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Rugby Off Season Workout

Rugby Off Season Workout

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Published by Manu Gonzalo

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Published by: Manu Gonzalo on Oct 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Not much about the max-e
ort move-ment has changed since my originalarticle was published. I still prefer a 3-5rep max (RM) - as opposed to a 1RM - formy skinny bastards. The one thing thathas changed – you’ll notice this lateron in this article - is the second move-ment on max-e
ort upper bodyday. We recentlystarted having ourathletes performtwo high-rep setsof an exercise im-mediately follow-ing the max-e
ortmovement. This high-repmovement is usu-ally an exercise that’s closely related tothe max-e
ort movement. For example,if our athletes performed a 3RM in thebench press, their second exercise maybe two sets of dumbbell benches. Wedon’t do this all the time, but it’s a new“twist” in our templates that wasn’tcovered in previous articles.
ort Lower Body
 This is obviously the biggest changefrom my original skinny bastard pro-gram. In my original program there wereabsolutely no dynamic days. I didn’tuse them because I believed my skinnybastards needed to devote all their timeto building muscle and developingstrength. After all, you can’t
ex bone!Although the main focus of my modi
edWestside program is still to build muscleand strength, I’ve had tremendous suc-cess during the past year by incorporat-ing a dynamic-e
ort lower body dayinto the program.My dynamic-e
ort lower body day, how-ever, is not what you think. With apolo-gies to all the skinny bastards that wereabout to lace up their Chuck Taylors,throw on their favorite Westside t-shirt,strap some bands and chains onto thebarbell and start squatting explosively-- you’re not ready for that yet! Experi-ence has shown me that skinny bastardsdo NOT respond well to having a barbellon their back twotimes per week.It’s simply tootaxing on theirbodies and theycan’t recover.Also, most skinnybastards have ahard enough timebox squattingwith a controlledtempo, so why onearth would I tryto have them perform the lift quickly? That said, how do I get my skinny bas-tards to start training their newfoundmuscle to contract explosively, yet in asafe and e
ective manner? The answeris simple: basic jump training!Incorporating box jumps, vertical jumps,broad jumps and hurdle jumps hashad a profound e
ect on our athletes’explosiveness and performance. I alsolike the fact that jumping helps improveathleticism. The box jump is a perfectexample of what I’m talking about here.In order to perform a box jump onto ahigh box, you must develop superior
exibility and mobility, as well as theincredible balance required to stick thelanding. I’m a fan of any exercise thathelps develop explosive power, mobilityand balance simultaneously!Another positive aspect of jumpingis that it doesn’t make you as sore assquatting. This is important because wedon’t want our dynamic-e
ort lowerbody day to take away from our max-ef-fort lower body day. You’ll also notice inthe sample workouts below that I keepthe volume very low on the assistanceexercises during dynamic-e
ort lowerbody day. Once again, this is because wedon’t want to be sore for the max-e
ortworkout. This low volume “jumping”workout has complimented our athletes’heavy lower body days extremely well!
Repetition Upper Body
 The Repetition Upper Body Day remainsa staple of the Skinny Bastard program.We still perform our main exercise inthe same fashion outlined in my originalarticle, choosing an exercise and per-forming 3 sets of max reps with minimalrest. Although I use the term “max reps,”I advise that you don’t go to failure onthe
rst two sets. Instead, I recommendleaving 1 or 2 reps “in the tank” duringthe
rst two sets and then going allout for the third (
nal) set. Also, in myoriginal article I recommended a oneminute rest period between sets. Experi-ence has shown that one minute of restis insu
cient for most athletes. I nowrecommend 90 seconds rest betweenrepetition sets for most females andbeginners, and three minutes rest forstronger athletes. (Three minutes is themax rest period I suggest for the mainlift on Rep Upper Body Day.)Another change we’ve made is that wedon’t always perform 3 sets of max repson our main lift during Rep Upper BodyDay. Sometimes, we just use a basic“bodybuilding” set/rep scheme. Forexample, instead of performing 3 sets of max reps in the incline dumbbell benchpress, we may simply perform 4 sets of 12 reps with 2-3 minutes rest betweensets. We’ve found that performing high
ort Upper Body
reps to (almost) failure week after week has a tendency to burn athletes out. Thisholds true even for beginners.Lately, I’ve been throwing in a 2 or 3week cycle of a “bodybuilding” set/repscheme on Rep Day every 4-6 weeks. Forexample, I may have an athlete performbarbell push-ups for 3 sets of max repsfor 2 weeks. After that, I may prescribea 2-week cycle of 
at dumbbell benchpresses for 3 sets of max reps. After 4weeks of going to “failure” in this man-ner, I may then prescribe a 2-week cyclein which the athlete performs inclinedumbbell bench presses with a mod-erate weight for 4 sets of 12. Rotatingback and forth between these two “repmethods” is a great way to both buildmuscle and prevent the athlete fromburning out.
ort Lower Body
We have not made any major modi
ca-tions to our Max-E
ort Lower Body Day.Our athletes have developed incrediblelower body strength and power on thisprogram. I’m a big believer in this axiom:“If it aint broke, don’t
x it!” That said, weain’t
xin’ a thing on max-e
ort lowerbody day!Let’s move on…
Rep. Upper Body cont..

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