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Old 08-05-2009, 05:59 PM   #21
Nick Hunter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 60

Sounds like good training, Mark. I don't know how you mix plyo stuff with deadlifts. When I was deadlifting it was like the only focus for about 45 minutes! I would take 6-7 minutes rest between each set. I got a big deadlift pretty quick, but probably could have used that time more wisely...

Other rugby specific training I've been aware of:

Jammer holding medicine ball.
I don't know if you have access to a jammer (the machine AM. Football players use to train line-of-scrimmage power) but doing them one handed with the med ball is great for building a proper fend.

Heavy dumbbell work.
Higher level rugby programs I've seen love unilateral work or non-barbell pressing to hit shoulder stabilizers as much as possible.

High rep training.
A lot of the time we get into strength training and forget that we have to maintain a good portion of whatever strength we possess for 80 minutes. Indeed, I'd hate to be 250lbs of 12-rep muscle and immediately gas with no real power, but I'd also hate to be a solid 215, diesel in the tackle with a huge squat, but not be able to repeat it in the mauls or ruck after ruck.

I don't remember if you were even looking for any of this or if it's helpful. I just have a lot of time right now!

Cheers Mark.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #22
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55

Thanks Nick. I think you hit the nail on the head... rugby is a sport that (no matter what your position in the modern game) you need to be strong and fast and fit and co-ordinated for the full 80 minutes. Training needs to reflect this.

Survived another session with the club today. Again, no contact but while I was just happy to make it through on Tuesday, this evening I was very frustrated with myself.. I was always pretty well co-ordinated and quick on my feet, but now I have to almost plan my movements, which means reaching for an awkwardly bouncing ball or even moving to get under a high ball is difficult and cumbersome. Also, driving off my left leg, especially if it's sudden, isn't easy. I can't put the power through it properly. Walking is automatic. Imagine having to plan and conciously move your legs and you're not a million miles away from what I'm feeling right now.

My guess/hope is that it's a time thing and muscle memory etc will save the day with enough repetitions, but it did get me down a bit. Still, I've got a couple of months before I'll be trying to play a match... time is on my side, but only just.

Off for a long weekend and then back on Monday to make a real start on this home straight of my rehab.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:53 PM   #23
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55

great weekend off with my brother and dad, riding motorbikes in deepest, darkest North Wales. Some seriously good scenery, roads, eating and even a run-in with the law to top off a brilliant boys weekend.

Back to rugby this evening and I felt a lot more positive than on Thursday where my lack of sharpness was getting to me. Still a long way to go but felt genuine improvements on movement and speed so much happier.

Most of tonight was running through backline moves so a good interval-type workout, plus one of the coaches has a 'thing' for press-ups so lots of them!

The ultimate shape of my schedule is still being formed but should have a direction ready for tomorrow. Diet slowly coming together and hoping for some progress on losing the power-belly by end of the week... I start a physiotherapy degree in 7 weeks and my aim is to be 180-185lbs by then (about 2lb a week should cover it).
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #24
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55

Hammerstrength Bench Press with clapping push-ups
120kg x 4 + 5
130kg x 3 + 5
130kg x 2 + 5

Deadlift with Power Clean
135kg x 4 + 60kg x 5
140kg x 2 + 65kg x 5
135kg x 1 + 65kg x 5

Hammerstrength Row
80kg x 12
80kg x 12
80kg x 9

- knee felt good after yesterday, still sore on the tendon but joint-line itself was fine. Loosened up nicely over the day.
- have gone from free-weight bench to hammerstrength, lack of spotter is restricting me. Focused on pushing as hard and as fast as possible.
- deadlift is a bitch. 135kg felt way easier than I was expecting, and probably had 2 or even 3 more reps in the first set but held back and upped weight next set. First pull was easy again, then suddenly my grip becomes the limiting factor in a big way. As soon as I can I'm getting wraps. I know it's not ideal but when I'm benching almost as much as I'm deadlifting something is wrong. Cleans were easy, but again grip on last set made me have to check the speed.
- Just wanted to hit back a bit more so threw some rows on the end.

Rugby again tomorrow, think it will be mainly drills. Starting to be able to imagine taking contact again which is a step forward from last week. Still... easy does it, I have 6 weeks before games start and there's no law that says I have to play straight off.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:50 AM   #25
Nick Hunter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 60

Nice training man. Are you using opposing grip for the deadlift? Also, grip will become extremely difficult if you're doing multi-rep sets of power cleans in between them, and if you are doing anything else before the deadlifts. I am continually confused by your need to shove taxing exercises between deadlift sets! Welshmen...

From your last log it would seem more efficient to do:

Power Clean 3x5
Deadlift 3x3
Bench Press 3x3
Clapping Pushups 3x5
Rows 3x12

Then again, I don't know what you're going for... as you are a welsh mystery...
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:02 AM   #26
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55

Hi Nick - Welsh mystery? I like it!

Believe it or not, the mixing plyo/explosive lift with a heavy mvmt I found in an English book - The RFU Guide for Coaches: Fitness and Conditioning.

It's called contrast training and the idea goes that the combining of a heavy compound lift with a plyo or explosive lift will increase the RFD (rate of force development) which, as I understand it, equates to more carry-over of strength into power/speed. This is also the basis for Barry Ross's speed program and a couple of others. I don't know if it works yet but I do know I like it and it makes sense to me! The Welsh mystery is solved... by an English book.

I am using a split-grip for the deadlift and getting very frustrated. I'm deadlifting later on but have decided to avoid the straps for another month. If there's no improvement I'm getting the straps involved.

I will also be breaking with my usual attitude of steady state cardio being crap today because while I am too sore to do Litvi's or sprints, I do need to step up the fat-loss so will be tacking on an extra 40 minutes of x-trainer after lifting.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:03 PM   #27
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55

Yesterday was rugby again, went well - felt a little less sharp than Tuesday but that was because of training a couple of days before.

Knee was fine today, just the usual ache and stiffness in the tendon which loosened enough for training today....

Hammerstrength Bench with clapping push ups
135kg x 3 + 5
130kg x 4 + 5
130kg x 3 + 5

Deadlift with powerclean
140kg x 2 + 70kg x 5
140kg x 1 + 70kg x 5
130kg x 2 + 70kg x 5


40 mins, hill program, lvl 12

- bench felt strong, up to 132.5kg next week, clapping push-ups seemed to have more drive too.
- deadlift was, as usual, frustrating. My posterior chain could probably hammer out 5 of the 140kg reps at the moment but my grip allows only 2. Power cleans were fine though. Keep weight here for a while to maintain the speed of the movement.
- Chins were pretty explosive and chin to bar for most of reps, nose to chin for the rest.

Have been eating clean since Tuesday so hoping to be 198lbs tomorrow. Sprints and a bit of fitness tomorrow, legs on Sunday and then rest, glorious rest, on Monday.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:10 PM   #28
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55

Weighed in at 199lbs today and also had confirmation of my place on a physiotherapy course starting September 28th... you can bet your sweet ass I'm not looking like this when I get there!

I've been looking around for a while and the feedback on Lyle McDonalds RFL program looks like the balls. It's not going to help me with my training for my long term goals of getting quicker, stronger and fitter but I'm going to use it as a shot in the arm to get my body composition nearer where it needs to be. Plus, being 15-20lbs lighter will make me quicker by default!

So, for the next 6 weeks I'll do this before moving onto something more supportive of my performance goals. Training is still going to be 2 rugby sessions, 2 lifting days and 1 short sprint workout a week. I'll tag on an extra 20-40 minutes of low intensity cardio.

Took today off because I had too many errands to run, then the world championship athletics came on the tv.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:50 AM   #29
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55
Default RFL Day 1

RFL Day 1
40" waist
16.75" arm
26% BF (accumeasure)

17g f
25g c
183g p

Alternating Leg Press with Vertical Jumps
65kg(x2) x 4 + 3 jumps
65kg(x2) x 5 + 3 jumps
70kg(x2) x 4 + 3 jumps

SLDL with 20" Box Jumps
120kg x 5 + 5 jumps
130kg x 3 + 5 jumps
130kg x 3 + 5 jumps

40 mins, lvl 12, hill program

-the leg press was interesting because the first set I thought I'd over-estimated the weight I could lift - the first reps were very slow and uncomfortable on my left leg - but then it was like my leg 'woke up' and, while still uncomfortable, I could push more. Maybe I'm starting to overcome that muscular inhibition thing.
-SLDL was same story as normal deadlift, grip becomes such an issue that I focus us much on that as on form - wraps have been ordered and should be here ready for next session. Box jumps were fun - only a low box but first time trying it.
-x-trainer was boring but fine
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:30 PM   #30
mark williams
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 55
Default RFL Day 2

197lbs (-2lbs)
20.7g fat
19.7g carbs
211.9g protein

No training today, legs feel surprisingly fresh after yesterday but not tempted to hit the gym.

Diet was ok today, felt hungry this evening and ended up succumbing to 50g or so more extra lean mince than planned so fat and protein were higher than yesterday - will be bringing back down tomorrow.

2lbs loss is obviously water but nice to see the numbers moving anyway.

Tomorrow is rugby practice and knee is feeling stronger again, less discomfort in the tendon following training etc so looking forward to progressing more this week.

Overview for this week

Monday - off
Tuesday - rugby
Wednesday - Strength (BP/PU; DL/PC) + easy cardio
Thursday - rugby
Friday - Strength (BP/PU; DL/PC) + easy cardio
Saturday - Speed (pyramid sprints) + easy cardio
Sunday - Legs (LP/VJ; RDL/BOXJ) + easy cardio

I'm supplementing with a multi-vitamin, the omega 3/glucosamine/chondroitin tabs and Creatine E2 (to help fuel my brief strength and sprint workouts). I need to re-read the RFL plan to see what the recommendation is for fuelling the slightly longer workouts (rugby mainly) - 5g or so of carbs pre-workout rings a bell but I could be wrong.
This diet is not ideal for improving performance in the short term but I think long-term, this relatively brief declaration of all-out war on the blubber is the way to go.
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