Let's rack (!) your Brains...

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Tone C, May 8, 2018.

  1. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    Now my 14 year old son is mad about rugby (the game not the place) and as it turns out is becoming quite reasonable at it too. He's been playing a year or so and is on his local team and plays at either tighthead or loosehead prop, one of the forwards and normally the stronger players on the team. Genetically he is quite naturally strong, more so than most of the other guys he comes up against .

    Well, as it turns out he has the opportunity to try out for one of our league teams academy..basically he gets the chance to try for a place in one of the top 12 teams in the country. I guess it would be like if (say) Dallas Cowboys has an under 14,15 or 16 section and the kids could progress through the age limits until possibly making it into the actual team and a contract rather than the draft system from colleges that's in place.

    The try outs are not until August and we're now into the rugby off season as of last Sunday for us.

    So, there's no rugby training sessions at his club for 3 months. He is booked on a course for 5 days in August but he does need to do some stuff in the off season to improve his conditioning and strength. However, whether you agree with it or not, free weights are generally very frowned on at his age over here, growth plates and stuff gets mentioned a fair bit.

    I/We've got access to my home gym with loads of weights,bars, bench, sandbags, bulgarian bags,treadmill,bikes,tyres and various other pieces.

    We need to work on rugby skills with him like stepping and throwing the ball and kicking which is easy enough as his school has their rugby/sports field nearby and they have said they are fine with him using it to workout on and I can drill with him there.

    Thoughts however on improving his conditioning and strength please? I have access to a prowler sled, hills nearby along with a huge flight of stairs. The position he plays will often jog around the pitch then have to utilise their strength to throw other players around or sprint for a short period when making breaks for yardage.

    I figure I need to cover with him:

    1.Rugby skills
    2.Strength improvements (resistance training of some form)/core stability
    3.Stamina
    4.Flexibility
    5.Speed training,

    Now, I reckon he can do 3 or 4 sessions a week easily enough. Anyone have any thoughts please in case I've missed anything I need to cover? His diet will get tidied up a bit during the off season as well.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  2. corpse

    corpse Random Belt

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    zack even esh has a bunch of youth wrestling/football clips on youtube. maybe he sells programs for this, too...

    why not just put him on stronglifts, starting strength with focus on technique in the beginning?

    gpp with sandbag carries and some sprints or something. sled and prowlers are great.

    maybe you look up ross enamait's stuff...

    if you google rugby strength/fitness for youths, i bet you find tons of stuff.
     
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  3. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    Ah , phooey, I'd forgotten about Ross's stuff and I've got most of his books on the PC too...that's good thinking

    I'll look at that Zach's stuff too. I wasn't aware of him so cheers for that.

    Looks like I'm on right track with the prowler . Interval sprints too.
     
  4. Phlog

    Phlog Dad Belt

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    I'm not aware of any study that shows resistance training is a negative at any age. Being stronger makes a massive difference and can be effected alongside skill training. Of course one needs to be careful to avoid injury etc, but then it's a preventative too.
     
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  5. xPINKx

    xPINKx i like turtles

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    Have a look at the stuff Ed Cosner does with rugby players and write him an email, he'll probably be more than happy to help you out a little.
     
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  6. Cid

    Cid Silver Belt

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    From my understanding the whole growth plate stuff is a bunch of bullshit. Unless you happen to break the growth plate it shouldn't make a difference.
     
  7. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    Thanks folks. I'll get looking at those. One thing that was suggested by his coach was Crossfit but that's not viable during most of the school holidays as they close down their kids section..
     
  8. NurseKnuckles

    NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

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    Give him a calf to raise. Tell him he needs to carry it from the barn to the pasture every day.
     
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  9. xPINKx

    xPINKx i like turtles

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    I'd probably get the young one on a linear progression and do some conditioning work, starting with a solid aerobic base.
    Also, what's with the kicking? He's a prop! :D
     
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  10. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    His name isn't Milo....although we will be in Greece again in July...:)

    Anyway, as a Prop he'd probably eat it.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  11. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    He's already got a decent aerobic base and natural strength, I need to build on that...

    Regards the kicking - a lot of kids who play Rugby don't end up in the same position-I suspect he will get utilised elsewhere- best to be well rounded- look at Matt Banahan at Bath Rugby who started out as a Lock but ended up playing mainly on the wing- at 6ft 7 and about 240lbs ! I've sent you a PM also..
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  12. wufabufa

    wufabufa Brown Belt

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    If your local CrossFit gym has poor instruction then it may very well increase his chance of injury. Lots of dumb stuff happens at crossfit gyms. It isn't always the safest avenue to strength and fitness.
     
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  13. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    That's also part of the reason I posted here for thoughts on what to do to improve him. I noticed Crossfit didn't come up though and had heard dubious reports about it in the past...also they seem to be quite insular and rather defensive of Crossfit...
     
  14. corpse

    corpse Random Belt

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    i hope your kid shares your enthusiasm for his upcoming rugby career, haha
     
  15. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    LOL , he said to us that's what he wants to do. I will do my best to help him as will my wife. There's a few guys from his club that are in a similar boat to him . He understands his academic career comes first . I wasn't pushy towards him and I don't think I will be but I will support him as much as possible..
     
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  16. MatterOverMind

    MatterOverMind Pulling for you

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    Re: Calf raises

    I've been doing them wrong.
     
  17. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    Strength, speed, conditioning, agility, co-ordination all these factors are very important for any athlete. The most important one is staying healthy though. A healthy athlete is high performing athlete so don't sacrifice the long game for short term gain or chasing numbers.

    Incorperating both barbell training and BW training is a good thing, but whichever program you choose stick to some core tenets. 1. Get good at the lifts/exercises and practice them. 2. Build his body up slowly over time 3. Incorperate joint protective exercises and movements.

    If I were you I would get in contact with someone who knows what they are doing and have them work with him. Personally I'd advice something like a base building GPP block for while before moving into periodization according to the season. Pick a few solid compound lifts and adjust them to his level, a few single leg exercises and a few whole body mobility exercises. Do everything controlled and use isometrics sporadically to build up his tissue strength and neuromuscular control.

    Gradually increase the weight and/or difficulty over time, but don't rush it. Then down the road (months, years) you can switch to more challenging forms of power training depending on where he's at.
     
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  18. NurseKnuckles

    NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

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    you saw what I did there.
     
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  19. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Green(Goblin)Belt Platinum Member

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    www.castironstrength.com

    Marc Keys was assistant strength and conditioning coach for Edinburgh Rugby. He's now a full time personal trainer, and does a lot of online coaching.

    Good luck to your son.
     
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  20. Tone C

    Tone C Silver Belt

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    Cheers to everyone for their suggestions. I'll have a proper look through over the next couple of days and send a few emails out etc. Thanks folks ,appreciated.
     
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