You`ve got 40 minutes only at gym

what would a football / rugby player do, with 10 minutes warm up & 10 minutes cool down making it an hour at gym?

This would be inseason & done every second day!

Bench, Squat, Bench Climb & Snatch?

I’d suggest you train 3 days per week if this is for off season training for rugby.
Split your week as follows:
Day 1: Quad dominant (Squat) / Vertical Pushing (Shoulder press)
Day 2: Horizontal Pushing (Bench Press) / Horizontal Pulling (Bentover Row)
Day 3: Hip Dominant (Deadlift) / Vertical Pull (Chins)

In your first phase of training you may like to use DB’s for many of your sets and do unilateral movements.

An example of the above for day 1 might be:

SL Leg extensions 2 x 10
SL DB Squat 2 x 10 rear leg
on bench
Squat 1 x 6-8
SL Leg Leg Press 1 x 15-20

SA DB Shoulder Press 2 x 10
SA Seated Ext Rot 2 x 10-15
Shoulder press(bar) 1 x 6-8

I’d agree with DMA - my program was for the beginning of the off-season.

An in-season program would be as follows:
Hang Cleans 2 x 4
Squats 2 x 4
Bench Press 2 x 4
Wtd Chins 2 x 4

This would be performed just once a week particularly if you are a forward. It is very difficult to recover from game to game if you are playing high level rugby union.

I’ve got 30 minutes.

I do a chest or shoulder exercise followed by a back exercise.
Legs x 2.

Sample for me.

1a Bench Press 2 - 3 sets
1b. Seated Row 2 - 3 sets
2a. Squats 2 - 3 sets
2b. Rev Leg Press 2 - 3 sets
3. Cuban Press 2 sets

Very basic. I would put in deadlift in an alternative fashion to squats.

I superset hence 1a & 1b.

Not ideal, but it is better than nothing.

You need to learn what exercises work and are effective.

That is why I like compound and olympic lifts.

Gil, i`ll reply to to your mail later today, just caught up in training!

  1. Leg Extensions - Isn`t there a problem with shearing on the knee or something?

  2. SL DB Squat - Isn`t this a type of lunge if your doing it with your rear leg on the bench?

  3. Squat - you only want 1 set ?

  4. Leg Press - affects hip flexion or something?

  5. Seated External Rotator - Ill have to see if Virgin has this machine otherwise ill have to try an alternate machine / DB routine

I`ll be training four times a “week” (my “week” is an 8 day week)

This is my temporary gym program, havent started it yet.

Day 1

Gym As Above + 2 x 5 Minutes HIIT Treadmill + 3 x 20 ABS & 3 x 15 Back

Day 2

3 x Pyramid Running or Rugby Training

Day 3

Gym - Bench Press 5 x 5 @ -10k 5RM
Bentover Row 5 x 5 @ -10k 5RM
Hang Cleans 2 x 4
+ 3 x 20 ABS & 3 x 15 Back

Day 4

3 x Fartleks or Rugby Training

Day 5

Gym - Low Intensity Core Workouts (Swiss balls etc)

Day 6

3 x 800m

Day 7

Gym - Deadlifts 5 x 5 @ -10k 5RM
Weighted Chins 5 x 5 @ -10k 5RM
+ 2 x 5 Minutes HIIT Treadmill
+ 3 x 20 ABS & 3 x 15 Back

Day 8

Rest Day

The above for 2 weeks
Then for 1 week
5reps x 3sets @ -5k 5RM
Then for 1 week
5r @ +5k 5RM
Then a week of unloading

Im trying to incorporate everyones advice etc, but it does get really complicated after a while!

To help you with your program it is important to know whether you’re playing rugby at present or not.

By trying to incorportae everyones ideas you’ll end up with a “messy” programme not one specific to your needs in which you will gain optimal training effect for time invested.


nice weights split! Is it inspired by Ian King? On Day 3 Hip Dominant I presume you are looking at DL variants, Good Mornings, Back Extensions and Rev Hypers?


Ian King inspired correct. I work with professional rugby players in NZ and can only afford 3 days in the off-season. Have been really pleased how well Ian King concepts work.

During Super 12 we only had 3 minor injuries over a very intense 16 week period - the result of a balanced training regime (not just weights)

On hip day the key exercises were good mornings, SL Bent knee deadlifts, SL Deadlifts (rear boot on bench with hip flexion as knee lowers to ground) Deadlifts and Power Cleans + derivatives.

Obvious not all exercises were performed on the same day!


Good Job- not an easy task keeping Rugby players injury free! One query I have on this split is how much work can the hamstrings take on ‘Hip Dominant’ day before they become unduly fatigued? How much excercises/ volume did you find your athletes could optimally tolerate on this day?


I have a catch22 situation where, i can keep playing rugby and make it into the currie cup or merit a squad, or i can take a 6 month long winter season and push for a super12 place, i have never done a winter season before as i am only 21 and have come back from a 2 1/2 year break (work / study related) from rugby, everyone is expecting me to continue as is, but i have a feeling that i could be playing at least 80% better with a strong basis. I have at my disposal the SA u/21 coach, the SA U/21 strength and conditioning coach, the Springbok Golden Squad 2007 World Cup Speed & Strength coach, i cant approach them and tell them i want to take a winter season as they believe i require match fitness (also other issues but thats another story).

At the moment i am playing in in the Carlton Cup league with the SA Club Champs coming up soon, the level isnt as high as overseas unfortunatly, so im thinking of trials at the end of this year at the Newcastle Falcons, although David did mention that i should maybe try out Auckland NPC or NZ club rugby first, which sounds great. So i can either keep playing catchup during inseason, or stop and take a winter season. Either way i just need to train smarter!

The recovery between games isnt as tough as provincial, so maybe more gym between?


The hip dominant day in a GPP2 phase would be:
SL Deadlift 2 x 6-8
Good Morning 2 x 10-12
WG Deadlift 1 x 15
followed by shoulder exercises with a similar format.

A SPP1 would be:
Deadlift 1x6 1x2 1x6 1x2 (poliquin/king)
PowerCleans 2 x 6
SL DB Deadlift 1 x10-12

I really rate SL Deadlift with rear foot up on a bench for teaching athletes to fire their gluteal muscles. Certainly with Rugby players they are poor at firing these muscles.


As you have already had several seasons off I don’t think you can afford to have another one. Rugby fitness requires your body to be constantly being knocked about so that you can tolerate it!

Secondly there is no better type of fitness than playing the game itself.

So play and train sensibly - my philosophy is train as little as possible for maximum return.

Here is a weekly schedule which might help:

Mon am Weights Power cleans, Squats
Bench Press Weighted Chins
pm Treadmill Intervals 20x 30s
on 30s off
Tues Practice
Wed am Accelearation,Speed,Agility
pm Weights Deadlifts, Shoulder
Press, Prone Row or equivalent
Thur Practice
Fri Rec
Sun Recovery Session/Light Aerobic

Hope this makes sernse and is of some value to you. You really need to sit down and discuss this with some one you respect.

Yup that was the reasoning behind me not taking 6 months off!

For the next 5 weeks we have a break so i`ll change the following maybe:

For tuesday
4km jog @ 5min/km pace
ten minutes rest/stretch
then 5 x 50m sprints @ 80% with walking back to start as recovery then sprinting when i`m at the start again

for thursday
4km jog @ 5min/km pace
3 x Pyramids

for saturday
same as tuesday

any reasons not to?
just not to confuse myself, ill post my new appended workout in full once ive worked it out later!

Thanks for the help!!!

Originally posted by Gilman Barnitt

The hip dominant day in a GPP2 phase would be:
SL Deadlift 2 x 6-8
Good Morning 2 x 10-12
WG Deadlift 1 x 15
followed by shoulder exercises with a similar format.

Thanks Gilman. A final question! Is there any particular logic behind the different rep ranges for the three Hip Dominant Excercises (i.e. SLDL 6-8; GM 10-12; WGDL 15)?


The rep ranges ensure the different muscle fibre types (FTG, FTO and ST) are recruited.

I should have stated in my last reply is that the exercises don’t excessively tire the hamstrings if the gluts fire to their capacity. It is only if the gluts aren’t recruited first do the hamstrings and lower back have to take up the stress.