By Nico de Villiers
Posted: Updated:

It’s a new year and with it always comes new ideas and plans we can use to improve our players. One of them for me is how to incorporate more focused circuit training with my players.

Circuit training has become a very popular method of training over the last 10 year or so. With the popularity of Crossfit increasing, so did circuit training and many schools and clubs teams have been using these methods to get their players fit & strong for the season. Just like any fade in the industry, it is often not applied correctly when it comes to rugby. When we apply any training mean, we have to first understand what is the training effect it will cause, what is the fatigue it will cause, is there any transfer or dynamic correspondence of the training to the field, it it appropriate for the level of athletes you work with and how is it progressed and programmed?

If there is one person who has been King of the rugby circuit training it must Ashley Jones, from whom I have learned a fair bit on how to implement this method of training in your rugby program. You can read more about his methods here and about his training philosophy here.

After reading some of Joel Jamieson’s work on MMA conditioning, I have changed my approach to circuit training and focus it a bit more to specific physiological adaptation and used it as a progressive manner in players, based on what their training needs and capabilities are.

I have divided my circuits  into 4 categories:

  1. Cardiac Output- focusing on developing aerobic power by improving oxygen delivery through increase heart volume.
  2. Cardiac Power- focusing on developing aerobic power by improving oxygen delivery through improving heart strength (pump harder)
  3. Explosive Repeated- focus on improving the aerobic ability of fast twitch fibres and how quickly they recover.
  4. Lactate Power- focus on improving the power production of the lactic system.





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