If you’re looking to build strength and help improve your performance out on the rugby pitch, then these tips could be just what you need:
If focussing purely on strength adaptations, try to limit your sets to five reps each. Studies have shown that working within the five-rep range delivers the best strength gains, whilst also allowing you to maintain perfect form.
If you have been spending time focussing on the bench press, switch this up and try an incline press to alter the stress being placed on the body and produce faster strength adaptions. Try this for a week or two and then notice the difference when you go back to traditional lifts.
3.Work on acceleration
The world’s best strength athletes are always working on the speed at which they can begin a lift. By focussing on the acceleration of the movement you are able to shift the mass quicker thereby increasing the rate of force production.
4.Focus on compound lifts
Whilst bicep curls and lat pull downs may look good on the beach, if you’re focussed on building strength, then you need to be doing big compound lifts. Focus your training around deadlifts, squats, bench press, pull ups, dips, rows, etc to build all round strength.
5.Go REALLY heavy
Studies have shown that by doing one rep at your heaviest, then dropping down to a weight for multiple reps you can increase strength dramatically. The heavy first rep fires up the body, and ensures your muscle fibres are prepared for more weight.
All too often, rugby players go straight into their training routine without ensuring their body is adequately warmed up. A good warm up set will get your muscles properly fired up and prepare your body for the workout, in addition to helping prevent injuries.
7.Stretch between sets
Stretching between sets can dramatically improve dynamic flexibility and improve joint mobility. Focus on dynamic stretches as static stretching has been shown to temporarily weaken the muscle, thereby reducing your ability to perform heavy lifts.
8.Ensure adequate rest
When regularly performing heavy compound movements, your body endures a huge amount of stress and can struggle to perform to the best of its ability. Consider taking two days off between heavy whole-body sessions to ensure your body is performing at peak condition.
Although training is important, if you want to make the most of your lifting then ensure you are fuelling your body properly. After a heavy session, ensure you eat a mixture of different carbs along with a good source of protein to ensure your body is fuelled for recovery.