They often say the simpler the better. The truth would certainly be the case with strongman training for rugby. Simple and cheap equipment that can implement in a group environment with minimal fuss has the thumbs up from rugby players from Super 14 to club amateurs.
However as with all rugby fitness tools they have their pluses and minuses and strongman training is no exception.
From coaching and using strongman equipment regularly here are a few key pointers:
1) Ensure that you choose equipment that allows you to progress the weight Getting fit for rugby is based on the need to follow the simple principle of progressing. If you are not increasing the overload on your training then you are not progressing.
It is like settling for 100kg squat and staying on that for the rest of the season. Flipping tyres are great.
However, they are best for timed sets i.e. how many flips you can get in in a certain time frame. Weight cannot be added. Better options would be yokes and farmers walks and resisted sleds.
2) Make a circuit
The best way to improve your rugby fitness with strongman equipment is to use them in a circuit. Combine a circuit of farmers walks, sled dragging, and tyre flipping. Add the number of sets your perform each week.
3) Perform Timed Sets
We have found that 30 seconds of work followed by 60-90 seconds of recovery is the best. Say for instance you wish to improve your team’s rugby fitness. Assemble them in small groups and work in the circuit. Whilst one works the others rest. Flipping tyres over 40-50 yrds can work for this.
4) Perform Rep Sets
If you are more gym based then completing a pre-designated number of reps is also beneficial for improving rugby strength. Try 6 sets of 4-6 farmers walks over 40-50 yards or 5 sets of 3 heavy tyre flips with plenty of rest for more functional strength development.
5) Seek out Cheap Options The beauty of this form of training is how cheap this is! Tyres can be recycled and usually carry no charge from the local tyre stop or friendly farmer. Rugby fitness can be cheaper with the hand of a good welder who can make up for you farmers walks and pulling sleds.
So there you have it! Rugby fitness the good old fashioned way.