Category Archives: Strength

Strength’s Importance in Rugby

rugby_strengthFor one of John Pryor‘s rugby players, having an abundance of strength and power is beyond helpful. It’s essential. As you might have noticed, rugby is a very fast-paced, rough, and rugged game. Therefore, building adequate strength via sustained strength and endurance training are imperative parts of every rugby player’s workout regimen. The majority of rugby skills are time-constrained, happening at high speeds with high physical stakes at hand. With that said, strength and hypertrophy are only the building blocks of a sturdy rugby player. For full functionality, both power and speed are needed in order to shape a rugby player, and that can’t come without extensive strength training.

Every Player is Different, But Strength Reigns Supreme

Your position, your own personal style of playing, as well as your team’s style, may dictate the amount of training needed in each area. Speaking from experience though, there’s no short of strong, well-trained players in even the lower levels of the professional game. Besides maybe a further understanding of the game and the development of specific sets of skills; the key aspects separating the top-level pros and international players from the rest is pure strength and power in its rawest form.

Building Agility on a Muscular Frame

With all of that being said, I think that it is very agreeable that speed and power are very specific abilities, whereas strength and hypertrophy are more general in nature. Heavy strength training should be focused on more heavily in the earlier stages of the athletes career, building bulk muscle and preparing for the season, with the more specific muscle training and skill training coming later on. After you’ve built sufficient muscle memory, adding agility to the mix will be much easier and less risky.

Preventing Overtraining and Preparing for the Season

Rugby athletes shouldn’t concern themselves too deeply with their strength and size as long as they have a solid training foundation. You should start with a good 4-8 week training block in the earlier parts of the pre-season, during which you’d be almost exclusively weightlifting to add mass. After that, reduce the weight used in your workout to a minimal and focus on high reps and aerobic activities, focusing on slowly increase speed while maintaining maximum power in all movements. Many rugby players continue to build mass through strength training for many years after they’ve entered a professional or amateur league.

Core Strength and Durability Counteract High Injury Risk

In the game of Rugby, as many as 1 out of every 4 players will be injured during a season; which is three times the injury rate that soccer has. Around 40% of rugby injuries will be muscular strains or contusions (bruising of the muscle). About 30% of the injuries will be sprains, then followed by fractures, dislocations, lacerations, and also over-use injuries. With those statistics said, it is obvious why it is important, in the game of Rugby, to have overwhelmingly adequate strength that comes from training towards fine-tuned power, speed, and precision.

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John Pryor’s Strength

When we think about some of the greatest athletes, whether in the past or the present, what do think about? Depending on if you are a sports fanatic or not, your opinions of these people can range from being super heroes to being merely impressive athletes. If we take a deeper look into the lives of our favorite athletes and even the coaches that direct them, we will see that their success didn’t come though over night, much like John Pryor.

Little is known about John Pryor and what motivates him to do his best while on the rugby field until this afternoon when he spoke about his passion that fuels his strength. “I know the feeling of watching someone you look up to fail. It’s disheartening, when it should be enlightening,” said Pryor. “Every game I play, I imagine my own child is there, watching me, cheering me on. I can’t fail in front of his eyes. If he’s anything like me, I know that would crush his spirit.”

John Pryor holds his family to the highest degree and admits they are his passion, his purpose, his reason for giving 102% everyday. “You can’t fail the ones who are expecting the most out of you. Imagine being a little boy in love with super heroes and your dad is your biggest hero. Seeing him fail would be like watching Superman die,” Pryor commented.

Mr. Pryor isn’t the only one with such a high regard for his family and sees them as the source of his power. In a recent survey hosted in 2014, 76% of men said they have give their best effort because they have a family while 21% of men said they give their best effort to keep their title or reputation and the remaining 3% say they do not care. If you are a man, it seems to show that through these figures, having a family to depend on you and look up to you forces you to strive for excellence and that is exactly what John Pryor does 24/7 365 days a week.

Passion comes in many many different forms. To some, passion may be in the form of what they do for a living and for others it could be what they are doing for other people. In John Pryor’s case, his passion and strength comes from providing for his family and being an example for his child which is what so few children have in this day and age.

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