Athlete Progress and The Importance of Specificity

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I was recently put in contact, through a family member, with a university rugby player in Canada who was looking to get advice on training specifically for rugby union.

The player had a strong history of athletic participation but lacked specificity in their strength training.

On viewing the athletes training methods and working out estimated RM’s and BW ratios it became clear that too much of the training was orientated towards upper body hypertrophy. So a focus was needed on developing a strength base, especially in the lower body.

I made contact with the athlete and tailored a plan via email and am happy to say he made fantastic process in the 6 weeks. While the program was rugby specific as the athlete is in off season it was not position specific, rather person specific, providing the athlete with a solid foundation to build upon.

Viewing the results it is clear that this athlete possessed the ability, he just needed to be put in the right direction. Although I would love to claim that my programming was responsible for a 80% squat increase in 6 weeks, that would be slightly sensational on my part!

What these results do show however is the importance of consulting with a proper strength and conditioning coach for athletes to gain an advantage in their training and not to rely on generic gym programmes for their spotting needs.

Relative
Improvements in Relative Strength over the 6 week period. (Lift:Bodyweight)
Strength
Strength level improvements over the 6 week period. Week 1 estimated from 8 rep lifts, week 6 estimated from 5/6 rep lifts.

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