I know your super busy and don’t have time for many in-depth answers to questions. Furthermore, I run a nutrition company and have played rugby for several years so I don’t need too much explanation, just a simple yes/no.
I have been doing CFFOOTBALL for 3 years now and my gains have been tremendous, but even more importantly I am having a blast working out everyday! This is the first year I will be incorporating CFFOOTBALL with rugby so I am doing the in-season workout. I got to be honest, I don’t see myself being able to keep the same amount of strength gains as in the off season, so my question is should we expect/is it ok to scale back on weight for the strength workouts during the season, keeping in mind the demands that will be placed on our body?
Actually, this a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. Once the season begins your focus changes, as the training is just a vehicle for on field success. I have said many times the training is a tool to increase performance, if you do the training and go out and dominate and stay healthy than the program was a success. If you email me and tell me you got slower, weaker and are not as good, than I need to re-evaluate my program and make changes. I am not married to any one doctrine and ideology because my program, like my diet, is 100% performance based. So as new training or ideas come along I test them, incorporate them and then keep what I like and throw out what I don’t.
So the simple answer is, yes – if the workouts are taking away from your on field performance, scale them or drop them out completely. I much rather get a picture of you breaking a tackle for a tri than a picture of you on the sidelines telling me how get your training is going.
Now lets look at in-season training. I made some of my most impressive strength gains in training camp and the first 6-7 weeks of the season. What you see with the professional level for the in-season is the exact training split I used during my career. I have always trained hard the day after the game and next day which was my day off. I looked at Monday and Tuesday as my days to get ahead. Wednesday was a lighter day and Friday was reserved for a heavy upper. It took me about 5 days to feel good enough to bench heavy and I needed it for Sunday. The confidence I gathered by hitting some big numbers on a Friday made me feel bullet proof on Sundays.
After week 8 my goal was to maintain my strength. I knew I had taken a good beating with training camp and the first two months of the season and it was time to maintain.
After week 12, maintenance was more challenging and likened my strength to Sly in Cliffhanger, just hanging on. That last month was always cold and after 4 months of hitting you are not recovering they way you were a few months earlier. However, we had taken the pads off at this time so you got a chance to recover, unless you were playing for Dick Vermeil and are still in pads two times a week in December.
In the end, the training is the means and the game is the end.
Never sacrifice the means for the end, but the end should justify the means.
I too am a high level rugby player in Texas. I have had basically the same question before.
Thanks for that insightful answer, John!