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Rugby Pre Season Rules


Rugby Preseason = no rehab early doors. I have been looking at pre season for my rugby players who will shortly finish their seasons and go into a bit of a break and once again I am going to ask all of them to stop trying to recover after training now that the season is over. If you haven't worked with me before, yes you read that correctly. I can imagine that this is a bit of an odd one to get your head around, especially when I am forever banging on about recovery and rehab protocols. The thought is though that trying to speed up your recovery I think will actually slow down your progress in the gym and actually inhibit your delivery into next season in the best shape you could actually be. I don’t doubt you’ll be in good shape but you want to be in great shape right? I’m asking for players to do it this way because training is stressful on the body, and it is this stress that acts as a signal to the body to adapt. Without stress we won’t get bigger, stronger, faster, fitter and leaner. If you try to artificially reduce this stress in the form of recovery protocols like compression leggings, hot and cold water baths and soft tissue work like foam rolling, you will reduce this stress and turn down or in some cases even off, the body’s signals to adapt. Obviously we need to be in good shape and we need to look after ourselves but we also need to allow ourselves to grow. Once we are back into the playing season, the recovery tools I mentioned above will however be great additions to your training regimes and you’ll hear me asking for you to do them all over the place as normal. Why in season and not pre season? Well this is because you will experience much more stress in the form of matches and your recovery is always against the clock every week. We know that put simply, if you aren’t fully recovered from the previous week’s match and training sessions by the Saturday, your performance will suffer. So it follows that it is a smart idea to do everything you can to try and recover as fast as possible. During the pre-season element of the season however, the goal isn’t going to be to play well every weekend. The goal has to be to build as much strength, speed and power as we possibly can for the forthcoming season and you are going to need stress to do that. If you turn down the stress you will make less progress, not more. So for this simple reason I want you to eliminate the use of recovery protocols from your training during pre-season and save them for when the season arrives. Train hard, eat well and recover at your body’s own pace if you want to make maximum progress in the gym and for the new season. See you in the closed season no doubt for some of that growth!



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