Resistance training

Resistance training is a term that covers a wide range of training modes and methods and involves the muscles of the body having to move against an external resistance (Fleck and Kraemer,1997). Examples of resistance can be running up a hill, lifting weights, or jumping as they all require the muscles to contract and overcome resistance to complete the movement. Resistance training is extremely important as when muscles produce force to overcome a resistance they then adapt and get stronger and bigger thus enabling the player to produce increased force. Force production is the basis of all movement and especially high-force athletic movements that are common in rugby.

While many training methods involve overcoming resistance, different methods often target different physical attributes. The coach should be aware of this so they know when designing a training plan, that they are using the correct training method for the desired outcome.

When beginning resistance training it is important to ensure that movement patterns are correct before weight or resistance is added. The screening module will help guide the coach to programme accordingly. It is a good idea to begin with bodyweight exercises and to ensure players can control the resistance applied by their own body weight and gravity. The following information on circuit training expands on this and give an example of a body-weight circuit which is a good starting point for resistance training.