Southside for Rugby Players

Don’t worry about the title…it’s a joke for my own amusement more than anything else.

The rugby season has come to an end…and the new one already seems to have begun. Some players are resting up, some players are getting ready for sevens, some are getting ready for yet more rugby with internationals up coming. Here is what one of the latter players is doing this week.

Monday
Maximum Strength Session
Warm Up – 30 mins low intensity cardio. This is slow steady state type stuff 110-120bpm. 10 mins on the bike, treadmill and rower.
Hip Mobility Work – You should know what this entails by now.
Trap Bar Deadlift – 2 warm up sets of 8 reps easy, 1 moderate set of 5 reps, then 5 heavy sets of 3 reps
Leg Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
Shoulder Mobility Work – band pull a parts, band dislocates, scap pull ups, scap push ups
Bench Press – 2 warm up sets of 8 reps easy, 1 moderate set of 5 reps, then 5 heavy sets of 3 reps
DB Rows – 5 sets of 8 reps
Cool Down – 30 mins low intensity cardio. This is slow steady state type stuff 110-120bpm. 10 mins on the bike, treadmill and rower.

Tuesday
Conditioning Session
Warmed Up then did some KB Overhead carries.

1st Block – Mixed Conditioning
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 KB Squats
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Push Ups
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Inverted Rows
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Sit Ups
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
Then he got a 1 minute break…we did 3 sets of these back to back then he got a 2 minute break.

2nd Block – Sprint Conditioning
10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 metres…the jog out was at recovery pace…the player turned and dropped at the line face down on the ground and placed their hands behind their head then broke off the ground and sprinted to the start line. 10m first then 20m and so on. They got a minute after each complete set. We did 3 sets and then he got a 2 minute break.

3rd Block – Mixed Conditioning
Same format as the 1st Block only all the exercises were replace by punching combinations on the pads. So 10 and 20 metre run followed by a jab, punch, upper cut and hook…10 of these the first time, 8 the second, 6 on the third and 4 on the forth. We did 3 sets with a minute between sets and 2 minutes rest at the completion.

4th Block – Sprint Conditioning
This was a repeat of the 2nd Block.

5th Block – Mixed Conditioning
This was a repeat of the 1st Block

Wednesday
Body Building Session
Warm Up – 10km on the bike…easy…25 mins at 110-120bpm.
Hip Mobility Work – Hurdle Steps, Leg Swings and Leg Sweeps
Leg Press – 1 easy set of 12 reps, 1 moderate set of 12 reps then 2 hard sets of 12 reps and 1 mental set to finish. This consisted of 140kg on the 1st set, 180kg on the 2nd set, then 220kg for the rest…squeezing out 30 reps on the last…less than 60 seconds recovery between sets.
1A Leg Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps
1B Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps
2A Ab Roll Outs – 3 sets of 12 reps
2B 45deg Back Extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps
Shoulder Mobility Work – Horizontal Band Pull-A-Parts and Band Dislocates
Incline Bench Press – 1 easy set of 12 reps, 1 moderate set of 12 reps then 3 hard sets of 12 reps
Lo-Hi Cable Flyes – 3 sets of 10 reps
Band Assisted Pull Ups – 5 sets of 12 reps
Single Arm Cable Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
3A Hanging Leg Raises – 3 sets of 12 reps
3B Natural Reverse Hypers – 3 sets of 12 reps
DB Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
DB Overhead Tricep Extension – 3 sets of 12 reps

Thursday
Sprint Conditioning
I had a change of plan today. Instead of doing shorter higher intensity intervals I had Cookies do longer intervals instead. His session went like this:
Warm Up and Dynamic stretch
Training Block
Sprint 150m walking recovery of 50m by 4
Sprint 300m walking recovery of 100m followed by 2 minutes rest
Sprint 50m walking recovery of 50m by 4
Sprint 300m walking recovery of 100m followed by 2 minutes rest
Cookies did 3 of these blocks back to back. I want to say well done to Barney as well who joined Cookies for this session….well he sort of joined in. Barney did the Warm Up and edged Cookies out on the first 2 efforts…was maybe 20m behind him on the 3rd effort and then gave up…outstanding lack of effort all round.

Friday
Explosive/Bodyweight Session
Warm Up – 5 sets of 500’s on the rower at 1:45-1:50 pace with 60 second recoveries
Stretch
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 40kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 50kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 60kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Blast Strap Fallouts – 3 sets of 10 reps
Elevated Blast Strap Push Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps
Elevated Blast Strap Inverted Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
Turkish Get Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps 20kg
Natural Reverse Hypers – 3 sets of 15 reps

So that was Cookies training week. He has the weekend off and then we get back work next week.

James holds the most important record in the gym

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This is about the same as the single reading for my abdominal skinfold…but I am working on that.

Lunge Variation
I was asked about this the other day as someone saw one of my GAA players doing it in another gym and they asked them what was it for…the player in question told them they assumed it was for a unknown wrong that they had done to me. No wonder so many people in the wider community like me so much when my own athletes have always got such nice things to say about me.

Anyway…here is James doing the same 2 way cable lunge in question.

If you want to know what it does or why I use it try it and let me know and I’ll print it on cards for athletes to hand out.

Something I just saw when I was out and about on the interweb.
This is a good blog…i.e. better than mine and way more interesting.

Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association – National Championships

The championships were held a couple of weeks back. I wish it had of been on my radar earlier because I definitely would have taken some of the lads from the gym to it. This federation is probably the best one for us as it unequipped and it’s drug tested just like we already are. It does have an equipped division but I don’t think anyone is interested in playing ‘dress ups’.

I know we don’t lift to competition rules…in fact I don’t even know what their competition rules are…but I intend to find out because I think it would be great craic to compete and it will give the lads something other than rugby to think about during the off season. It would serve a lot of purposes….1. It would be fun. 2. The lads would be focused on getting stronger in the core lifts…that has to be a good thing. 3. It would also encourage them to target and maintain their ideal playing weight…whether that be adding muscle mass or shedding fat and 4. It would be fun.

I thought I would through up some of the results so the lads could see what they are targeting:
75kg Class
Senior
Squat – 177.5kg
Bench – 130kg
Deadlift – 215kg
Total = 522.5kg

Junior
Squat – 150kg
Bench – 120kg
Deadlift – 195kg
Total = 465kg

82.5kg Class
Senior
Squat – 160kg
Bench – 120kg
Deadlift – 190kg
Total = 470kg

Junior
Squat – 145kg
Bench – 100kg
Deadlift – 210kg
Total = 455kg

90kg Class
Senior
Squat – 202.5kg
Bench – 145kg
Deadlift – 262.5kg
Total = 610kg

Junior
Squat – 165kg
Bench – 105kg
Deadlift – 230kg
Total = 495kg

100kg Class
Senior
Squat – 185kg
Bench – 130kg
Deadlift – 235kg
Total = 550kg

Junior
Squat – 172.5kg
Bench – 97.5kg
Deadlift – 230kg
Total = 500kg

110kg Class
Senior
Squat – 215kg
Bench – 130kg
Deadlift – 240kg
Total = 585kg

Junior
Squat – 210kg
Bench – 130kg
Deadlift – 232.5kg
Total = 572.5kg

125kg Class
Senior
Squat – 200kg
Bench – 161kg
Deadlift – 252kg
Total = 612.5kg

Junior
Squat – 185kg
Bench – 150kg
Deadlift – 230kg
Total = 565kg

So now you guys know what’s out there. We’ll find a competition somewhere around September hopefully and who ever wants to have a crack at it can do a little ‘ramp up’ for it and we’ll see how we get on. Otherwise we’ll have to plan an all out assault on the national championships this time next year.

Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association
Have had a number of emails and texts about this so I thought I would throw up some links. You can find their website here. They have all their rules and records on the site so have a look there before you ask me any more questions I don’t have the answers to.

Nobody is perfect

Never truer words have been spoken. This is particularly the case when it comes to athletes. I warn you right from the start…this is going to be one of those posts that won’t make sense unless you are reading it 6 weeks from now when I’ve edited it a dozen times to get what is in my head down in writing here on the interweb.

Let me begin by adding to my ‘Things I know’ list:
6. No athlete is perfect…as in no athlete has nothing wrong with them. If they think they are problem free and you think they are problem free then they haven’t pushed themselves hard enough and or you haven’t looked hard enough.

Now this is not to say that you should be looking to make problems for yourself or your athletes just that you need to be aware that everyone has some restrictions. Athletes all move differently and even athletes that perform similarly are often getting the job done in different ways.

Often it is dependent on how hard you push them or they push themselves as to when you will find the ‘weak link’ in the chain but eventually if they are pushed hard enough and or often enough it will come.

Let me give you some general examples of this. I have athletes come to me and they’ve no problems at all…’apparently’. They test and all seems fine, you screen them and they appear to have no problems…all is good right? Then they start training…doing a simple balanced program…all is still good….so you start increasing the frequency or the volume or the intensity and then little things start popping up…groin pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain…any number of things. I like it when this happens because the sooner it happens almost the better. Because the sooner that it happens the sooner it can be assessed and the sooner we can get to work on fixing it. To give you another very general example…I was involved with team where all the athletes were screened…part of that screening involved a test to examine the strength ratios in the quadriceps and hamstrings. Now it was no real surprise that at the end of the season that nearly all of the players identified in the screening as having an ‘issue’..as in a poor hamstrings to quadriceps ratio who didn’t work to correct this imbalance were the ones that presented with hamstring injury over the course of the season.

Now, I am over simplifying here…this ratio isn’t the sole determining factor…but I definitely think it is a major contributing factor. Just like players push up to inverted row ration ‘tends’ do be a factor in chronic shoulder issues…now it can be argued which comes first….as in…is the ratio a result of the problem or the cause of it….what I can tell you though is that when athletes work to close that ratio a lot of issues resolve themselves. This is usually because to close this ratio and improve their inverted row scores they inevitably end up doing a lot of shoulder mobility and stability work along with all their regular strength work. The same applies to much of the hip and back mobility and stability work I generally integrate into athletes warm ups. By doing these they serve several functions…1. If you don’t have any problems or any issues they are just a good warm up…you do them and move on. 2. If you do have issues but don’t even know it doing them and getting better at them ensures that it never becomes an issue and they are a good warm up…you do them and move on. 3. If you have an issue and know it then it is always apparent when you are doing them…you can hear people moaning, groaning and complaining about their backs, hips, groins or all of the above all the way through them…however over time the restrictions go away…they get better at them…they are a good warm up…you do them and move on.

Every single person in the gym will be able to tell you a story about ‘over’s and under’s’ and athletes that I almost had to stop from doing them for fear that they were going to smash the rack or bend the bar by repeatedly striking them with the heads, feet, backs or other body parts…people who over time and without ever noticing suddenly are fine with the drill. Everyone gets better at it…they get better at it without ever having to be conscious of what or how they are stretching…they just do it and get better…mainly because they get sick of cracking their heads or shins against steel.

Here’s one of the first video’s I ever posted…skip forward to the 50 second or so mark and have a look at the difference in technique between someone who had been doing them for a little while and someone just starting out.

As always…I’ve ran out of time but I will come back to this over the weekend and start giving specific examples. As per usual I haven’t even got to the point of this post yet. What I really want to discuss is identifying issues and resolving them in the midst of an ongoing strength and conditioning program.

So what the hell was I talking about again?
I told you this post was going to be a nightmare…if you are reading this for the first time then you won’t know what I’m talking about…suffice to say this post has been edited and added to on 5 or 6 occasions now. I don’t really care how annoying it is…it’s my blog and I’ll annoy you in whatever way I see fit.

I said I’d give you some specific examples…so here we go.
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So…we’ve two athletes…I get asked all the time about flexibility training and mobility drills and more specifically…’How much flexibility do I need?’. Well we can’t cover every joint and every sport but I thought hamstring flexibility would be something easy to discuss. I think being able to get your leg perpendicular to the ground and both legs having the same range is a pretty good start. I might add that those picks of Paul (the bottom two) were taken after we had done some specific flexibility work. The other point that I think needs making is that you need to understand how all the pieces work together before you start messing around too much. Paul has more issues than just a lack of hamstring flexibility.

Have a look at his hips

Have a look at his hips


Have a look at his hips…or more particularly the tilt…this is Paul trying to sit up straight.
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Have a look at Denise’s hips by way of comparison when doing the same stretch…or David’s in the following photo.
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So? I hear you asking…so Paul is still performing…and doing so at a high level…he’s also from memory depending on the test…the fastest or second fastest player in his squad. The fact is he’s doing so with some major imbalances and major mobility issues and restrictions. He didn’t have any huge issues…well none that he knew of until he started training with me. Like I said previously…I don’t go looking for problems but you have to fix the obvious stuff. With Paul more ‘niggles’ came to the fore once we upped the volume of his training. So what we are doing now is continuing on with his training, minimising its effects on his ‘issues’ and simulaneously working our arses off fixing them. The way we are doing that is by continuing with his mobility work….and doing a bit more that others do who don’t share his problems and I do a lot more partner assisted stretching with him. I’ll make sure I post more details of his progress as time passes.

Just quickly on other matters
Denise took me for half my net worth last night…I’m sorry to say the new gym opening will be delayed a month due to Denise fleecing me like the sucker I am.

I’m sorry I didn’t keep recording it’s just that I really was totally sick with grief and disgust at being taken in. The worst bit is that at about half way she was behind schedule and was looking like she was going to redecorate the place with the insides of her stomach and if I had just said ‘Oh well don’t worry about it’ or ‘stop you are going to be sick’ she probably would have stopped…the problem is that the fat whale of a cow doesn’t know when she’s beaten and just dug deep and made probably the greatest comeback since Lasse Viren fell in the Olympic 10,000m final only to get up and win gold in a world record time in Munich, on the 31st August 1972. From now on people will forever talk about 23rd of April when Denise Fox was at 10 minutes and 53 second at the 5km mark and came home to take the €50 in 19 minutes and 59 seconds.

Later the same evening…
I am on the laptop tonight away from my mother ship computer so I don’t have all the stuff that I wanted to post regarding the topic above but I did check my email and have a few good ones…one of which was bemoaning the fact that there are so few good strength and conditioning coaches in Ireland…I don’t know if people realise this but we also have a good few less people as well…maybe it would be better to compare the number of good coaches in Kentucky…a state of about the same population as Ireland…or maybe Brisbane…a city in Australia of around the same population…all those people pissing and moaning about the lack of great strength and conditioning coaches in Ireland can perhaps name all the world famous coaches from Kentucky and Brisbane that trip off the top of peoples tongues….now I suppose that it’s true to a certain extent in that people think we are lacking in ‘internet famous’ strength and conditioning coaches but with regard to a lack of good strength and conditioning coaches at all? I think that is a bit harsh. It seems to me to be getting less and less true all the time anyway. I know a good few strength and conditioning coaches doing what in my opinion is great work…a lot of it with youngsters which unfortunately doesn’t get you a lot of column inches or internet airtime. I also know a good few coaches who I don’t think are lighting the world up coaching wise that still get huge praise and a lot of column inches. I can think of a recent example of a strength and conditioning coach who got an incredible amount of praise and huge amount of column inches which when you know the facts…was absolutely ridiculous. Now I happen to think this guy is an excellent coach and athletes that I know that have worked with him rate him very highly…the thing is…I know a lot more of the story than what appeared in the papers and on the intertoobs. Don’t believe everything you read…especially on the interweb.

Another of these mails was along similar lines…pointing out that according to the internet ‘that I’m crap compared to Joe DeFranco or Eric Cressey’…as an aside…I think it’s hysterical that these are the only two guys that ever get mentioned in this type of conversation…so any way they sent me a link. I had a look at the link and it didn’t actually say I was crap compared to Joe DeFranco and Eric Cressey…but it was sort of along those lines. Now, in all fairness it may be true…maybe I am crap compared to Joe and Eric but we won’t actually know because I’m working with my guys and they are working with theirs so we won’t ever really be able to compare. I happen to know Joe and Eric and I don’t think either of them would think that I was crap in comparison to them. I’ll tell you want really cracks me up about this whole discussion/argument…I need some help from my US based readers here….just as an example….how many players get drafted into the NFL every year? How many get drafted into MLB? Now I know that Joe works mainly in Football and I think Eric is mainly involved in Baseball…so I want to know how many players are signed in both sports and maybe the Joe and Eric aficionados can tell me exactly how many of these guys were coached by Joe and Eric respectively? Can you see where I am going with this? I’ll wait till someone posts all the respective numbers and I will come back to this…I just hope to the heavens it is not 100 in each and that Joe and Eric coached 80+ of them!

Thank God For Americans
Well maybe not for all Americans but the American that sent me this article and let me know that 220-240 players are drafted every year. Now Joe’s obviously not producing all of them so that leads me to suspect that there must be some other coaches out there doing a reasonable job? I have a feeling that it might be the fact that they don’t have websites and aren’t writing articles might be holding them back? Now, I’ve read it twice and I didn’t see Joe DeFranco or Eric Cressey’s name in it anywhere. Like I said before…I am not trying to run Joe or Eric down but people in Ireland really need to pull their heads out of the holes. Joe and Eric are not the be all and end all of strength and conditioning. I for one if I was going to be a cheerleader for anyone would want to know more about what’s going on at Long Beach Poly where 16 NFL draft picks since 1988 have gone to school.

In my own defence when athletes actually do what I tell them…I mean really do what I tell them…they generally get the results that we wanted. I would actually be happy for any of the athletes that I coach who didn’t get the results that we agreed when I was coaching them to post here and remind me because I can’t think of any. A lot of my athletes are still at the stage in their careers or of the age where they actually think they know more than me…and I’m fine with that…if athletes want to do their own thing and I don’t think they are doing any damage to themselves I am happy to let them do that…I have more than enough athletes who do want to be coached to look after.

Jonny has done what he’s told…and he’s done it when he was told it. This is his training bench tonight…training bench as in grip inside the rings…he didn’t know what he was doing this evening…he just walked into the gym and I had him do a max training bench…no peaking for it, no cycle of training leading up to it…just walk in and do what you can do tonight. According to the internet and some message boards here in Ireland kids are doing this in gyms all over the country…I just don’t see that in my experience…maybe I need to get out more. I don’t know what Joe and Eric have their young lads doing but I’m more than happy to muddle along as ineptly as I apparently am with mine.

Apologies again for the lack of updates…not lack of material just lack of time

I want to do a bit of a expose on one of my athletes…I haven’t talked to him about it but I thought it might make an interesting topic for discussion and hopefully he’ll be able to find the time to give some opinions and answer some questions so you can get it straight from the horses mouth.

I will make a specific post ideally with him as the subject so I can keep all the information on him there and it should contain the discussion on the subject while the blog goes on with other matters.

I’ll discuss it with him today and hopefully I’ll be able to make a big post to make up for my lack of little posts over the last few days…so check in later…till then it’s off to work.

I think this article is worth a read – Conditioned to lose: Weight-room inconsistencies at fault for injuries

Conditioned to lose: Weight-room inconsistencies at fault for injuries

This article is about NFL but it may as well be about GAA, rugby, basketball and football.

Conditioned to lose: Weight-room inconsistencies at fault for injuries

Most NFL offseason conditioning programs started in earnest this week, not that Jay Cutler plans on attending Denver’s. Don’t think the offseason program means anything? Think again. A lot of the injuries that happen between August and January are attributed, rightly or wrongly, to the work, or lack thereof, being put in right now.
The funny thing is, not every strength coach seems to realize his primary job is injury prevention. The lack of research or science behind some of the conditioning programs in the NFL is startling. You would think if an owner is going to spend up to $127 million on his players, he would want to make sure his investment was being protected and not further beat down, as is still the case in some places.
I have seen the impact some NFL strength coaches have had. The results have been staggering, both positively and negatively. I was on a team whose strength coach was intent on the players doing power cleans, a lift in which the player propels the weight to his shoulders in an explosive manner from the floor. Of the six or seven linemen who worked out all offseason with him, three had back surgeries within four months of each other. Maybe it was simply a coincidence. I doubt it.
There is another well-known strength coach whose program is the same for every position on the team. Now the actual weights the players lift may be different, but the specific exercises that every player is asked to complete are identical, which makes absolutely no sense to me. How can he possibly think offensive linemen and cornerbacks are the same type of athletes and need the same workouts? That’s like training a bear and a cheetah to hunt the same way. They’re different animals.
Interior linemen and perimeter skill guys are barely even playing the same sport if you ask me. Offensive linemen need to focus on power, short-area quickness and lateral movement. Cover corners need to concentrate on speed, flexibility and fluidity in and out of their breaks.
The NFL is not like high school or even college, where the main focus is on the players making gains in both strength and speed as their younger bodies continue to mature and develop. Though that is certainly still a goal among some NFL players, it is not the primary one. NFL players already possess a certain level of strength and speed; otherwise they never would have made it onto a roster.
Instead, the most important thing an NFL strength and conditioning program can do is help the players make strides towards promoting their joint health, not breaking it down further. If players had the chance to choose between being a little bit stronger, a little bit faster or feeling a little bit healthier physically for a game, trust me, healthy would win every time. It is never a good feeling walking onto an NFL playing field when something is really bothering you physically. I can’t tell you how many times before a game I thought, If only this wasn’t bothering me so much …
I have always felt the best idea is to make the offseason program as player-friendly and adaptable as possible. That doesn’t mean coddle the players. It means work them hard but smart, and be willing to alter the program according to a specific player’s likes and dislikes. After all, they are paid professionals and they should know their body better than anyone. A player who is pleased with the program is more likely to not only attend the sessions himself but also tell all of the other players that they should fall in line. And the more guys there, the better, working together for team chemistry purposes.
What amazes me is that after all the research that has been done, there still seems to be little to no consensus as to the best way to train professional football players. Seemingly every strength coach has his own beliefs. Some coaches are huge proponents of the explosion garnered from the Olympic lifts, like cleans, jerks and snatches. Others continue to believe the crux of the program should revolve around the power lifts, like bench press, squat and dead lift. Still others adhere strictly to the high intensity mindset and have their players mainly work out using joint-friendly Hammer Strength machines.
The same holds true for the running component of offseason conditioning as well. Some focus mainly on speed work, while others place the major emphasis on conditioning. There are a few coaches who prefer working on agility exercises, while others believe mainly in position-specific drills. Still others prefer to mix and match all of the lifting and running philosophies, a hodge-podge of sorts.
Their work and results don’t go unnoticed. Just last offseason, Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio fired his strength and conditioning coaches, Mark Asanovich and Les Ebert. He did so after a string of injuries, especially a heavy toll along the offensive line, helped doom the Jaguars ’08 season.
Key injuries can be devastating, especially in a salary cap era in which the depth on a team is usually comprised of young, inexpensive and inexperienced players who may not be ready to succeed week in and week out on Sundays.
Del Rio was unwavering when asked immediately after the season if decreasing injuries was the primary focus of the offseason program, saying, “That’s the goal,” he said. “Everybody that wants to be a Jaguar [in 2009] will be here. Anybody who wants to be a Jaguar will be working out with the team.” Not exactly a subtle hint about his feelings concerning participation in the voluntary offseason program, huh?
I realize that some might consider it unfair to pin certain circumstantial injuries on strength coaches, but that can be a reality in the cutthroat NFL. Though I agree it can be difficult to correlate a specific injury on a unique individual to a certain workout program, a trend of similar injuries or a boatload of injuries in general is problematic. That is why NFL strength and conditioning coaches would be wise to do whatever it takes to try to ensure their players are physically healthy and prepared for the rigors of the season ahead. If not, they might be the next to get fired.

I thought I better start answering some questions

Cal asked the following:

As a follow up to these 30/30 test scores, how would you interpret the following numbers?
173
161
148
138
140
142
Total=902

He’s a 26 year old former rugby player planning comeback. Honestly, haven’t done any ‘conditioning’ (ie anything but weights) since end of 2007 and is 1.80m, 105kg and is about 18-20% body fat.

The first thing I’d be doing is getting that first score up…as I’m sure you’ve picked up here if you’ve been reading the blog…I’m very much a power first and endurance after kind of guy…I think quality first and quantity second. Was that what you were looking for? The other thing is…I don’t tend to ‘train’ on the rower…just use it for testing.

Luke asked the following:

Hey Will. Fantastic blog. Hoping you could help me out with something I’ve seen a lot of conflicting information about.

How much interval training or other work capacity stuff is appropriate when trying to gain strength?
Test. That’s the key thing. If you are looking to get stronger and your not….then you may be doing too much interval training or work capacity stuff…either that or your strength program blows.

I’ve got zero interest in gaining mass for its own sake, but I’m very interested in getting stronger relative to my size. If that means getting a little bigger, then okay. My sport is soccer/basketball/lacrosse-style in that it requires quick bursts at high intensity interspersed with short recovery periods.
Sounds like a brilliant hybrid game.

How much can this capacity be trained while working on strength/speed/quickness, that is, very-high-intensity, long-recovery work?
Yes…that isn’t the answer you are looking for I know. This sort of thing really comes down to the individual…if you want to come to the gym and you have a spare €105 a month I’d be happy to help you.

Thanks