This strongman circuit will get you strong and fit for rugby
Rugby training is some of the toughest around.
The sport demands speed, power and strength by the bucket-load - so players have to go hard in the gym. Our chat with England rugby pro Matt Kvesic showed just how gruelling the training could be.
But to get rugby players ready for an 80-minute onslaught on the field they often nick sport-specific training protocols from other disciplines like wrestling and MMA. The core strength work really translates onto the field.
It turns out that old school strongman training is also brilliant for getting rugby players strong, powerful and conditioned to go hard in games.
Former Wasps player Ali McKenzie and trainers Will McLaren and Richard Cross put together a strongman strength and conditioning circuit for rugby pre-season training at The Foundry Gym in Vauxhall.
This 'loaded carry medley' is high intensity with short rest periods between each exercise - and it's very challenging.
The workout is designed to test both your strength and your cardiovascular fitness. But as some of the exercises are not moving in strict planes of motion and all of the movements are naturally unstable, you're constantly having to balance, which forces you to engage your core.
Former Wasps star and Foundry owner Ben Gotting said:
"Strongman training is extremely metabolic. The gear is not regular shapes and sizes and they are challenging on your frontal, transverse and sagittal planes of motion.
"Strongman works your anaerobic lactic and anaerobic power energy systems. The loaded carry medley is great for working your hamstrings, lower back and your whole posterior chain."
Basically it will work as a brilliant fat burner - but improve your core strength and cardio fitness.
If your gym doesn't have top notch strongman equipment it's no problem. You can replicate the same movements or exercises and use alternatives such as holding a weight plate above your head whilst walking (yoke walk) carrying a plate against your chest (Atlas stone) or carrying a barbell in the Zercher position.
The key is to hit each round with maximum effort - going as fast as safely possible which controlling the weighted load.
This video shows the Foundry guys in action tackling this beast of a circuit.