Rugby Conditioning

A Program to Compliment Regular Conditioning

The following program relates to rugby conditioning, however it can be used for other similar team sports such as American football, lacrosse, ice hockey, rugby league, Australian rules football etc. This program is a partial program to be integrated into a total strength and conditioning program and sport specific training for the entire team.

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What we will use here is Peripheral Adaptive Endurance training. This is a term I have personally coined. It refers to circuit style training where multiple and non-conflicting movement patterns are alternated against the clock.

The Program

This rugby conditioning program should be integrated into an existing strength and conditioning program on non-conflicting days. I recommend completing workouts the day after strength and power workouts. This rugby conditioning program works best as a means to condition athletes pre-season or as a mid-season booster to all-round fitness and work capacity.

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The program will simply be broken down into five workouts that should be performed in sequence at least twice per week. This means you might perform workout one after strength session one and workout two after strength session two in the first week. The second week will include workout three and four the day after strength sessions. Week three will begin with workout five after the first strength session then back to workout one etc.

Workout One

Five rounds of the following for time…

Hang-cleans x 10

Double unders x 30

Single arm dumbell thrusters x 10 each side

10 metre shuttle sprints x 4

Workout Two

Heavy front squats x 5 immediately followed by a 400 metre sprint

Rest 90 seconds and complete a total of three rounds. Then…

Power snatch x 5 immediately followed by a 500 metre row sprint (concept two)

Rest 90 seconds and complete a total of three rounds. Then…

Overhead barbell press x 5 immediately followed by two minutes of hard cycling

Rest 90 seconds and complete a total of three rounds. Finished.

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Workout Three

As many rounds in 40 minutes as you can of…

Burpee broad jumps x 10

Thrusters x 10

10 metre sprint with a bear crawl back x 3

Workout Four

Complete the following for time…

Broad jumps for 100 metres

Sprint back 100 metres

Push-ups x 30

Run 400 metres

Push-ups x 30

Sprint 100 metres

Broad jumps back 100 metres

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Workout Five

All players stand in a line side by side about five metres apart. Player one holds a medicine ball and passes it to player two off the ground and so on down the line and back.

Now one player stands facing all the others at a distance of 10 metres. All others are lined up in single file. The single player will toss a medicine ball to each player in the line one at a time and catch the return throw. Continue until all players have been the single player.

Now all players sprint 100 metres and perform 10 burpees for three rounds non-stop.


The preceding program, as mentioned, should form part of a total rugby conditioning program. Perform two to three of these sessions per week starting at workout one and working through to session five. Start at session one again and repeat the cycle. It is ideal that this rugby conditioning program last 8-12 weeks duration. This is sufficient to develop a massive increase in players’ work capacity.

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