Preseason Training

The time has come for the Dukes to start full training, We have 10 weeks until the club will be starting the season.  

A 9 week program has been designed for the club, starting January 30th 2012.
Initially there will be 2 club sessions offered for pre-season training.  1 Club session on Wednesdays starting at 6:30 and 1 recommended club session on Saturdays starting at TBA and will continue until the start of our club trials in March
It is recommended that we all complete our own training for at least 3 days a week.  A suggested program is below, and if followed, will result in a the club being overall fit and committed leading to less injuries during the season.
The Wednesday sessions will initially involve Interval training and a level of continuous exercise including rugby specific drills.  Saturday (Recommended) will generally be a Fartlekking session (see notes section 4 below for more details).
The full recommended Program designed for the Dukes is below:
Monday – Interval Training (self session)
Tuesday – Weight Training and Plyometrics (self session)
Wednesday – Interval Training and Rugby Specific drills (Club Session)
Thursday – Weight Training and Plyometrics (self session)
Friday – Off
Saturday – Fartlekking (Recommended Club Session)
Sunday – Long Slow Distance (self session)

Below are some notes on the Program as to how we should be approaching this as well as exercises which have been recommended to assist individual training.
1. WEIGHT TRAINING 

At a minimum, the following exercises should be performed. The emphasis is on upper body strength since all of the running involved will work the lower body a lot. Still, some strength and flexibility training of the lower body should be included.

1. Military Presses – From a sitting position pushing weight directly over your head.
2. Deltoid Lifts – From a sitting position lifting weight outward and to the side.
3. Biceps Curls – From a sitting position lifting weight by bending your arms.
4. Triceps Extensions – From a sitting position lifting weight by extending your arms.
5. Pull Downs – From a sitting position pulling weight downward and behind your neck.
6. Butterflies – From lying on your back with your arms either fully extended or bent at the elbow lifting weight from your sides without bending your arms (i.e.-not using you biceps to lift the weight).
7. Leg Curls – Like Biceps Curls except using your legs while lying on your stomach.
8. Leg Extensions – Like Triceps Extensions except using your legs while sitting.
9. Anything Else that Suits Your Fancy– Hand and wrist strengthening exercises, neck work for front row players, situps, stomach crunches, or whatever.

Rules

  • Choose a weight with which you can perform at least 8 reps and no more than 12. 
  • If you cannot do 8, go on to the next exercise and remember to pick a lower weight next time. 
  • If you can lift more than 12, move on and next time pick a higher weight. 
  • All lifts are done to a count of TWO TO LIFT, a count of FOUR TO LOWER. 
  • The goal is to reach “momentary muscular failure,” that is that you cannot lift any more weight without resting. 
  • Move immediately to the next exercise. 
  • YOU NEED ONLY TO PERFORM ONE SET PER TRAINING PERIOD.

2. INTERVAL TRAINING
The purpose behind Interval Training is to stress your body and to decrease the recovery time you need to take. In the Off-season, allow a work to rest ratio of one-to-four. In the late Preseason and the In-season the work to rest ratio should be around one-to-three or one-to-two (very businesslike).
A simple interval training exercise set is as follows:

One 25
One 50
One 75
One 100
One 75
One 50
One 25

Total for one set = 400.

Between runs walk back to the starting line and run the next sprint. The 25’s and 50’s are run at full pace, the 75’s and 100’s at 80% or so. The best way to run them is to find a football, soccer, or Rugby pitch. For a Rugby pitch, begin at the midline and sprint to one 22, turn around and sprint to the far 22, turn around and run (80%) to the goal line, turn around and run (80%) to the other goal line, turn around and run (80%) to the far 22, turn around and sprint to the other 22, turn around and sprint to the midline. That’s one set.

You will do better if you can run these with a partner. Your brain will tell you that you are tired long before you need to stop. Running with a partner will probably keep you going through the exercise.

Initially you should shoot for four to six sets. In the later Preseason and during the In-season period you should be looking at five to eight  sets.

I have also attached a nine week Interval Training Program (below) that has been designed for us to get a more structured approach.

3. INTERVAL PROGRAM 

This Interval Training Program is a two night per week, nine week course designed to develop acceleration, speed, and endurance. All Intervals are run at either FULL SPEED (flat out) or at FAST SPEED (75% to 85% of maximum effort) with a brisk walk and/or jog back to the start. Alternate starting foot with each run. The Program is quite demanding and NO SUBSTITUTE ACTIVITIES ARE ACCEPTABLE!

WEEK ONE – 30/01/2012

Monday (Self Session)
2 x 400 metres (FAST)          
4 x 200 metres (FAST)          
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
 4 x 300 metres (FAST)         
2 x 100 metres (FAST)          
2 x 100 metres (FULL)          
           
WEEK TWO – 6/02/2012
Monday (Self Session)
3 x 400 metres (FAST)          
3 x 200 metres (FAST)          
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
2 x 300 metres (FAST)          
2 x 200 metres (FAST)          
2 x 100 metres (FAST)          
2 x 100 metres (FULL)          
           
WEEK THREE – 13/02/2012
Monday (Self Session)
4 x 400 metres (FAST)          
5 x 75 metres (FULL)
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
1 x 400 metres (FAST)          
2 x 200 metres (FAST)          
5 x 100 metres (FAST)          
4 x 75 metres (FULL)
           
WEEK FOUR – 20/02/2012
Monday (Self Session)
2 x 200 metres (FAST)          
4 x 100 metres (FAST)          
5 x 75 metres (FULL)
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
4 x 75 metres (FAST)
4 x 100 metres (FAST)          
1 x 200 metres (FAST)          
8 x 50 metres (FULL)
1 x 200 metres (FAST)          
4 x 100 metres (FAST)          
4 x 75 metres (FULL)
           
WEEK FIVE – 27/02/2012
Monday (Self Session)
2 x 200 metres (FAST)          
6 x 100 metres (FAST)          
9 x 25 metres (FULL)
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
11 x 25 metres (FULL)          
7 x 75 metres (FAST)
3 x 100 metres (FAST)          
3 x 200 metres (FAST)          
3 x 100 metres (FAST)          
2 x 75 metres (FAST)
11 x 25 metres (FULL)          
           
WEEK SIX – 5/03/2012
Monday (Self Session)
2 x 400 metres (FAST)          
2 x 200 metres (FAST)          
6 x 100 metres (FULL)          
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
4 x 200 metres (FAST)          
3 x 100 metres (FAST)          
3 x 100 metres (FULL)          
5 x 75 metres (FAST)
5 x 75 metres (FULL)
1 x 400 metres (FAST)          
           
WEEK SEVEN – 12/03/2012
Monday (Self Session)
2 x 300 metres (FAST)          
12 x 50 metres (FULL)          
1 x 300 metres (FAST)          
10 x 75 metres (FULL)          
1 x 300 metres (FAST)          
10 x 25 metres (FULL)          
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
1 x 300 metres (FAST)          
10 x 75 metres (FULL)          
9 x 25 metres (FULL)
10 x 50 metres (FULL)          
9 x 25 metres (FULL)
           
WEEK EIGHT            19/03/2012
Monday (Self Session)
19 x 25 metres (FULL)          
15 x 50 metres (FULL)          
10 x 100 metres (FULL)        
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
10 x 100 metres (FAST)        
10 x 75 metres (FULL)          
10 x 50 metres (FULL)          
26 x 25 metres (FULL)          
           
WEEK NINE   26/03/2012
Monday (Self Session)
3 x 200 metres (FAST)          
2 x 100 metres (FULL)          
10 x 75 metres (FULL)          
10 x 50 metres (FULL)          
14 x 25 metres (FULL)
           
Wednesday (Club Session)
15 x 25 metres (FULL)          
10 x 50 metres (FULL)          
5 x 75 metres (FULL)
3 x 100 metres (FAST)          
2 x 200 metres (FAST)          
3 x 100 metres (FULL)          
5 x 75 metres (FULL)
10 x 50 metres (FULL)          
15 x 25 metres (FULL)          

4. FARTLEKKING

Fartlek is a Scandinavian word meaning “speed play.” The exercise is unstructured and allows you to sprint, run, and walk over varied terrain. Rugby Fartleks, however, are a bit more structured.

For the Dukes, we will be initially following the structure below (See diagram for example):

·         Jog,

·         Sprint,

·         Exercise,

·         Walk,

·         Repeat structure

Eventually we will remove the walk aspect.  These sessions will start at 30 – 45 minutes and increase

Example exercises after the sprint legs are:

  • 10 jumping jacks,
  • 10 push-ups,
  • 10 star jumps, or
  • 10 sit-ups, rotating through
These exercises can be just about anything, so long as they are continuous.

5. LONG SLOW DISTANCE (LSD) 

This is what everyone thinks of as jogging. LSD by itself will not get you fit enough to play Rugby! It is useful to build a good aerobic base upon which all other training is based. Shoot for 30 to 40 minutes (or more) of running at an enjoyable pace. It is especially useful for spreading out and eliminating the lactic acid built up during a match (hence its use on Sundays). The Sunday runs may be as little as 15 to 20 minutes. At no time, however, should LSD be considered a realistic substitute for any other training activity given in this Program. The “guts” of this Program are the Intervals and the Fartleks. You need to do them (religiously) in order to get the benefit!

6. RUGBY-SPECIFIC PLYOMETRICS 

Plyometrics require a complete warm-up (high knee marching, stretching, skipping, lunging, slow running with exaggerated movements, etc.). They are not high intensity/long duration exercises (like sprints). They are more like explosive, ballistic, maximum power exercises with a fairly long recovery time in between. We need to focus on quality of the exercise rather than quantity. The recovery time is necessary to allow your body to replenish the creatine phosphate energy system. If you do not allow recovery time, you are dipping into the lactic acid cycle and, eventually, the aerobic system. Neither of these produce the power we are seeking. (Be sure to warm-down at the end of the session, too.)

This means that there is a lot of “down time” when doing plyometrics. This is OK! Do them on days when you won’t be running much– maybe in conjunction with upper-body weight lifting/strength training– as they focus on leg work. Use the down time for mental rehearsal and imagery of what you will be doing next Saturday on the Rugby pitch!

This program is only suggestive. It involves about “400 foot contacts” (that’s a lot!) through various plyometric exercises (do not count warm-up exercises as “foot contacts”). You can alter the composition of the program, but do not exceed the 400 foot contacts. Work to rest ratio means the ratio between the time it takes to complete a sets of repetitions and the rest time between sets.

1. Depth Jump with 180 Degree Turn:

Jump/step off of a bench (18″ high or more), land on both feet, immediately jump as high as you can turning 180 degrees and land on both feet. Repeat. Alternate direction of turn with each repetition. Increase the difficulty by jumping up onto another bench or box (not really necessary, though). Perform 10 sets of 4 with a work to rest ratio of 1:5 or 1:10 to allow complete muscle recovery between sets (i.e.- if you perform 4 jumps in 20 seconds, rest for 100 to 200 seconds– 1.5 to 3 minutes– between sets). 
40 foot contacts

2. Depth Jump with 360 Degree Turn:

Same, but increase power of turn so that you go 360 degrees. Perform 10 sets of 4 with work to rest ratio of 1:5 or 1:10.
40 foot contacts

3. Pyramiding Box Hops:

Set up three benches, boxes, stools, chairs, etc. (18″ high) two to three feet apart. Start from the ground hopping up (swinging both arms at same time) onto the bench/box, then the ground, then the next bench/box, then the ground, etc., walk back to the start. Perform 10 sets of 4, work to rest of 1:5 or 1:10. 
120 foot contacts

4. Barrier Hops:

Set up three hurdles (can be anything), 18″ to 24″ high. Hop over each in line. Walk back to beginning. Perform 10 sets of 4. 
120 foot contacts

5. Alternate Bounding:

This is actually an exaggerated running action. Begin with a short (10 yard) jog to get up to speed. At the starting line begin “bounding,” pushing off hard with each step. The trailing leg should be extended, the knee bent (kick up your heels), and the leading leg extended as far forward as possible before landing without “braking” your momentum.. Go as far as possible and stay in the air as long as possible with each step. Bound 10 steps and walk back to the beginning. Perform 8 repetitions.
80 foot contacts