Aspiring Rugby Player

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Carlien, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Carlien

    Carlien Guest

    Hello, my son is young aspiring rugby player, currently involved in a developement programmes at above county level. He's 14, but compared to alot of the players there he's considerably smaller in height and in his strength. I realise he's at a young age and his height will come with time but I really don't want to see him drop down a level and not be able to recover. His technical and posistioning is really good, its just his strength that really lets him down...

    Its too young to start giving him supplements, but do you recommend he does regular strength exercises, say 4 days a week. If so what kinds of exercises, I was considering buying a bench and doing some basic dumbell exercises with him, but i really dont want to push him at a young age. We have a static multigym which he occasionally uses, but i've never seen much results from it. Also dietwise, how much protein do you think is recommended?

    Any help will be appreciated
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  3. <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Carlien @ Mar 17 2010, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Hey welcome to the site

    As a young teen i wanted to start weights too and in some respects i regret not doing it but i have found that when i lacked the size and power to break tackles i needed to develop a step for ball carrying and perfect tackling technique

    in the long run not doing weights at such a young age will probably stand you your son as it allows him to develop the technical aspects as a little guy and then once he does bulk up he will have the power and speed to really tear up the pitch .
  4. Olyy

    Olyy Guest

    Welcome to the site!

    Protein, as a rule of thumb, for gaining muscle mass is 1g per pound of lean body mass (if he knows his body fat % just take that percent away from his total weight)

    It's an urban legend about weights stunting your growth, and as long as he does the lifts with good form he wont see any negative effects.

    I'd strongly reccomending reading this ebook:
    The guy who wrote it really knows his stuff, and it's good for, as the name of the program suggests, starting to get stronger.

    If you don't follow the program, it's still got alot of good information in it, so it's worth a look through either way.

    Depending on what equipment you have, the exercises you'd want to be doing are compound lifts for example Squats, Deadlifts and Benchpress.
    Exercises lift bicep curls are pretty much useless in a practical sense (when you think about where you're building strength, when's the last time you needed to lift something heavy in that motion?) Compound lifts work more than one muscle (squats, for example, work most of the muscles in your body). The good thing about compound lifts aswell is that if you get a bar, some weights and a bench you can do them. You don't need alot of equipment (when you get to higher weights for the squat, you'd need a squat rack to load the weights to get them on your shoulder, but you can buy squat stands, or even build your own)

    Leg and core strength are the main things to work on. Legs would be exercises like lunges, squats and deadlifts. For core, things like leg raises, "prone bridges" (basically holding a pressup position for a long time) and crunches will all be good.
    Plyometrics are good to do in training aswell, gives you flexibility and develops muscle twitch fibres which are good for quick reaction-movements.
  5. Haysie

    Haysie Guest

    At the age of 14 I would recommend building a solid foundation and increasing sheer strength through plyometrics and body-weight exercises.
    It may be helpful if you relate this analogy to him:

    Picture your body as a block of land. If the block of land has shitty foundations (sandy soil), such as;


    Poor sleeping habits
    Poor core strength
    Underlying Injuries
    Poor eating habits
    Poor flexibility
    Poor technique during excercise

    Then no matter how hard you work, the house you build atop it will crumble, crack and sink into the soil.

    However if you address these issues at the beginning and throughout a training regimen then the "house" (your boy) will be able to lay the foundations and not have to worry.

    The house can then begin to take shape, beginning with the bodyweight (pushups, chinups, pullups, crunches, lunges and 'the plank')
    and plyometric exercises which will look something like this ;


    Then after a solid foundation has been built, you can continue to build upon it and "complete the house" by beginning free-weight exercises such as the Benchpress, Squats, RDL's, DL's, Military Press, Powercleans i.e. Compound exercises.

    The possibilities of exercise are endless. As Olyy above me has said though, it will not be beneficial to him to engage in "beach muscle" activities. These include things like bicep curls, bicep curls, bicep curls and bicep curls. (Essentially, exercises you could picture a young David Hasselhoff doing in a lifeguard patrol hut :) )
    Compound exercises (exercises that engage more than muscle group) will be the most beneficial, but it is imperative that they are performed with correct technique. Otherwise, injury WILL occur.

    These exercises should be practiced with a very light weight to begin with, (I would say no weight but it is near impossible to achieve correct form with no weight) and an importance should be placed on achieving correct technique. Gradually (I mean over a period of weeks) allow him to increase the weight load, as muscle gains mass very quickly (Due to the muscle having resistance placed on it for the first time and recovering from atrophy) as you begin then gradually becomes harder to build upon. Then you will see improvements in the "house", just as if you were building it.


    As for it being dangerous to engage in these activities at a young age, the only issue with beginning weights programs too early in life is to do with human growth plates (affecting the growth of bones). As such, I would not recommend a 9 or 10 year old begin a weight program, as they are no-where near appropriately developed and that would just be silly.

    If you feel that your boy needs a leg-up on the competition, it is very important that he doesn't go straight out and begin free weights. I may slightly be flogging the example but this will bring the house tumbling down into the soft soil, reducing it to rubble.
    This is where strength begins, helping your body adapt to having resistance (weight) placed upon it and its muscles.

    The last thing I will say is that the key to all of this is CONSISTENCY. Muscle groups adapt to weight placed on them, and grow in accordance to the weight they are used to lifting. Muscles have a form of memory, named (you wouldn't have guessed it) muscle memory. This will remember the rough amount of weight it is used to, but just like all of us it tends to forget the exact amount, and gradually begin to fade away.

    I hope I have helped some, and if you need any more advice at all feel free to PM me and I will give you my e-mail address!

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