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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brad Thorn - Building Blocks - Parts 1 & 2

This weekend Brad Thorn lines up for New Zealand against a country he used to call home, Australia. The 36 year old will retire from the All Blacks after the World Cup, heading straight to Japan. Today we've got a fantastic personal insight into the training regime of a guy who has had to work harder than most to get to where he is today. 

Not everyone is blessed with bundles of energy and extreme work ethic. Thorn, who has achieved in both codes, is now a veteran of 57 tests for New Zealand and admits that life wasn't all plain sailing in his early days. He was, as he describes it, a lazy kid.

In this two part feature filmed in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, Thorn discusses the personal and physical battles he had to face as a teenager, and the moments that led to him applying himself.

"I wouldn’t he here today if my dad hadn’t cared about me enough to give me a kick up the backside," Brad says of his father's timely intervention, which led to success on the playing field.

He is now verging on the pinnacle of a great career, and was happy to document his work ethic in the gym, as well as the forest he used to run through as a kid in Brisbane. He has apparently never discussed or shown that forest to anyone, let alone had it documented on camera. A staunch family man, Brad says he's touched that his kids will have a record of the hard work he's put in, something for them to watch when they grow up.

The resounding message from Thorn is that the work ethic he has now didn't come by luck or chance, but simply by making the decision to apply oneself. He hopes that the videos will help inspire youngsters to push through, despite possibly having a natural inclination to be lazy.

There are two parts below, the second of which can be viewed seperately, or not at all. It's more targeted towards the gym work, as we get to witness his intense routine first hand, something that he's mastered over the years. Robbie Fruean and Kieran Read watch on. Enjoy.

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:44 pm | View Comments (19)

Posted in Training

Viewing 19 comments

MacKurdi October 13, 2011 6:10 pm


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biggels October 13, 2011 6:46 pm

love tthese kind of videos

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Michael October 13, 2011 7:54 pm

Great vid, much prefer these to the Hask cam etc. In that they were one repping monster weights to outdo each other. I like how he had a methodical program that wasn't about ego weights and one-upping anyone. Seems a nice bloke to boot.

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Curious October 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Not to take away from his ability as a rugby player but did anybody else think he lifted surprisingly low weights?

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JDizzle December 08, 2011 6:26 pm

Yea, but he is dense, built like a rock... I wouldn go so far as to say he is lifting light weights either!!

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Rich_W October 13, 2011 8:50 pm

All about the core. I guess I probably would have expected him to lift more, especially in the squat (although they were fucking deep). But in a game environment, when you in the rough stuff in a ruck or maul, core strength is key.

Re: Michael, Haskell is just a monster. Don't think that was to outdo anyone, he has a load of workout vids on youtube and an iphone app with workouts and they are savage. Worth checking out for some inspiration come gym time.

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Kevin October 14, 2011 2:31 am

Just like a couple of backs to just watch a hard working forward put in the honest work in the weight room.

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flyingpepper October 14, 2011 6:58 am

Think it is safe to say having seen some stats on players in this world cup the gap between size, thus strength of forwards and backs is the smallest its been.

Agree with Curious the weights did seem low but it was perfect form.

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RedYeti October 14, 2011 10:27 am

I love how his 'deep' squat (apparently deeper than the other guys) was just about parallel...

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Brennie October 14, 2011 10:40 am

Love those vids ...insight into part of what's needed as a pro. Don't agree about the weights ...said he'd a few weeks off and wasn't a pre-world cup spala programme.
Think I'll go work on my core now!

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Rugbydump October 14, 2011 11:00 am

Loving the feedback. Had some great messages on twitter from those who enjoyed the videos. Both the guy who created it, and Brad himself will be very pleased. Cheers all, keep it positive.

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Roy October 14, 2011 5:55 pm

This is the first time I have seen a video of a rugby player with a decent ROM on the squat. The very high box squats the England players were doing in the other video are a very different excercise. What they expect to achieve with max singles on them I do not know. The english player's bench press was also bounced of the chest followed by externally rotating the shoulders - is he trying to blow his shoulders? Brad's form on the bench on the other hand was good.

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flyingpepper October 15, 2011 1:54 am

guessing the max one rep is just another approach to training, like training to failure instead of punch out the same number of rep and sets each time. It is easy to get stuck on the same weight etc. and see little improvement if you always do that.

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RedYeti October 15, 2011 4:03 pm

One rep maxes, or heavy doubles and triples are very good for building maximal power output. It's how powerlifters and Olympic lifters train their core lifts (they also do lots of higher volume assistance work, usually). Not sure how appropriate that is for a rugby player; and when it's done with such terrible form and range-of-motion there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of point...

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RedYeti October 15, 2011 4:09 pm

The terrible form comment was aimed at the England training, not Thorn's; his form was excellent. I especially enjoyed seeing a proper parallel squat for the first time from a rugby player

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plarah October 15, 2011 5:52 pm

Search for videos of the Frank brothers in the gym, I think they practice Cross Fit... so they're really not bad at olympic lifts. That includes olympic squatting.

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plarah October 15, 2011 5:49 pm

Awesome player, I'd really love to see him lift the Webb-Ellis cup.

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BigDog October 27, 2011 10:35 pm

Hey guys has anyone got a print version of this workout or know where I could get one?

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JDizzle December 06, 2011 5:53 pm

What an absolute beast of a man!! Does anyone know the music in Part 1 actually?...

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