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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 03-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
Ben Kimmerle
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Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

So I play rugby and at 5'10" ish and around 175 lbs. I'm kinda small, and wouldn't mind gaining some weight/mass to throw around on the field. I'm not sure what my max squat/deadlift/press are, but as of about 2 weeks ago on SS I was doing (sets across) 295/325/115 respectively.

Besides gaining some mass and getting stronger, as scrum half I need to be pretty fit. I know it's early, but I was looking towards the summer and starting to try to plan out a schedule to maximize all these elements.

I'll get out of school around mid May, and besides the first two weeks in August I'll have pretty much the whole summer to do what I can.
So I'll have:
May: 2 weeks
June:4 weeks
July: 4 weeks
August: about 1 week right before pre-season

I was thinking about trying to incorporate a hypertrophy phase (just one, early on), strength buidling (along the lines of SS or a periodized scheme), CF (met-cons etc.) and sprinting/field conditioning.

Any thoughts as to how I could order these/set up a schedule to maximize my time/gains and keep myself from overtraining?

Any thoughts/suggestions would be awesome.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
David Aguasca
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

ben, i'd say just skip the hypertrophy phase and do some variation of SS and eat a ton. unless you're trying to get HYUUUGE then any time not focused on making you stronger or more conditioned (because, after all you're an athlete, not a body builder) is time wasted. with any strength work + caloric surplus you'll grow pretty well.

seems like you're already pretty strong, so if you run through a cycle of beginner SS until you stop progressing, you'd probably want to look into the intermediate programming. Practical Programming is a great book for this.

then i'd say switch to a schedule that includes metcon, sprints, and some strength...

i'm no expert...but that's how i'd go about it. as for how many weeks to give to each phase, i don't really know.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
Darren Coughlan
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

Id follow the Performance Menu functional mass programme [7 weeks i think of memory].

Then just follow the WOD of crossfit.com.

I would not run over 400m in a WOD though. So you can sub some sprints for a 5km/1 mile run, etc. or ignore altogether.

You should look to sprint every 2nd day [m,w,f] aswell as the WOD/functional mass programme, try to keep the two separated as much as possible eg, sprint am, WOD/FM programme pm

Ive done it and put clients on this schedule and have gotten great results.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

You probably don't need periodization based on your lifts, and even if you do need periodization you don't need a traditional program. SS + Bill Starr's linear should work well... transitioning into something like Westside (conjugate periodization) or undulating periodization (my preference) if you really need to by then.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:14 PM   #5
Grant Scalf
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

Do SS with the whole milk if you can afford it. Many board members have posted in various threads about the efficacy of drinking the milk versus just trying to eat a lot of extra food. I agree with Stephen in that you do not need any type of periodization right now. I don't even think you will find you need it this summer. Get SS, read it, perfect your form, drink your milk, and lift heavy.

After that I would just go straight in to CF with a 3 on 1 off schedule. You will probably gain more strength during this period, albeit very slowly. I would disagree about not running more than 400m though. I think it is vital for you to be able to run longer distance such as 800m repeats and even the occasional 5 or 10k. You will cover a fair amount of ground as a scrum half as I understand.

I think you would be hard pressed to beat the good ole WODs for turning you in to a beast after your SS cycle. Various sprinting would definitely help, i.e. hill sprints, fartlek, interval, stadiums, 20m explosion sprints, 100m sprints, etc. I would even go as far as saying do some agility and flexibility work, both would stave off injury and help your overall athletic ability.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:29 PM   #6
Ben Kimmerle
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

Thanks everyone for your comments. The hypertrophy was just a thought, but the PM Mass Gain looks pretty good, and of course eating a lot (and then some) and the whole milk always help. I kinda hit "the wall" on SS as of 2 weeks ago, so that's why I was looking for alternatives for size/strength. I have SS, and I'll definitely look into getting Practical Programming so I can keep making progress.

Darren: I'm not going to have time for 2 workouts a day. I'll (most likely) be working on a farm and work starts at 7am. After an 8 hour day in the sun and working I have to psyche myself up for even one workout.

Would it be better to focus on strength in the beginning (Practical Programming, PM program) for a few weeks then start incorporating sprints/WOD's into my weeks, then switch to all WOD's? I feel that this would give me a chance to focus on each and make better gains than trying to do everything at once.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:23 PM   #7
Grant Scalf
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

You definitely don't want to do everything at once. Focus on your strength first off, then move in to WODs and sprints. I see no reason for you to split up your time on WODs and sprints. I think both can live together peacefully. Although, you said you will be working long days on a farm. I guess you will have to gauge it. If the sprints seem to be too much back them off, or cut one WOD out every 3 days and do sprinting and agility drills. Just don't cut the sprints out all together.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:47 PM   #8
Dan Castillo
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

I would have to disagree with most of the responders assesments. I have played rugby for 9 years and have been C.F. for almost 2. I was also the 2006 ALL-ARMY team captain and the Combined Services 7's coach for the 2006 team.

The job of a scrum half is to be around the ball ALWAYS!!! Size and strength matter only in the sense that scrumhalfs tend to take a beating if their forward pack is not rucking properly. At 5'10" and 175 you are a decent size #9 if not bigger.

You are the general on the field for your team, your responsibilites are to organize your team defensively and to distribute the ball offensively. Everyone would like to be bigger and stronger, but if the cost is a couple of seconds every ruck, then your team has to do your job, which doesn't allow them to do theirs. Keep doing the WOD'S but your focus should be on metcons and sprints. Try and tailor the workouts a bit to simulate actual game play. Sprint, ruck, jog, ruck, jog, sprint, ball out of bounds or knock on. If you can still be "FIT" at 180-185 even better, but remember why you started CFing.

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:34 PM   #9
Dan Castillo
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

I'd like to clarify some of my statements about my earlier post; if your goal is to play at a select side level or take a run at the national team, then your goals as a srum should be as follows...

1. Fitness-Metcon
2. Game management
3. Personal skills (passing, kicking etc..)
4. Size and strength

You should also add in some functional rotational excercises, and plyometrics.

if you plan on playing for the fun of Rugby, then by all means take as much advice as you can get from the CF community. Either way Cheers and good luck!

Dan
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:56 AM   #10
Darren Coughlan
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Re: Planning for Summer Rugby Offseason

Ben; If no time for 2 workouts a day, then alternate sprints and PM/WODs.

The reason i recommend the PM mass gain is that its mostly 'loaded' gymnastic movements. Then when done with the programme you follow the WOD. Due to the nature of the WOD and the Metcon elements in it your body will drop weight to where it needs to be.

Half-back or not, everyone needs to carry body-armour [muscle]. Obviously not to the point where you can no longer be useful for the team in that position, then I wirely old coach will ask you to move to the front row!

Ofcourse you need metcon but you do not need 400m runs/repeats. Do 10 forty metre runs back to back, its more game like and gets better results. Where in a game do you run 400m flat out or atleast at steady pace?...never! And IRB game stats show that [i dont have a hard copy]. Watch the best then imitate that, games/individuals etc.

Dan: reading your post I think the different styles in play are effecting our advice. In Australia we try to play an expansive game. The half controls the forwards runs and moves, but the five/eigth controls the game and calls all the shots. We train our loose forwards to slot in at half when possible, so as not have to wait for the half, this allows for quicker recycling at the breakdown and almost always allows for an extra player against the defensive line. All players need to be very good defenders. For that you need bodyweight, functional bodyweight. Because our halves defend in the line they have to be durable [not hiding behind the breakdown hoping no-one runs at them], bodyweight helps that.

Bottom line in my opinion;

Players that pace themselves are useful.
The ones that are fast/sprint to everything are game-breakers!

running laps on an oval, anything over 100m, is a waste of time

In terms of rugbys specific demands

Daz
Ive played rugby for 19 years, stint with manly rugby league club for 1 year and have coached/trained professional players in the New South Wales Premier rugby competition.
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