The Rugby World Cup is behind us now, and those feeling withdrawal symptoms from their regular test match fix will surely be setting their sights on the Six Nations, now just a matter of weeks away.
There are few sports that can match rugby for the sheer physical requirements of being able to be strong enough to put in the big tackles but also to be able to withstand 80 minutes of intense cardio. Read on for suggestions for how to make it work for you.
Back to Basics
You will never reach your peak fitness if your nutrition balance is off kilter. Start with a well-thought-through meal plan and take it from there. Calories are important, but they must come from a carefully thought-out meal plan to ensure you are receiving the right number of calories from the right food and that that the energy is being delivered when you need it.
Mix things up a bit and ensure you are doing a balance of strength and endurance. Cardio and conditioning both have a role to play in helping you to reach your best fitness level in time for the big game.
For more tips and suggestions for getting your training regime more in line with what the pros are doing, see the suggestions from Breaking Muscle.
Set some time aside from rugby drills and start to really hone your skills. There are effective rugby drills and exercises to help you improve all elements of your game – particularly useful once you have identified the element of your game that you would like to focus on.
If you are serious about training like a professional rugby player, you won’t be able to shy away from hard work. You’ll likely be training six days a week, so a social life needs very careful planning.
Once you begin to see food as a source of fuel only, and not as a source of pleasure, you will find eating and training can be challenging. Use a range of different supplements, but don’t expect them to replace nutrients in the food you are being served.
If one thing is for certain it’s that you won’t go hungry. Be prepared to have several meals a day and the right snacks in between. You will be burning off the energy!