be the top of the pack but in training, leave your ego at the gym door. Getting stronger and better yourself is the key, not BEING the strongest in the gym, possibly risking injury to do so…. if you want to work with this attitude, put it into your skills, you are a rugby player and this is where you want to be at your absolute best.
I’ve seen the strongest guys in the gym go out on the pitch and get obliterated, and guys that are ‘weak’ in comparasin to their peers, go out there and cut swathes through their opponents. Go figure, but keep that level of competetive fire for the pitch.

In summary never use any equipment just because it is there, use what is right for you. Ignore anything and anyone that will hinder your progress in any way.YOU are in charge of your training, never surrender that authority to anyone else.


Basically you need some chalk for your hands, to prevent slippage and injury whilst doing deadlifts, chins etc. A lifting belt can be used for some exercises and for some individuals with certain bodytypes or who have been injured, (contact me if you feel you fall into this group) but is mosty not recommended. You don’t wear it on the pitch, so lets not use it in the gym.
Insulating tape- to tape callouses on the hands and for the shins to prevent chafing when deadlifting. I’m sure the legs get enough damage in the game itself without subjecting them to more in the gym.

Any questions welcome- please leave your FULL NAME and the TEAM you PLAY for (if applicabale) I look forward to hearing from you!


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