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Old 10-18-2004, 12:19 PM   #11
Aaron Latzke
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Justin- Leading up to the ITTs this summer, I was being trained by one of my friends who is currently in grad school to become a strength and conditioning coach. One thing that we focused on was increasing my overall speed and agility. Over the course of 6 weeks, I decreased my 40 time from 4.92 to 4.71, while gaining 15 lbs. We focused on doing explosive high knee movements to strengthen the hip flexors and did plyos to get better get-off. We did all our sprints at a 10:1 rest to work ratio. This ensures that you are working at maximum output every sprint to increase your top speed. Many people get confused with maximum output and maximum effort. Maximum effort is key for developing endurance and mental toughness (vital for rugby), but to increase your top speed and explosiveness, you must be firing on all cylinders (not be fatigued).

To increase lateral quickness and movement, plyos as well as work on the agility ladder are beneficial. Lateral plyos are good for increasing the overall distance you can move side to side. Using the agility ladder makes your body able to manage that distance.

When it comes to all out speed, it is essential to get proper rest in between reps to really get results. However, when it comes to agility and fast foot movements in a confined space, maximum effort while moderately tired seems to get the best results. You just have to make sure your feet continue to move quickly.

This is what I do to get faster and improve my agility:

Speed Days:
Dynamic Warmup-
high knees run 2x10 yd
high knee skip, forward 2x10 yd
high knee skip, sideways 2x10 yd
high knee skip, backwards 2x10 yd
lunges (good stretch) 2x10 yd
butt kickers 2x10 yd
fire hydrants (on all fours, lifting leg laterally) 3x 10 reps
tin soldier (with leg locked out, kick leg up in walking motion to touch horizontally outstretched hand) 2x10 yd
high knee run (cycle your legs as many times as possible in the 10 yds) 2x10 yd
- this warmup is supposed to be tiring, so don't be suprised when it is. Also, don't take long rests in between sets or exercises.

Plyo- Here you can get creative. Pick two plyos that are running related such as broad jumps or high skips. Do 3 sets of not a lot of reps of each.

Sprints- Here we want at least 10:1 rest/ work ratio
Get offs: 6 reps of 4 to 5 hard steps

- Pair the following sprints in twos so that you alternate the two sprints for their sets

10's: 4 reps
40 yd build ups: 4 reps (accelerate so that you are going 100% at 40 yds. As soon as you hit 100% coast to a stop.)

20's: 4 reps
flying 10's: 4 reps (accelerate to 100% for 30 yds and sprint for 10 yds)

30's: 4 reps
flying 20's: 4 reps (like flying 10's but sprint for 20 yds)

40's: 4 reps (don't pair, rest well)

Hollow sprints: 2 reps (sprint 20, coast 20, sprint 20, coast 20, sprint 20) don't pair

Start out with reduced reps and work up to doing the workout as specified. This should take you about 45 min to an hour from start to finish. Do it once a week.

Start with dynamic warmup.
Do a plyometric that has lateral movement associated with it (side to side leaps, zig zag leaps).
Do the agility ladder with an array of exercises. If you search online, you can come up with lots of movements that you can do. We did 4 times through the ladder for each movement and would do 3 movements total. Make sure that you keep your feet moving fast.
Do cone drills that make you start and stop in all sorts of ways. These you can find online as well. We would do two drills, with three reps in each direction (since most cone drills either have you start from the right or left).

We did one day of each workout a week. It is hard work, but the results were definite. When combining it with crossfit, the total fitness required for rugby will be achieved. If you have a choice, do the speed and agility workouts before the crossfit ones. You want to be fresh so that maximum output is achieved. Hopefully this helps you. Take some of the workout or all of it to fit your liking. Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2004, 12:27 PM   #12
Nick Massman
Member Nick Massman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: san luis obispo  ca
Posts: 35
if you have questions on detail/application as it pertains to rugby please email me I would be happy to answer those questions.
Nick Massman
CrossfitSLO/Cal Poly Rugby
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:31 PM   #13
Justin Jacobsen
Departed Justin Jacobsen is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 77
Thanks for the input guys! This should keep me busy for a good while.
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Old 10-29-2004, 10:59 AM   #14
Aaron Latzke
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Well here it is now, 5 weeks into it and the results are phenomenal. I have gained between 10-15 lbs (from 220-235ish), increased my stamina incredibly, and increased my strength as well.

I was starting to get a little bored with working out, due to the fact that I hadn't played rugby in a couple of months, but just last night I had practice with the Pelicans, the nor-cal allstars. The performance that I was able to display was amazing. From next to zero time needed for recovery to being told my hitting was the reason why one needs to clench their teeth going into contact, it was great.

I've been this big before, but what I think is different is that Crossfit trains all the auxiliary stabilizor muscles that make you sturdy. Then when you contact someone, all the power from your legs is able to transfer effeciently to the places you need it, like you shoulders and arms. After last night's practice, I was so excited to do crossfit this morning, now able to see the fruits of my efforts.

This sunday we have a game, so that will be the real test. I am very confident, however, that my body will be able to do all that my mind desires. Cheers!
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:27 AM   #15
Brian Gibson
Member Brian Gibson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Big Stone Gap  VA
Posts: 424
Good job, Aaron! Nice to see an awesome testimonial like that.
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