moni 7s newCraig Monaghan takes some time out to answer your strength and conditioning questions.

What do you recommend for IN-season work outs? I can’t seem to find any through Google. I would assume it would be some of the basic lifts with high reps.

I play flanker, if that helps you answer the question any.

-2bfersher reddit

I wanted to ask you about IN-season work outs. What is a good regimen? I’ve only seen workouts for in-season for American Football and Baseball. They usually have the players doing some very high reps for some general work outs (i.e. 2x 12 Back Squats, 2 x 10 Bench, etc.). Is this the same for Rugby? Should players even be maintaining lifts during the season. 

-email Jonathan


Totally feel that there isn’t enough in season stuff out there if you check out my website in a few weeks I’ll make sure there’s is something for you. I also have plans for a YouTube Chanel too, however what I and people I train tend to do is is a circuit I call a bar circuit, you load a body pump bar (smaller than a bench bar) with a weight that’s tough. I use 20kg and you start with 10 reps on everything I say following this so – bicep curls, outer curls, standing shoulder press, squats, calve raises, upright row! Then you train a key muscle factor (different one each day) then finish with the same circuit but go for 15 reps then up it and down it to suite fitness levels! Hope this helps any problems contactable via twitter @craig_monaghan 

Hi Craig, I’ve found recently that although I’m regularly hitting the gym and training hard the strength increases aren’t really coming, particularly on the bench press. I haven’t really been able to add any extra weight for a couple of months now as my strength hasn’t improved. any tips

-Pete comments

Hi, I had a similar problem a few years ago and I was told to drop weight and go for higher reps. Whilst this semi worked for me I now know and have a few clients who have stumbled across this problem now if your training with somebody it’s a lot easier as they can be there to help you, stack the bar at your max you can train on and then do one set of between 8/10. Then get your partner to add 1.75kg or 2.5kg do another 8/10 reps take off the added weight so you’re back to your basic do the same reps then add the weight back do 10 reps take the weight off and go until your partner has to lift the bar literally from you, do this on days you normally do chest and then the following week keep the weight on aim for 3/4 sets of 8 reps, and gradually add weight take a good pre workout and shake and post workout and eat well lots of protein and high energy bars, I can arrange with a good discount this for you and we can go from there can also do a decent programme for gains contact via email – or twitter @craig_monaghan

“What extra-curricular activities would you recommend for a Sports Science student interested in becoming a Strength and Conditioning coach?”

-email Connor

Hi, my advice would be research, get yourself on YouTube watch strength and conditioners train athletes, a lot of strength and conditioners like myself are that involved in sport they’re pro athletes themselves, that’s how I started as a rugby player with a bit of MMA. Get yourself down to the local rugby club or fight gym or both if you have the time, ask can you join in classes so you have a good understanding of the difference between PT and BC then start shadowing their conditioners, write your own programmes and try them. Research and doing it yourself is the best advice, making sure you are as fit if not fitter as the athletes massively helps if of course you’re not an athlete yourself make sure too that anything they can do you can do, and be better at it so they automatically get your respect its key. Any problems you’re welcome to contact me.

Hi Craig,
For the last few years my shoulder has undergone injury after injury with no doctor being able to figure out exactly why. At this point I am almost afraid to go back to the gym to try and reignite my weight training. Recently, a friend told me about intense sprint interval training and its effectiveness at building all around muscle without having to lift. I just wanted to know your thoughts are as I can no longer really do any training that involves stress on my shoulder.

-Patrick comments

I’m sorry to hear about your shoulder I’ve recently recovered from a part rupture in mine, have you tried private physios they’re abit pricey but well worth it, they don’t miss a thing. The advice you’ve been given is good but only for so long, I’d love to do a programme for you and help, swimming is a good place to start as that will mainly help strengthen and cardio, also natural body weight will help too, doing movements and exercise with no weight just yourself shoulder injuries are like cryptinite for athletes we all dread them going. Do get in contact with me via email

Hi Craig, I’m in my mid 40′s and in decent physical condition, 6’0″, 235, but lacking in endurance. I also have osteoarthritis in my knees. Lucky me, but I can tolerate the pain. I’d like to play rugby 7′s. Is there a conditioning program you can recommend for me? I know my work is cut out for me already. Thanks for your time.

-David comments

Hi, love that you want to get on the 7s scene, it’s how I started. It’s going to be tough given your age and injury but nothing’s unachievable, I would recommend you spend some time leg strengthening and doing sprints, body weight squats calve raises, scissors and lunges then gradually add weight with a bar and increase your workout as you go along! Make sure your diet and recovery supplements are on the ball, this will be key in this, I can help get you a good selection with some discount, also get yourself on a rugby field and kick and chase the ball you want to end up being under that ball before it’s in catching distance you want to be able to catch and practice catching and carrying the ball until you have that confidence you can catch with one hand and break through with the other! Get back to me if you want any supplements via


Can you touch on some drills for speed and explosiveness?

-Steven comments

Hi, speed and explosiveness is fairly simple if you do it right, firstly strengthen your legs till they feel like they could do anything but you don’t want huge legs you want to be nimble, speed and agility hoops and jump bars are a good way; line 6 hoops up 20 metres from your start point then do the jump bars 20 metres from that! Start off jogging to the hoops work your way through explode into a sprint on the finish jump the bars explode out and repeat until your legs fail, stairs are a brilliant idea; start at the bottom run up and down them once and then jump up them four at a time and down them then run up them again and down do this a few times a week you will see you will improve massively


I’m struggling with the size of my calves, I’ve been told that many in my family have big calves, but I need something which can make them smaller? Do you have any suggestions? I do regular exercise etc but can’t find anything that works!


-Kate comments

Hi, this is a tough question as if its muscle it’s very hard to shift, are they out of proportion to the top of your legs or not? It could be sorted with simple sprints and sauna suits. Get in touch I see you have me on twitter!

What’s the key factor in conditioning grassroots players? running? KBs? beep-test, etc?

-Yuri Twitter

Grassroots is a important start for players looking into the future so to condition and become stronger and bigger is key from diet and supplements but also a good circuit three times a week and target muscle training 3 times a week, also keep your cardio up so that you can move quickly with strength! All rugby players want to be big and strong but the best are strong and fit that can go the distance! Danny Cipriani, Owen Farrell and Jonny Wilkinson all started by making sure they were the fittest on the field.

What do you recommend supplement wise before, during & after training?

-Dom email

Hi Dom, check out they do some brilliant bundles however don’t order until you get in touch ill be able to get you a better price – 

Hey Craig,

I’m looking to increase strength for the rugby season but don’t really want to gain any more size, any tips?

Thanks Charl,

-Charlotte email

Hi Charlotte I can recommend circuit training and swimming all brilliant ways also a good full body workout would suit you. Diet is key and supplements!