InnerFight is proud to partner with the world’s leading rugby sevens website UR7’s. In this partnership we bring you monthly tips on strength and conditioning for the game of rugby sevens as well as a workout of the month (WOM)
Check out this months tips and the WOM below
Once again we welcome world renowned S&C coach Marcus Smith of ‘Innerfight’ to answer your questions on getting yourself in the best shape possible to compete on the field come 7s season. This week Marcus looks variations on strength training and whether the craze of Crossfit is a good fitness program for aspiring 7s players to adhere to.
We also continue our Rugby 7s WOM (Workout of Month) competition at the bottom of the page, with readers having the chance to take on a challenge set by Marcus and win world series tickets, UR7s & Innerfight goodies.
Marcus, really like the column. I travel alot (on and off planes all the time) and more often than not hotels with not great facilities. What sort of conditioning training can I be doing (say 2/3 sessions) to keep myself in 7s shape. Also when I am eating at different times and it’s a little all over the place how would you recommend making sure my nutrition is bang on?
Travel is not easy it poses loads of challenges for training but should never be an excuse not to train or not to eat well. There are not many places where you really can’t do anything and having traveled around the world I am yet to find a restaurant that does not serve a basic piece of chicken or steak with a side salad. So no excuses.
Looking to sevens specific stuff I am going to base this on the presumption that there is no gym available. Get out and find a strip of grass or tarmac that is 100m long. I used to use this pyramid a lot in my sevens training and found it to be really good. You run 100m, then back 80m then back 60m, walk recovery back to the start and repeat sets of 5 then rest 5 minutes and hammer through as many sets as you have time for. Your walk back recovery should be a brisk walk. This mimics the type of fitness you are going to need in sevens. All efforts are up above 80% so don’t hold back.
On the food front aside from my earlier point you can be super prepared too. Take stuff with you. Pack your bags full of good food so that you do not get into situations where you are stuck without supplies.
Marcus, how would you recommend an approach to nutrition for an avid open standard 7s player. I train 4-5 times per week in the gym and only play 7s so I have 8 months off. I want to make sure I am in the best shape possible for this summer and make sure my energy levels are bang on for the training I have in front of me? Also, would love to hear your thoughts on cheat days and cheat meals? what is your downfall?
I have a simple approach to nutrition. Fill your plate with 40% animal protein, 40% vegetables and 20% fats. Stay away from sugar, dairy and starchy carbs. Go nuts on fish oil and make sure your vitamin and mineral levels are good to reinforce your immune system and boots your recovery.
If you are training 4-5 times a week and then getting in 2-3 sevens sessions a week you are going to need to be eating a lot to keep your energy levels nice and high. I personally derive a lot of my energy from good fats and feel fine doing so.
So long as you are not over 15% body fat then for sure you should be having a weekly cheat day and getting stuck right into it. Give your body a break, satisfy what you crave and just take the day off, get back into things though and make sure your cheat day suddenly doesn’t become the whole weekend.
My cheat day would normally consist of something sweet. A solid stack of pancakes loaded with Nutella hits the spot every single time.
Marcus, my speed work is pretty good and my conditioning is good but I know I am not strong enough. It doesn’t matter what I do, my numbers do not increase on my squat, front squat or deadlift and havent done dramatically for a few years. It affects the impact that I have on the field, what can I do to rectify this?
You have to persist on this. If you squat often enough you will make progress. I see way too many people only squatting once a week which is simply not enough. I tested a method out a few months back where I squatted to 1 rep max daily for 2 weeks. The end result? I put 10 kg on my back squat in 2 weeks.
First we have to understand the impact of our strength on our speed and power and specifically out leg strength. It may be that you have to dial things back for a while and just hit the weights room daily. Squatting 3 times a week is not an issue at all. A basic matrix that I have had some awesome results on athletes from a number of different sports is 5X5. Get warmed up and then get into 5 sets of 5 reps. You should be able to hit about 80% of your 1 rep max. The last 2 reps in every set specially the last 2 will be tough, if they are not then go heavier.
A warning though……make sure your technique is on the money before you go loading that bar up like Arnie! Moving 200kg 3 inches does not count as a squat!!!
You are right your strength will 100% affect your impact on the field so address it, fix it and then go back to the field and dominate.
UR7s Workout of the Month Challenge Returns!!
After a stunning return last month in the WOM Challenge with England 7s star Chris Cracknell taking the honors globally and Alex Mcfarland posting the fastest time for the Row/Burpee challenge for non-international players winning some UR7s and Innerfight stash to rock on the 7s circuit this summer. We had people from all over the world attempting the challenge including many international men and women 7s players.
This month we look at a completely different challenge. Can Cracknell take the international title again or will someone else pip the big man to the crown. Former England captain Greg Barden considers himself in the running….
WOM: 5 minutes to run 400m then back squat for total weight.
You can run inside on a treadmill or outside the choice is yours. Before you do so pick a back squat weight that you are going to be able to squat for the remainder time. Once you take it off the rack you have to keep it off, if you re rack it before the time is up then your effort is over. So once your run is done get over the squat bar and get as many squats done in the time remaining. For a squat to count your hips must drop below your knees at the bottom of the movement and you must have full knee and hip extension at the top of the movement.
Your score will be the number of KG moved. For example. If you choose to have a 60kg squat bar and after your run you squat it 50 times then you have a total 3,000kg.