Everyone is always looking for the next best exercise and want to know the secrets of maximising their training results. With a sport like rugby which is very multidimensional you can also debate which of the main training modes is the most influential upon on field performance. Should rugby fitness be more aerobic/anaerobic or weights based?? However, none of these are the most important element of rugby fitness success. By far and away the biggest factor for results is consistency.

Wherever you focus your efforts, from the weight room to sprint training to side stepping skills, without consistency progress will be limited. The body grows, adapts and develops not through one off or inconsistent plans but through doing the stimulus week in week out.

Where most rugby players go wrong is emphasising performance and effort over consistency. A rugby player focused on consistency knows the only thing that matters is getting sessions done each week. The rugby player focused on performance only trains if he feels he will be able to put in a big session, this usually results in as many missed sessions as it does good sessions. This is because the body fluctuates, especially if doing a bit of contact work where you pick up niggles from playing. Therefore, on many days you simply are not in the state to train to maximum effort. The consistent player will just train at a lower level and get the session done. The overall affect is that these lesser sessions still push you forward and your rugby fitness develops consistently and the result is a much improved rugby player.

Consistency is doing a light session in the gym when tired. It is doing a token aerobic session when stiff from playing, it could be doing a less than maximal speed session as part of your rehab from injury. However you look at it, if you are putting in the sessions week in week out the results from this are staggering. It really does not matter if some to many of those sessions are sub par compared to your ‘ideal’ effort level. The on field rugby fitness development far outweighs the rugby player who puts in a series of inconsistent but big sessions. While the ideal of course is to consistently put in big sessions the reality is usually a choice between the two approaches.


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