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Strength

Strength & Power - How & why for rugby players?

It is without doubt that two players side by side, the same weight, speed, fitness & skill level, will be drastically different players if one possessed superior strength & power.
man standing in a squat rack with a barbell after receiving online pt coaching
Strength

In the modern game its arguably the most important &time consuming aspect of fitness to develop. You need to play the long game if you want to develop really good strength and power levels, and as a bi product of this will inevitably be increased muscle mass. Developing strength, power and muscle mass has enormous benefits on your size, speed, jump ability, physicality & durability to name a few if trained properly.

A 100kg player will survive in the game of rugby a lot better than his equivalent self with 5kg less of muscle.

If we are going to get specific between Strength & Power, we commonly agree here at SW7 it’s power that separates the men from the boys, the elite from the sub-elite, and the world class from the very good. But why?

 When you accelerate, more power will aid this. When you hit a player in contact, either in attack or defence, the ability to generate power quickly will have a huge impact on the force you will be able to produce. If you’re engagement into the scrum is quicker, you win the hit, and are subsequently on the front foot. If you need to leap for a high ball, power will enable you to jump higher. I think you get our point.

 However, what is the most common mistake we see with this in young athletes? After hearing this, you want to go straight to the gym and develop power, and we don’t blame you! I love the enthusiasm for this, and the work ethic, and the will to get better, but a better strategy must be put in place.  

Let us explain. Strength foundation. What does this mean? Well, for the novice trainer who hasn’t got much experience in the gym, you need to develop strength first.

Let’s think. For example, if you have a maximum squat of100kg, and you’re asked to produce a speed squat at 50% of this load, 50kg, you will produce a power output. You will notice we use devices to measure this in our lifting clubs and in our social media posts. This is called velocity based training (VBT), which Chris will dive deeper into on another blog.

Now, let’s say we developed your squat strength, and we got your squat up to 120kg. Now if we asked you to perform the same test using50kg, you will produce more power with the strength foundation of a 120kg squat compared to 100kg. This will happen without even focussing directly on power. Strength comes first, power comes second. Once you’ve got your strength to a certain level, now we escalate your power output even higher with more specific training!

 

It’s like building a house. You don’t put on the roof before you’ve dug your footings and put in the foundations. For a younger, novice trainer this is why a ‘linear’ model of training when you have a strength phase, followed by a power phase will work better for you, rather than trying to juggle 3 balls and do muscle gain, strength and power all in a session(undulating training). That perhaps would suit a more advanced trainer who’s looking to maintain those qualities in-season, for example.

 

To develop the strength and power you need to consistently deliver at least 2-3 sessions a week in the gym for you to achieve this.Ideally 3, particularly if you don’t have a game on the weekend. You might be realising this is why pre-season is so important for young athletes!

 

If you’re serious about becoming the player you want to be, we would really recommend to invest the time in yourself, be patient, consistently do the work and over the course of months, (and to be perfectly honest with you, years is probably more accurate) you will achieve your goal and here at SW7, we want to help.

 

SW.

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Strength

Strength Training

Here you will find a collection of articles all about strength training. How to get stronger, types of training, reps and set as well as training volumes.

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Christ Tshiunza in the gym holding weights and exercising as part of an online pt coaching

How to Design a Strength Training Program for Your Sport

Designing the perfect strength training program for your sport. Learn how to tailor your workouts so you can excel in your sport, and discover how important it is to track progress to ensure great results.
Christ Tshiunza performing mobility for his pre season rugby fitness drills

Maximising Your Strength Gains: The Importance of Proper Form and Technique

The importance of proper form and technique in strength training. Discover how focusing on proper form and technique can help you get the most out of your workouts and minimise your risk of injury, especially in high-impact sports like rugby.
Athlete performing an exercise prescribed to him in his rugby weight training program pdf

The Role of Strength Training in Injury Prevention for Athletes

The role of strength training in injury prevention for athletes. Discover how improving muscle balance, stability, core strength and functional movement can help drastically reduce the risk of injury and keep you performing at an optimal level.
Sam Warburton performing a squat in the gym for rugby conditioning drills

5 Essential Strength Training Exercises for Improved Athletic Performance

5 essential strength training exercises we would recommend for improved athletic performance. Learn how squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups, and overhead press can help you become a stronger, more powerful athlete. Build those qualities and watch your performance increase!
Coaches handing Sam Warburton dumbbells

How to Design an Upper Body Session

Your guide to constructing the perfect upper body session.
sam warburton running as part of the pre season rugby fitness drills he’s completing

Fitness - How do I get fit for rugby?

Having basic fitness and being fit for rugby are two different things.
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faqs

here are some of most asked questions

We hope these help with any questions that you may have. If these don't answer yours in particular then feel free to reach out on Instagram or via email, we are here to help.

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knowledge hub

articles by sw7 academy

We provide programming and a community to help athletes develop but we also want to teach you as much as we can along the way.

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Sam Warburton discussing a rugby player meal plan on the app

Nutrition

When it comes to changing your body composition, either gaining muscle or losing body fat, nutrition will be the most important aspect.
man pressing dumbbells to increase his rugby fitness with coach watching

Fat loss

Fat loss is probably the most misled topic in the fitness industry. Here we will lay out the fundamentals for you in black and white.
mad holding medicine ball as part of a rugby conditioning program

Conditioning

Conditioning isn't just getting flogged up and down the pitch running shuttles there's lots more to it. We will talk about the different methods to conditioning.
man stretching his groin and adductors as part of his rugby training program for forwards

Rest & Recovery

Recovery is a huge part of the game. If you want to train and play for years to come its essential you take note of these articles.
man performing Bulgarian split squat programmed by the best app for weight training

Hypertrophy

Everything you need to know about gaining muscle mass. Incorporate this advice into your pre season rugby fitness drills.
Man doing exercise from one of the fitness coaching apps

Power

Power is one of the most important physical aspects for any rugby player. The ability to produce force in a short space of time will win or lose collisions.

We build athletes.

If you want to be a more powerful, stronger and more explosive version of yourself then join the team.

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