If you’ve been following me on social media you’ll know that for the last 6 weeks I have been back in Argentina for the last 6 weeks working with Los Pumas Argentina (if you haven’t been following me, WTF?! Follow twitter here, facebook here, instagram here).
This year we will be doing our usual preparations for the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, but this year we have the added challenge of preparing for the world cup in England in October. This means the Championship has been brought forward and we had a massive two weeks to prepare our European based players, but I will save that rant post for another day. The purpose of today’s post is to give you an insight into the kind of training we are performing right now:
At the time of writing we have divided the squad into two primary groups: the selected players who are currently in New Zealand awaiting our Championship game in Christchurch, and the injured, non selected and European based players who need more extensive preparation. I am in Buenos Aires running the latter group until we regroup in Mendoza for our game versus Australia.
The advantage of working with this group of athletes, is that although they can’t play right now we have a lot more freedom to stress the guys with physical prep work. We are still doing a lot of rugby throughout the week, but with the absence of the game we are able to focus more on developmental work rather than keeping the guys fresh as a daisy.
We are utilising a high-low approach to training, where we alternate days of higher intensity central nervous system stress with lower days. This allows us to (hopefully) only perform maximal speed, strength and power work when the athletes are the least fatigued and as receptive as possible to these stimuli. On other days we are performing more recovery and supportive type work- still working but not detracting from the CNS recovery following our high days.
The goal on all of our training days is to begin with the most neurally or technically demanding training, with each subsequent activity being less fatiguing in that regard. Training is adjusted on a daily basis according to athlete readiness, so the below is a template only and is subject to change like all good programmes should be. Here’s how the week breaks down:
A couple of notes;
1) this particular weekly set up is slightly different to normal. All lower body work was pushed back to Weds as the guys flew over 20 hours from Sydney to Argentina over the weekend.
2) Ideally we would train six days per week and wait until day 2 to perform a high intensity day, however we do not have the guys at the weekend as they have these annoying things called families that get in the way.
3) Wherever possible the day is broken up with meal or snack and hydration breaks between all sessions to ensure higher quality of training and we are at least trying to give the guys the opportunity to adapt to one stimulus before we throw another at them:
Monday: High intensity rugby (higher elements of force, speed, contact and fatigue), upper body focus gym session (includes medicine ball work), high intensity aerobic conditioning, physiotherapy and rehab as needed.
Tuesday: Low intensity rugby (more static skill and technical based work), accessory movement based gym session, low intensity aerobic conditioning, physiotherapy and rehab as needed.
Wednesday: Maximal velocity focussed speed session (technique leading into build ups, intensity varies according to individual needs), high intensity rugby, lower body hinge focussed gym session (includes plyos and jumps), physiotherapy and rehab as needed.
Thursday: Low intensity rugby (more static skill and technical based work), accessory movement based gym session, low intensity aerobic conditioning, physiotherapy and rehab as needed.
Friday: Acceleration focussed speed session (technique leading into sled/hill sprints), high intensity rugby, lower body anterior chain focussed gym session (includes plyos and jumps), high intensity aerobic conditioning.
After this the guys will go to the airport and fly back to their families for 2 days of rest and recovery, before flying in and repeating the whole process again before rejoining the team towards the end of the week before travelling to Mendoza.