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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Modern Rugby Player - Pre-season training at Gloucester

The Modern Rugby Player - Pre-season training at Gloucester

Life as a professional rugby player is far more demanding than doing a bit of running at training, and turning up on matchday, then having some beers afterwards. Gone are the days of players getting by on talent alone. It's now a full time job, and one that requires a lot of hard work.

These days, players get very little time off. Even in the off-season, they're training hard, using that time to bulk up and get in supreme shape for the season ahead.

The demands on the body are greater, as players are now bigger and stronger than ever before.

Weight training, fitness, whey protein supplements, and nutrition form a huge part of being in the peak physical condition to take on a new season of top class rugby.

Gloucester are one side who are leaving nothing to chance by using every spare minute to make sure that they're at the top of the game come kickoff.

"We are working harder than ever because everyone is so enthusiastic. It's not that we haven't worked hard before, but it really is an enjoyable place to be at the moment," says flanker Andy Hazell.

"We have changed a lot of the things were are doing, and some of the emphasis on the way we are looking to play. Everyone is doing things with a smile on their faces."

"(Fitness coach) Mark Bitcon is doing his first pre-season, and with Bryan Redpath as Head Coach there's a whole new feeling about the squad."

UPDATE: RugbyDump now has custom-built programmes for props, hookers, second row, back row, scrum half, fly half, inside/outside centres, and winger/fullback available for download here.

Time: 03:27
Clip: Sky Sports

Posted by Rugbydump at 2:05 pm | View Comments (48)

Posted in Training

Viewing 48 comments

Ireland for WC 2011! July 28, 2009 2:58 pm


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Anonymous July 28, 2009 3:01 pm


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Anonymous July 28, 2009 4:03 pm

A shame what the proffessional game has done. Find 15 six foot blokes and feet them chemicals and now you've got a rugby team. Watch some old footage and you'll see what the game is really all about!

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Hackney Griffin July 28, 2009 4:19 pm

3rd poster- what you talking about? You only need to spend a couple of minutes on this site to find that rugby is the beautiful game it always has been, just watch any of the French or Super14 try compilations from the last season.

And the Lions were hardly playing ugly rugby out in SA were they?

The players have got stronger and fitter - but Gloucester are a great example of how there remains room for different players of different shapes in this game. Put Ian Balshaw next to Will James next to Roncero Rodrigo - you'll be able to tell where they play.

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B July 28, 2009 4:33 pm

ugggh i hate pre season :(

speed is the worst by far IMO.

but yeah, 20 years time, rugby players will see pierre spies as tiny :O

and its not just Gloucester doing this stuff guys ;)

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idiot July 28, 2009 4:39 pm

"feed them chemicals" what an idiot. They aren't chemicals retard, they're multivitamins, something your body produces naturally.

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Marie July 28, 2009 4:45 pm

I second every comment except for the third one. :P what these guys are doing is great - i wish every rugby club would have this. great excersize. Shows their initiative for the game, and that they're not too proud just to rely on talent like many players I know.

*i excuse any grammatical faults or incoherency, i am sick and can't function properly right now :P

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 4:58 pm

Swine flu? I'm trying to contract it at the moment.

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 5:10 pm

this is amazing

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MCB July 28, 2009 5:10 pm

Looks like gloucester are targeting early part of season to really put them in contention. Just wonder if going to pre season so early will eventually cause them to burn out come the run in to the premiership in April/May

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 5:47 pm

Wish rugby could be my job...

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Wowee-wow-wow July 28, 2009 6:17 pm

idiot said...

"feed them chemicals" what an idiot. They aren't chemicals retard, they're multivitamins, something your body produces naturally.


Actually, that's the exact opposite of true; vitamins are what the body doesn't produce (enough of) naturally.

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Manfred July 28, 2009 6:24 pm

I like the old rugby more than the modern, it was much more dinamical and they where pure talent, now the players are only muscles and speed, there are some rugby brains now,butless than before rugby turned pro.

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opfazonk July 28, 2009 6:40 pm

the differences in fitness and strength between players are so marginal nowadays that the only thing that devides the top from the average are indeed (ball handling-)skills, talent and creativity.
you don't hear of any players from the "good old days" complaining that rugby has beomce worse very often, do you?
what players do in pre-season is not only for them to stay fit throughout the whole season but much more importantly helps them not to pick up any injuries. something players could have only dreamed about 15 years ago...

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B July 28, 2009 7:33 pm

obviously people dont read other peoples comments...

every single club is doing preseason, since the start of june i reckon. even that could be late by professional standards.

MCB said 'looks like gloucester are targeting early part of season to really put them in contention'

and the rest arent ?!?!?!

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 8:01 pm

Actually B all the Bath players are out partying every night and snorting huge lines of cocaine.

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Chris G July 28, 2009 8:39 pm

"idiot" you really are an idiot if you think creatine is a vitamin, I mean how ignorant can you get? Jesus...

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 9:47 pm

those arent men....

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Hendrick July 28, 2009 9:55 pm

It's the modern game whenever there is money involved. When you win you get the sponsors, and the fans, so your players need to be as fit as ever to produce good results. P.S. I hate ice baths. lol

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Ally July 28, 2009 10:21 pm

This is the modern game - if you want to be the best you have to be professional about it. Everyone (every S14/Guiness Premiership/major International rugby team) does it who wants to win.
Interesting to see they make them wear heart monitors during sessions - that's a new one and in fairness a very smart idea.
Good video.
ps Tindall is always the comedian......

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Huh!! the 3rd July 28, 2009 10:23 pm

Lets remember this is Gloucester, they're bollocks. They need all the help they can get, but they'll still be bollocks.

All NH teams start pre season first week in July, the non international players that is. The international squad players have extra 3/4 weeks because of the June tests. But since this was a Lions year, all players involved have got 5 weeks off. Crazy bastards!!!

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Phil July 28, 2009 11:15 pm

lol you only need supplementation if the body is lacking. Otherwise it simply excetes any excess, like the water soluble vitamins B and C (Although the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be stored).

With a healthy diet and good lifestyle, the average person won't need supplementation, including the essentials, which the body doesn't produce. However, professional rugby players will most likely have different nutritional needs, and therefore, need those extra tablets.

Vitamin, mineral and all other nutraceuticals is not the same as doping. So don't be so ignorant.

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B July 28, 2009 11:18 pm

and also echoing phil, because they cant shove kilo's of food down their throats to supply those nutritional needs. despite props best efforts.....

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Anonymous July 29, 2009 1:16 am

what about Portugal hein?! they finished 2nd in the zevens world games

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jmalanka July 29, 2009 1:22 am

Does anyone know if rugby players' strength and speed statistics are posted anywhere? I am interested to see some empirical evidence regarding how fast, strong, and fit these guys are.

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jon July 29, 2009 3:21 am

Every team does these things, it's a professional game.
People pining for the old days need some perspective.
In the old days rugby was a marginal sport in the NH, tiny crowds, no money, poor athletes.
Even in the Sh, where the crowds were better, the players were not nearly as athletic or muscular as they are now.
The old guys would get animalised by these players.
IT's just the way it is, and if your team stopped doing this stuff, they'd be shithouse and you wouldn't want to watch them

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Anonymous July 29, 2009 4:58 am

Wouldnt mind seeing how samoa and tonga train.

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cp85 July 29, 2009 7:22 am

Who was that at the beginning? Vainikolo? Is he actually going to be starting the season?

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ybr July 29, 2009 8:57 am

''Actually B all the Bath players are out partying every night and snorting huge lines of cocaine.''

LOL brilliant
and I love the way every1 just ignored that comment.

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Bradders July 29, 2009 9:31 am

What a great Video! Gotta love pre-season training. 3rd comment is outragious. All content in the supplements are produced naturally in the body, they are just given extra to help cope with the physicality of the training.
Looking forward to the 09/10 season now.

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sebastian July 29, 2009 10:02 am

damn, i will be off just running a few yards for me fitness :)
fortunatly i am not pro

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Anonymous July 29, 2009 10:19 am

Great vid rugbydump!
Its cool to see what profs doin in the gym and stuff!

Like to see more of this different aspect of rugby!

Keep up the good work!


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Anonymous July 29, 2009 10:22 am

From what I can see there are two arguments

Firstly, that the old rugby of yester year was better than todays, and modern rugbyis just oversize unimagintive men running into each other. Really? I am guessing that anyone who said this or agrees hasnt stepped on to a rugby pitch recent and probably would be to scared to. Just watcj some of the videos on here and you will see it is as good if not better. The simple fact is the hittting is just bigger so the room for error is smaller.

Then there is the suppliement argument. Yes a good diet should provide all the vitiams you need. But that was just one of the things they were taking, along with cod liver oil, which is has been proven to be good for your joints. And then there is the whole protien etc. drinks, anyone who has taken them properly will know they work. So if they give tou that little extra to miss or break a tackle of course you are going to use them.

The simple thing is that rugby players are now among the best overal athletes in the world and as rugby fans that is something we should be proud of.

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Bob Salmon July 29, 2009 10:50 am

What is going on with the extra weight plates on the dubmbells? Dumbbells not heavy enough?!

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Kenny July 29, 2009 11:43 am

Bob Salmon, forget the weights mate !!!! why is your url page a dating service?????

Click on bob salmon everyone lol
Online dating just for South Africa

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Flooz July 29, 2009 12:13 pm

well.. rugby seems to become science.If u don't have the technology, u lose

Now rugby player are beefs full of musculation, endurance, exercices with a little bit of "nutrition" and creatine

Tindall is the perfect example of the "creatine player", just look how his physic changed between 1999 and 2003...

Is is preview to do a "Pre-season SKILLS training" ?

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Rafael July 29, 2009 2:58 pm

philosophically the sport inst supposed to be a good thing for the soul, mind and body that makes you grow as a person and to devolop the body instead of inducing it to need more that what it can provide himself?

Im not saying no to supplementation. I only wonder if its the right way.

Sorry for any grammar error.

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Anonymous July 29, 2009 4:07 pm

Anyone rather substituting a little bit of creatine for creativity??? Is the game becoming over coached....sometimes i wonder

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Crank July 29, 2009 5:23 pm

I bet instead of this the fijians just have game of touch rugby.

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Anonymous July 29, 2009 8:09 pm

rugby players spend too much time in the gym and too little time exercising their rugby brain......

there are still thinkers out there .See Conrad Smith for details.

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Kearney for tests July 29, 2009 8:23 pm

Wow Gloucester work really hard. Too bad they're still crap and will more than likely go nowhere this season. And one thing that I don't understand is that creatine is produced naturally in your body, but most steroids are produced naturally in your body too aren't they? So why is one legal and the rest are banned?

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Rafael July 29, 2009 10:15 pm

Theres a good documental about that, is call "Bigger, stronger, faster". If you are really interested in why steroids are banned and other arent you should watch it. It really makes you think.

Back to the topic, i most of the times end up thinking that the best club or national team is the one best equipped to train or to pay they players. Here rugby isnt pro and we have to do it by lung and balls but no mather how you work or train theres always a HUGH diference when it comes to play with the top squads..

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Anonymous July 30, 2009 12:42 am

I bet Mike Tindall is hung like a buffalo.

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Kenny July 30, 2009 11:23 am

Anonymous said...
I bet Mike Tindall is hung like a buffalo.

Why??? and more importantly who f**king cares..... What a weird and stupid statement!!

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blu22 July 30, 2009 1:38 pm

Rafael, cheers for that recommendation, watched it last night was a brilliant documentary!

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Rafel July 30, 2009 2:45 pm

Glad you like it!

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Anonymous July 30, 2009 10:11 pm

With all the advances in sports medicine - maybe they can put Mike Tindall's nose back in the middle of his face.

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John August 03, 2009 5:21 am

Stuff like this is exciting. The depth of training and wide variety of areas trained in is mind boggling. I totally agree with the professionalism comment. If you want to be the best at what you do, you act like a professional. So training and nutrition should obviously be a part of a professional rugby players job. Secondly to the comment about how they aren't exercising their rugby brain enough, if you watch the video, they are doing rugby specific activities in the video while doing fitness (ball handling, tackling, punching etc.). These trainers are not stupid men. What they seem to be trying to do is to incorporate the sport into the training as much as they can, so that when the players are tired and beat up, they are trained to still perform what they need to do (ball handling, tackling, quick explosive movements). Great great video, really shows you how much time these guys spend getting prepped.

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