As we approach the start of the 2020 Guiness Six Nations Rugby Union Championships I thought I would take a look at the intensive training the players endure in order for them to succeed at this most physical of games. To help me do that I have referred to the experts at Elitefts™ to outline all the significant training factors. Ashley Jones is a Strength and Conditioning coach with over 25 years of experience who was awarded NSCA Coach of the Year in 2016. In January 2017, Marc Keys castironstrength.com and Ashley embarked upon a labor of love to develop a questionnaire investigating what the various groups of people who make up the rugby industry think are the key elements of the physical preparation of the rugby player. Blog below.
It has taken a while to compile and apologies to all those who replied to the questionnaire, so any inaccuracies in the reporting are entirely my own. We used a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being least important and 5 being most important; all averages are rounded to one decimal place.
Of course, with this type of survey/questionnaire, there are likely to be some inaccuracies: Was there collusion between players doing it at the same time? Have players and strength and conditioning coaches responded as accurately as possible? Did players have preferential biases behind the answers, such as “I like training for this, but not for this”?
The survey was sent internationally, but one flaw in the reporting process was that the competition that each respondee was currently involved in was not requested. Many aspects are open for individual interpretation, but I sincerely believe that it is a solid starting point to open discussions with groups to attempt to get the best possible training plan in place to optimize rugby performance.
World Rugby lists the key physical fitness components required to play the game of rugby as:
- Strength and power
- Speed and agility
- Endurance — general endurance and multi-sprint/activity
In my words: fitter, faster, and stronger, but to break this down further, we needed to categorize elements within each component of fitness. For this particular survey, the following areas were investigated:
- Strength: maximal strength, power, muscular endurance
- Metabolic: aerobic ability to recover, repeated efforts ability to complete high-intensity efforts back to back, contact fitness
- Speed: first step quickness (0-5m), acceleration (5-20m), top-end (30+m)
- Agility: acceleration/deceleration, lateral (slide/shadowing in D), footwork/sidestep
To read the rest of the article follow this link – https://www.elitefts.com/education/the-physical-requirements-that-make-a-rugby-player-great/
Check out the top 4 strength and conditioning picks for rugby training below: