Testing for Rugby

I was asked a couple of questions regarding testing for rugby today. The questions regarded testing generally as well as testing for kids. Hopefully I answered those questions here:

Speed, Agility and Fitness Testing

That’s simple…the spider test. 6 30 seconds efforts with 30 seconds recovery between efforts…the fastest and most agile get the furthest on the first effort and the fitness get the biggest total. This test gives you both fantastic objective and subjective data. 

Strength, Power and Muscular Endurance

Lower Body

Standing Broad Jump – I think this test is easier to administer and more reliable than a vertical jump.

Bodyweight Squat – Your body weight rounded up to the nearest 5kg and done to a depth below parallel for repetitions.

1RM or 3RM – Squat, Deadlift or TrapBar Deadlift – We do 2 different tests. We do a 1RM trapbar deadlift at the beginning and end of each training cycle and a 3RM squat test mid cycle. 

Upper Body

Push Ups – Repetitions in 60 seconds.

Inverted Rows – Repetitions in 60 seconds.

Bench Press –  Your body weight rounded up to the nearest 5kg and done for repetitions.

Pull Ups – Your body weight rounded up to the nearest 5kg and done for repetitions.

1RM Bench Press – Everyone wants to know….how much do you bench.

3RM Pull Ups – Weighted pull ups.

If people have anymore questions or are looking for specifics…then let me know and we’ll keep it all here?

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26 thoughts on “Testing for Rugby

  1. Can you give an indication of performance standards you look for in the standing long jump, also do you take the athlete’s height/leg length into account i.e. jump distance/height vs absolute jump distance?

    Do you do any linear sprint testing for either comparison to agility scores or for specific positions (e.g. outside backs) where linear speed is relatively more important?

    Also, with regards to the 6 X 30 on 30 off test, do you ever find athletes holding back to pace themselves are achieve better total distance? Could it be more reliable to test speed in isolation as a one-off test if only for psychological reasons?

    I’m a bit surprised to see no discrepancy between the best performers over 30 seconds (if using the first effort on the spider test to assess agility/power) and those who are fastest over short distances, especially considering the range of sizes in a rugby team, I would have thought bigger players could accelerate but would struggle to hold speed for that long. Also 30 seconds seems a very long duration given even a length of the field break would likely only take half that, is there really no need for short duration tests to assess speed/agility/power?

    Follwing on from from previous question as well, does the position of the player influence how much concern you give to a good or poor test? It would seem to me that there is a big difference between the priorities of a prop (main job in a scrum, pushing with high force low velocity even isometric or eccentric) vs say a winger (usually has space to run in, receives the ball at speed, doesn’t make so many tackles) and other positions in rugby as opposed to hockey or football (soccer) where most positions have similar requirements (bar the goalkeeper), do you adjust for this at all or rather just interpret test results in the context of a player’s position?

    • an you give an indication of performance standards you look for in the standing long jump, also do you take the athlete’s height/leg length into account i.e. jump distance/height vs absolute jump distance?
      I test A LOT…compared to most coaches…I don’t so much compare athletes to each other as to themselves. I get their results and I compare them over time…jumping further equals better.

      Do you do any linear sprint testing for either comparison to agility scores or for specific positions (e.g. outside backs) where linear speed is relatively more important?
      Nope. Because the reality is that it isn’t relatively more important. I know why you are saying this…I just don’t think it is actually the case. A lot of coaches seem to want to test for what they already know…and in reality the thing is that the results don’t mean that much. For example if you go back in the blog you’ll see that I’ve athletes that can ‘out test’ professionals who are earning millions and their results count for nothing at the end of the day. I was discussing this with Conor McPhillips the other day in regard to the post I made about the fitness testing results from the NRL. We were talking about Benji Marshall and the fact that Conor is faster, has a 10cm better tested vertical jump and is stronger but Benji is getting $500,000 for 5 months in Japan and Conor isn’t.

      Also, with regards to the 6 X 30 on 30 off test, do you ever find athletes holding back to pace themselves are achieve better total distance?
      I have previously but not any more. Everyone that I test knows and understands what the test is about now. I’m more impressed by a massive first effort than a big total. It’s up to the coach to make sure the athletes understand what the purpose of the test is.

      Could it be more reliable to test speed in isolation as a one-off test if only for psychological reasons?
      Once again…I know why you say that…but for me…it’s just a waste of time and there is dumber as a coach than to test for testing sake. It doesn’t tell me anything. Like I said in the video I did all this previously in my career and when I look back and when I analyse all the results it told me nothing new. On top of that…unless you are timing with gates…your results won’t really mean dick.

      I’m a bit surprised to see no discrepancy between the best performers over 30 seconds (if using the first effort on the spider test to assess agility/power) and those who are fastest over short distances,
      Define short distances? Are you talking 10m or 30m? Let’s assume you mean 10m…which is actually probably the most important…lets say you test them on the pitch and you hand time them. There would be less than a second between the best time and the worst time…what would that tell you? Next time you test after 8 weeks of brilliant speed training and the pitch conditions are a little different and everyone in your squad tests worse….what will that mean? I can see the merit of it if you have access to laser gates and testing centre…but as a field test I just think 10m, 40m, cone tests etc etc are juts totally unreliable. Let’s put it this way…the best ‘players’ do the best on that first effort.

      especially considering the range of sizes in a rugby team, I would have thought bigger players could accelerate but would struggle to hold speed for that long.
      This is true…but it is also one of the reasons I don’t do tests like a 40 as it doesn’t tell me much about what they are like regarding their ‘playing fitness and physical ability’.

      Also 30 seconds seems a very long duration given even a length of the field break would likely only take half that,
      How many times does that happen in a game? I don’t see one instance of that happening in every game let alone happening often enough for me to think it is really relevant.

      is there really no need for short duration tests to assess speed/agility/power?
      When you improve a players speed/agility/power there first effort in that spider test improves.

      Follwing on from from previous question as well, does the position of the player influence how much concern you give to a good or poor test?
      Yes.

      It would seem to me that there is a big difference between the priorities of a prop (main job in a scrum, pushing with high force low velocity even isometric or eccentric) vs say a winger (usually has space to run in, receives the ball at speed, doesn’t make so many tackles) and other positions in rugby as opposed to hockey or football (soccer) where most positions have similar requirements (bar the goalkeeper), do you adjust for this at all or rather just interpret test results in the context of a player’s position?
      Like I said I compare players results to their own. I leave the comparison between players up to themselves because they do plenty of that anyway.

      • Will, with regards to relative importance of linear speed, I was referring to differences between positions, (i.e. more important for wingers and fullbacks than for front rowers) the reason being for the many sitations when these players cover 30+ metres at a sprint in a fairly straight line, including:

        – Any time they kick from their own half and have to chase to get their team onside (pretty much any kick not looking for touch line).

        – Any time they have to chase an attacking kick by their halves.

        – Any time they have to chase back to cover a break or collect a loose ball.

        -Any time they run the ball back from a kick, they would usually cover 20-30 metres, and endeavour to cover more.

        – Any time they touch the ball on the end of a backline play, thy have sually run at least 15-20 metres and are usually along their wing or just outside someone in support.

        – Any time they make a clear break from more than 20 metres out and have to run the ball to score.

        Really there are a lot of times the outside backs will have long linear sprints, and generally these will be very crucial plays in the context of game and particular to their role, you won’t see many other positions covering breaks, being first to ball on the kick chase etc. I’m not familiar with Conor nor do I know his position, but assuming it is the same position as Benji Marshall (fifth-eighth) it is more skill based and does not demand the same linear speed as the back three. I know when I watch both rugby and league there are many instances where outside backs are called upon to sprint straight ahead, and in decisive situations, hence I would think it logical to train and test that quality.

        With reference to the short sprint tests I had assumed access to gates, otherwise I agree reliability is lacking with hand-timing.

        However, I’m still not sure how that first effort in the spider test rates as an indicator of game speed/agility, for the following reasons:

        – When running with ball or at an opponent in a game there is no attempt to deccelerate or turn around for obvious reasons, in the spider test you know you must come to a stop after only a short distance and therefore think about deccelerating well before you hit the line. From looking at the video posted previosly the players are not accelerating very aggressively even when fresh.

        – There is a lack of lateral movement especially at high velocity, as the athlete is simply running and turning and back running straight ahead within 1 or 2 steps.

        – I’m still not sure a 30 second test is adequate for indicating improvements in speed and agility. Training focussed on anaerobic speed endurance and anaerobic glycolysis could increase performance on this as much as improvements in pure acceleration/speed/agility. In short I would agree that better speed and agility can improve a 30-second effort, but I don’t think a 30-second effort should be used to measure improvements in these quailities.

        With regards to the likelihood of a length of field break, that was my point, that even on very rare and long efforts players will not approach 30 seconds work at a maximum sprint.

        To turn my last question around, for sports like soccer and hockey where positions have similar requirements, do you have standards or is it still a case by case basis, if so, why have standards for strength and not conditioning, particularly given the fundamental importance of the latter in many non-contact field sports? Is it due to the lack of strength training experience in most athletes?

        Thanks

  2. In my second question I meant to ask if athletes were pacing in order to try and achieve better overall distance not if you find this to be a valid strategy, but would be interested to know the answer to both questions.

    Thanks

    • No it isn’t a valid strategy…if I see or perceive athletes doing this I make them do it again…and anyone who has ever done this test never wants to do it more times than they have to.

  3. Will, with regards to relative importance of linear speed, I was referring to differences between positions, (i.e. more important for wingers and fullbacks than for front rowers) the reason being for the many sitations when these players cover 30+ metres at a sprint in a fairly straight line, including:
    Linear speed isn’t something that is ‘relatively more important’ to any player. I don’t know of any player that has ever been too fast. It just doesn’t work out that your fastest players are on the wing and or at fullback.

    – Any time they kick from their own half and have to chase to get their team onside (pretty much any kick not looking for touch line).

    – Any time they have to chase an attacking kick by their halves.

    – Any time they have to chase back to cover a break or collect a loose ball.

    -Any time they run the ball back from a kick, they would usually cover 20-30 metres, and endeavour to cover more.

    – Any time they touch the ball on the end of a backline play, thy have sually run at least 15-20 metres and are usually along their wing or just outside someone in support.

    – Any time they make a clear break from more than 20 metres out and have to run the ball to score.

    Really there are a lot of times the outside backs will have long linear sprints, and generally these will be very crucial plays in the context of game and particular to their role, you won’t see many other positions covering breaks, being first to ball on the kick chase etc. I’m not familiar with Conor nor do I know his position, but assuming it is the same position as Benji Marshall (fifth-eighth) it is more skill based and does not demand the same linear speed as the back three. I know when I watch both rugby and league there are many instances where outside backs are called upon to sprint straight ahead, and in decisive situations, hence I would think it logical to train and test that quality.

    With reference to the short sprint tests I had assumed access to gates, otherwise I agree reliability is lacking with hand-timing.

    However, I’m still not sure how that first effort in the spider test rates as an indicator of game speed/agility, for the following reasons:

    – When running with ball or at an opponent in a game there is no attempt to deccelerate or turn around for obvious reasons, in the spider test you know you must come to a stop after only a short distance and therefore think about deccelerating well before you hit the line. From looking at the video posted previosly the players are not accelerating very aggressively even when fresh.

    – There is a lack of lateral movement especially at high velocity, as the athlete is simply running and turning and back running straight ahead within 1 or 2 steps.

    – I’m still not sure a 30 second test is adequate for indicating improvements in speed and agility. Training focussed on anaerobic speed endurance and anaerobic glycolysis could increase performance on this as much as improvements in pure acceleration/speed/agility. In short I would agree that better speed and agility can improve a 30-second effort, but I don’t think a 30-second effort should be used to measure improvements in these quailities.

    With regards to the likelihood of a length of field break, that was my point, that even on very rare and long efforts players will not approach 30 seconds work at a maximum sprint.

    To turn my last question around, for sports like soccer and hockey where positions have similar requirements, do you have standards or is it still a case by case basis, if so, why have standards for strength and not conditioning, particularly given the fundamental importance of the latter in many non-contact field sports? Is it due to the lack of strength training experience in most athletes?

    OK…your right and I’m wrong and I will change everything immediately…is that the answer you are looking for?

    I know why you are saying what you are saying and 15 years ago I would of probably agreed with you. I was going to deal with everything you’ve said point by point but I’ve a feeling you already have your mind made up and that’s fine by me. If people kick up a stink or think that I am avoiding the questions than I suppose I’ll make time to go back and break it all down.

    I’ll just say this though. What I’ve seen happen…even at the professional level…is that coaches and trainers start modelling training towards improving testing performance and that is just plain retarded. You want me to improve your 40 time? Have a guess how I’d do that? Do you think that is the best way to develop or improve you as a player? I’m actually tempted to get the gates out and test my entire squad over 40 yards and post all the results to see if you can tell me who are the wingers and fullbacks and who are forwards. The reason being that you are going to see 36 results and there is going to be a few tenths of a second between them all. Then I’d be interested to hear what you’d do training wise to improve the worst that you wouldn’t do with the best? How does knowing these times impact me as a coach…that is what I need to know? It comes down to this….testing a players linear speed doesn’t tell you anything at all except how fast they are over 40 yards…and the fact is that a couple of tenths of a second either side has little to no discernible impact on a players game.

    I’m happy to continue discussing this all you like because it is an interesting topic. As for who Conor is…don’t worry…he’s a nobody.

  4. Does it not highlight that focussing on the process of acheiving results is more important than acheiving a set number. I’ve found that in season you get major variability dependent upon fixture conjestion, injuries and general lifestyle implications- even if you say for instance “this is going to be our testing day every 4 weeks” what happens if someone has a week out or 3 games in a week where perfect periodization cannot be acheived.

    This brings things back to reactive programming with incorporated reactive testing- to measure progress rather than directly performance as any measure doesn’t tell you what happens when they play. Progress in testing is relative as is performance.

    • Ian Mellis said
      Does it not highlight that focussing on the process of acheiving results is more important than acheiving a set number.
      Yes. Testing for me is incidental. We test all the time. At the start of a training cycle, in the middle of a training cycle we do a mini test and then again at the end…it is just part of the process. I care so little about the numbers that as I’ve said before once guys hit their numbers that’s it end of testing. If you are a 100kg player and you can walk in and pull 200kg, bench 150kg, do 12 pull, 50 push ups in 60 seconds and 30 inverted rows…then testing is over…if guys do more than that…they are just doing it either for their own amusement or to rub others noses in it…because once they’ve hit those numbers I’ve seen all I need to see. After a point…numbers just don’t mean anything. Once again like you’ve seen here before…I’ve plenty of athletes that can ‘out test’ professional international players and what difference does that make? Absolutely no difference what so ever. I know a huge number of coaches who seem to test for themselves rather than testing to make players better.

      I’ve found that in season you get major variability dependent upon fixture conjestion, injuries and general lifestyle implications- even if you say for instance “this is going to be our testing day every 4 weeks” what happens if someone has a week out or 3 games in a week where perfect periodization cannot be acheived.
      This is what makes me laugh…I know plenty of coaches that in their pre season do just about every speed, agility and endurance tests, they do all their gym testing, skinfolds etc etc etc…I can think of one club who last pre season spent €18,000 testing their squad. Do you want me to tell you when they next tested? Well I can’t because they didn’t. They went to all that trouble and expense and never tested again for the entire season. I test all the time. I’m testing a group on Monday and do you know when they tested last? Well it was 6 weeks ago…and take a guess when they will test again after Monday? When an athlete has an off day it doesn’t matter when you have 12 or 15 sets of testing results.

      Test simply, consistently and do it often.

      This brings things back to reactive programming with incorporated reactive testing- to measure progress rather than directly performance as any measure doesn’t tell you what happens when they play. Progress in testing is relative as is performance.
      You have to remember why you are testing. As I said doing 40’s is easy. I have the gates and can do it far more easily than a spider test…the thing is that it just tells me absolutely nothing that I don’t already know and the results have absolutely no impact on what I’d do with an athlete training wise. So if we did it…we’d do it just for the fun of it and for bragging rights.

      The spider test tells me where a player is at speed, agility and fitness wise. I can see when they’ve lost or gained a yard or two of pace. I get to see what their anaerobic capacity is like. They’re the things I want to know.

  5. Will, that wasn’t the answer I was looking for, I was just putting some reasons out there why I thought linear speed testing might have a place in a battery, and why it might be especially relevant to certain positions, as well some reasons why I didn’t think a 30-second effort represented the best measure of speed and agility.

    I went back and had a good look at the video you posted previously, and commented on why I didn’t think it was the best indication of game conditioning and speed due to the nature of the movements and acceleration/deccleration patterns. To add to what I said above, I also think 30 seconds is a relatively short rest especially considering the length of the work interval, compared to a game situation where hard efforts are generally very intermittent.

    Given how common place linear speed and agility shuttle tests are, I’d be interested to hear more detailed thoughts on why you use your model, as it seems to me to be incomprehensive to use one test for reasons stated above, as well as a departure from the standard school of thought. I also found it a bit strange given your strong focus on other basic qualities such as maximum strength, mobility and stability that you don’t seem give the same priority to pure speed or agility, as most very much view speed/high velocity agility as the basis for speed endurance and not vice versa. As I described above as well, I feel short maximum efforts are often decisive in a game situation.

    I completely agree that training should not be focussed towards testing, but I do feel that it is valid to try to improve basic qualities like speed and agility, and use a wider battery of tests rather than rely on one test to monitor a wide range of qualities. While the spider test may test a range of qualities, I don’t think it measures many as well as other, more specific tests and a battery of tests including a short shuttle, some jump tests, 10 and 40 metre sprints, and a conditioning test with harder efforts and longer rests (more like 1:3 effort:recovery or repeat sprints/shuttle) would giver a better overall picture of where the athlete needs to improve. I’d be interested to hear why you think the spider test is a better option than using a broader battery of tests.

    In terms of contrast of speed between positions, this is the top ten results for each position at the NFL combine for the 40 yard dash http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers#tp-tab-set-1:tp-grid-container-forty-yard-dash . It shows a very clear tendency for better speed in
    the smaller running intensive positions as opposed to bigger, heavy-contact positions. As far what you’d do with the worst as opposed to the best 40-yard performers, you would do fairly similar things, I’m not arguing otherwise just saying that the test itself can be used to guage improvements in a player’s speed just as you monitor his strength and endurance.

    I’d be interested to hear your response to my impressions of the test and issues involved.

    • Tim said
      Will, that wasn’t the answer I was looking for, I was just putting some reasons out there why I thought linear speed testing might have a place in a battery, and why it might be especially relevant to certain positions, as well some reasons why I didn’t think a 30-second effort represented the best measure of speed and agility.
      Like I said…I know why you are saying what you were saying. I’ve been there done that. I think I’ve always tested more that most coaches. I doubt there is a test out there that I don’t have experience with. Go back in the blog and you’ll see teams doing a phosphate decrement test for example which is exactly what you are getting at…it’s a linear speed test that gives you 10m and a flying 20m and 30m time…I’ve hard drives full of testing data. If I thought that 40’s, cone test, 20yd shuttles etc gave me data I could use or that would make a difference to my coaching I’d use it. Go and have a look at the phosphate decrement test and tell me if that is what you are getting at…whether you think it is a better test and we can discuss it further?

      I went back and had a good look at the video you posted previously, and commented on why I didn’t think it was the best indication of game conditioning and speed due to the nature of the movements and acceleration/deccleration patterns.
      1. That was the first time those girls have ever done that test. 2. That was their first session of the season. 3. It is a 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m and 25m sprint…15m, 20m, 25m…that’s a fair big component of linear speed do you not think?

      To add to what I said above, I also think 30 seconds is a relatively short rest especially considering the length of the work interval, compared to a game situation where hard efforts are generally very intermittent.
      I’ll tell you exactly what the work rest ratios are for club, provincial and international level if you like? Because like testing I’ve been there and done that. Once you get to an elite club/provincial level the stats don’t differ that much at international level. The average duration of high intensity effort is around 5 seconds and that is true from 1 to 15…the average is pretty much the same. The thing that differs is the number of high intensity efforts and the duration of the low intensity efforts. The forwards average around 100+ high intensity efforts per game. The backs usually have far more time for checking their hair and making sure their shirts are tucked in…they average around 50ish high intensity efforts per game. The forwards high intensity efforts are separated on average by periods of low intensity effort of around 30 seconds while the backs get more like 1 to 2 minutes of low intensity efforts. I do understand the game. I’ve been a strength and conditioning coach for 20 years. I’ve been involved in rugby professionally for 10 years. I’ve worked with 6 national unions, 4 professional teams and with St Mary’s for 10 years. I understand the demands of the game. Of the 8 people training in the gym this morning 2 of them were former professional players. I’m not saying this to try and make it a “I’m smarter than you so shut up” kind of thing that is common on the internet. What I am trying to make clear is that I do understand the physical demands of the game…just to save you time explaining important elements of the game to me. Also to make it clear that there isn’t anything testing wise that I haven’t seen.

      Given how common place linear speed and agility shuttle tests are,
      I know they are common place. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t stupid. I bet if you asked any professional coach in the NFL what they thought of the repetition bench test or the 40 they’d tell you something similar to me…in that they are interesting but not very informative. Once a player runs his 40 at the combine I’d be interested in finding out how many more times in his career he EVER runs a 40 again? For that matter how many times he would do ANY of the combine tests ever again. I can take a wild guess.

      I’d be interested to hear more detailed thoughts on why you use your model, as it seems to me to be incomprehensive to use one test for reasons stated above, as well as a departure from the standard school of thought.
      Because it is simple, it’s reliable and it tells me what I need to know to monitor and adjust the training of players.

      I also found it a bit strange given your strong focus on other basic qualities such as maximum strength, mobility and stability that you don’t seem give the same priority to pure speed or agility, as most very much view speed/high velocity agility as the basis for speed endurance and not vice versa. As I described above as well, I feel short maximum efforts are often decisive in a game situation.
      I’m not disagreeing with that. Go test your squad. Have them do a 40 yard test. Rank the players accordingly. Then take the results from their first effort on the spider test and compare those 2 list. Then go and do any endurance test you like…from 800m to 3km and rank all those players accordingly. Then go back to your results of that spider test and take the totals for the 6 efforts and rank those accordingly. Then compare those lists. What you can then tell me is how long it took you to test the 40’s of all 35 members of your squad and add that to however long it took you to do the endurance testing? I can take a rough guess how long it would take. I could do that spider test with 35 guys and be getting on with training after 15 minutes. I could take your group of players and tell you who the 5 guys were with the best 40, I could tell you the 5 fittest guys. I could tell you which guys needed to do more speed and agility work and which ones needed a better fitness base. To do all the speed and agility testing you are talking about would take a day…mine takes 15 minutes.

      I completely agree that training should not be focussed towards testing, but I do feel that it is valid to try to improve basic qualities like speed and agility, and use a wider battery of tests rather than rely on one test to monitor a wide range of qualities. While the spider test may test a range of qualities, I don’t think it measures many as well as other, more specific tests and a battery of tests including a short shuttle, some jump tests, 10 and 40 metre sprints, and a conditioning test with harder efforts and longer rests (more like 1:3 effort:recovery or repeat sprints/shuttle) would giver a better overall picture of where the athlete needs to improve. I’d be interested to hear why you think the spider test is a better option than using a broader battery of tests.
      I think I covered this above. I work with 10+ squads and around 30+ individual athletes. To do the testing you are talking about I would have to actually give up work and test full time…the thing is it wouldn’t know any more than I know now with regard to information that I could actually use to alter or improve training.

      In terms of contrast of speed between positions, this is the top ten results for each position at the NFL combine for the 40 yard dash http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers#tp-tab-set-1:tp-grid-container-forty-yard-dash . It shows a very clear tendency for better speed in
      the smaller running intensive positions as opposed to bigger, heavy-contact positions. As far what you’d do with the worst as opposed to the best 40-yard performers, you would do fairly similar things, I’m not arguing otherwise just saying that the test itself can be used to guage improvements in a player’s speed just as you monitor his strength and endurance.
      Why stop at just those tests then? I could take that list of combine tests and give you another 20 tests. That measure attributes far more accurately and effectively. Would that make my system better…in that my extended combine would be far more comprehensive? Let’s measure first step speed…surely that is more important than 40yard speed? Let’s measure reaction time…surely that is more important than the 3 cone drill? I could go on and on…so I will…what about grip strength…surely the ability to hang onto the ball in contact is one of the most important physical elements of the game? Why don’t we test for that as well?

      I’d be interested to hear your response to my impressions of the test and issues involved.
      Hopefully that will give you more food for thought? Keep asking questions. Don’t think I am trying to discourage you. If you disagree then say so and I’ll keep going.

  6. Great posts the last few days will and some great discussions as well! I find it much harder to reach 30 horizontal rows than 50 pushups, in fact I have not had a single client so far being able to pull of 30 rows in 1 minute. Alot of them can do 50 pushups though. They ususaly do up to 20 horizontals and some guy was up at 27 but then they tend to stop short and are not able to reach the bar. How do you get those numbers up? Band pull aparts? Scapula retractions? YLWT’s? Do you train them in the test situation? How many are your best athletes doing and what is your best number? 🙂

    • Joel said
      Great posts the last few days will and some great discussions as well!
      What are you trying to say? That the posts before that were all shit and the discussion idiotic?

      I find it much harder to reach 30 horizontal rows than 50 pushups,
      EVERYONE has a lot more experience with push ups than inverted rows. I’ve athletes that I’ve coached since they started weight training who are the other way around. for no other reason than that I put a lot more emphasis on that posterior work.

      in fact I have not had a single client so far being able to pull of 30 rows in 1 minute.
      It’ll come.

      Alot of them can do 50 pushups though. They ususaly do up to 20 horizontals and some guy was up at 27 but then they tend to stop short and are not able to reach the bar.
      That’s because they lose they fatigue in all those postural and structural muscles around the shoulder and in particular the scapula. You’ll find people who get to 20 in 30 seconds then pull to within an inch of the bar another 15 or 20 times if you asked them to…they have the lat and bicep strength to get up but don’t have the strength and or endurance in those postural and structural muscles to close out the inverted row.

      How do you get those numbers up? Band pull aparts? Scapula retractions? YLWT’s?
      That’s definitely part of the solution.

      Do you train them in the test situation?
      Yes and no. Some stuff we do quite strict and other stuff we do ‘balls out’ fast and powerful…so much so the bar will get some air they’re hitting it that fast and powerfully.

      How many are your best athletes doing and what is your best number?
      The best are in the mid to high 40’s and I think my best is 36 from memory. I’ll do the test and video it for you next week.

      I’ll make a video for you on improving the inverted row…you can re do it in Swedish and make a fortune.

  7. Well, alot of copies of articles that are booring to read…and lyle’s daily “fake athletes” comments are not much of a discussion 🙂 Some good stuff as well of course! Sounds great with a video! Ill look forward to that!

  8. haha im just being honest! 😉 Anyways, I still got the “snus”, did you know that snus lasts over a year if you put it in the freezer? Could be a good idea if you’d want to stack up, the swedish krona is REALLY low right now.

  9. Great videos will
    Firstly its good to see that my former coaches had something “right” as we would generally perform this test every week at basketball training at the start maybe the finish and with bursts in the middle. Unfortunately we never got true feedback on whether we were improving or not.
    Now for the comments
    I think the biggest issue with the 40 and its like, which you mentioned in the video is its lack of applicability. When in any field sport will someone sprint 40 metres from a standing start with zero fatigue. Maybe at the kickoff otherwise never. So i couild see the spider tests first effort as raising some fatigue then doing a sprint much more like a game situation.

    Also if someone wants to determine who is fast for teenages just line them up and have a race easy competitive and it is just as accurate as anything else over a season

    A weird issue that i have noted before in basketball players performing suicides (another version of this) is that they will generally time there turns to corespond with the dominant foot do you see this as an issue as a player could go through the whole season without turning on the other foot. Do you coach players so this does not occur or can it in turn tell you something about how the players move .

    Now for some questions
    1)
    if some has not meet your strength standards in the lower body and has a mono spider test result (ie little variability from 1st to last effort) do you incorporate more sprint work and/or mess with their conditioning work or do you not worry about issues of speed until the strength tests are meet.
    Secondly how would this answer differ if they had meet the strength scores but the mono result still remained but was now at a higher level

    2) for kids do you like the use of single leg movements in leiu of the availability to access real weighted movements.

    3) would use any single leg movements to test for leg strength imbalances or mobility issues for kids

    4) would it be possible for me to post up some programs (one soccerbased and the other just general strength based) and have you critique the hell out of them

    Also i know i said i would post videos but you tube hates me and my camera and just won’t do it so instead i will ask questions.
    When lowering the bar do you try to keep the elbows under the bar or just let what happens happen
    And where do tell the players to touch their body a set point or just wherever it most shortens the rom

    Thanks as always for your time Also are you still training or has that stopped

    • Adrienl said
      Great videos will
      At least someone thinks so. Have you seen my youtube site? My videos only receive one of three ratings…either they aren’t rated at all or they get five stars or one star. I was laughing this morning when I was having a look…there is these two videos on testing..one has five stars and the other has one. Then there is the videos of Barry’s training sessions…one gets five the other one and so on it goes. I just thought that was pretty funny.

      Firstly its good to see that my former coaches had something “right” as we would generally perform this test every week at basketball training at the start maybe the finish and with bursts in the middle.
      If I tried that I would get the shit kicked out of me by the lads. The session they has to do last Tuesday that I posted up here on the blog resulted in the majority of the squad no longer speaking to me.

      Unfortunately we never got true feedback on whether we were improving or not.
      Doesn’t sound like they were actually measuring anything…sounds like they were just giving you a good going over.

      Now for the comments
      I think the biggest issue with the 40 and its like, which you mentioned in the video is its lack of applicability. When in any field sport will someone sprint 40 metres from a standing start with zero fatigue. Maybe at the kickoff otherwise never. So i couild see the spider tests first effort as raising some fatigue then doing a sprint much more like a game situation.
      Precisely…and you can say that about ALL testing. What you are looking for is tests that are efficient, effective and give you feedback that you can use to modify training.

      Also if someone wants to determine who is fast for teenages just line them up and have a race easy competitive and it is just as accurate as anything else over a season.
      I like racing them.

      A weird issue that i have noted before in basketball players performing suicides (another version of this) is that they will generally time there turns to corespond with the dominant foot do you see this as an issue as a player could go through the whole season without turning on the other foot. Do you coach players so this does not occur or can it in turn tell you something about how the players move.
      In testing I don’t care what way they do it…in training we do work to ensure that players turn, cut and drive off both feet.

      Now for some questions
      1)
      if some has not meet your strength standards in the lower body and has a mono spider test result (ie little variability from 1st to last effort) do you incorporate more sprint work and/or mess with their conditioning work or do you not worry about issues of speed until the strength tests are meet.
      Yes.

      Secondly how would this answer differ if they had meet the strength scores but the mono result still remained but was now at a higher level.
      If we were doing more power work and nothing was happening I would scream at them…’RUN FASTER’…that always seems to work.

      Other than that sometimes you need to just back yourself and your coaching and if needs be keep smashing your athletes head against the brick wall…improvements in performance are not always if ever linear and predictable. In that you can’t say for sure that if you do this then that will happen….whatever this and that may be. Sometimes you get athletes that will respond immediately to certain types of training while others will have a ‘break through’ sometime later. That’s just the way it is.

      2) for kids do you like the use of single leg movements in leiu of the availability to access real weighted movements.
      Absolutely and not just for kids. You will see single leg work in almost every program I write.

      3) would use any single leg movements to test for leg strength imbalances or mobility issues for kids
      Kids I don’t test so much. If I get them early they tend not to get messed up in the first place. I try not to break athletes physically and mentally too early…I tend to wait till they are older and then do that.

      4) would it be possible for me to post up some programs (one soccer based and the other just general strength based) and have you critique the hell out of them.
      Of course…there is nothing that fitness professionals enjoy more than rubbishing the work of others.

      Also i know i said i would post videos but you tube hates me and my camera and just won’t do it so instead i will ask questions.
      When lowering the bar do you try to keep the elbows under the bar or just let what happens happen
      And where do tell the players to touch their body a set point or just wherever it most shortens the rom.
      I’ll make another video for you covering these questions.

      Thanks as always for your time Also are you still training or has that stopped.
      Still training. I was pretty sick with a bacterial chest infection that I picked up at Xmas that wiped me out for January as well. Last month I started to get back into it and plan to have a big training month this March.

  10. Pingback: Testing « James Santi

  11. our coach is defintiely from the old school that beleives a session isn’t a session if we walk out with kegs that aren’t feeling like cement. It is esspecially hard when you miss i sprint as more sprints are immediately added with the the proviso that another missed one will result in more sprints. Hell some sessions (that were meant for skills training) might have most of it as suicides and breaks.

    just to check when you said yes to question 1 you did mean don’t worry about issues of seed until strength standards are met right?

    Thanks for answering the rest of the q’s and if it is okay ill post some q’s on single leg stuff and the programs over in labcoating over the next few days.

    • 1)
      if some has not meet your strength standards in the lower body and has a mono spider test result (ie little variability from 1st to last effort) do you incorporate more sprint work and/or mess with their conditioning work or do you not worry about issues of speed until the strength tests are meet.
      Yes, I incorporate more sprint work and yes, this involves messing with their conditioning work and yes, I do worry about the issue of of speed while getting them stronger.

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