Obviously as contact sport athletes, we rugby players and coaches are always concerned with not just being strong, but big with it. We need the extra weight to make us harder to tackle, and enter into contact situations the scrum, ruck, maul and tackle with more momentum.
But on the flip side, being too heavy can make us slower, tax our conditioning more heavily, and also increase of risk of injury during things like changes of direction. For that reason, as rugby players we also want to be as lean as possible to minimise these unwanted effects. If we are going to have to experience some costs of being heavier, it should come with the maximum benefit that lean tissue offers and not from fat, which offers no performance benefits at all.
This fact is a logical and important one, and it is one that the majority of rugby players and coaches understand. But what most do not seem to understand is that is almost impossible to both gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, or even gain muscle without gaining fat. The end result is that a lot of players try to ride two saddles with one ass at the same time, and end up going nowhere.
This great video by Dr Michael Isratel of www.renaissanceperiodization.com explains just why it is impossible to achieve lean gains- simultaneously losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time- and what his more sensible, preferred nutritional approach is to take with athletes like rugby players. I am going to be attending Dr Isratel’s seminar in Sydney this November and I can’t wait to pick up some new knowledge from this guy- he seriously knows his stuff: