Training For The Rugby Journeyman

We’ve all played with one. That old guy who really should have retired years ago, but just loves the away trips too much! Once you get into your thirties in rugby you are easily an “experienced” member of the side and hell some props don’t even peak until their thirties! You can’t however keep training the same as the young bucks who barely even warm up before smashing lumps out of you! As you get older as a rugby player you meet new challenges in and out of the gym, we’ve put together some training tips to help you stay fit and injury free into your rugby twilight years!

Look After Your Joints!

Rugby can be pretty demanding on those old joints, especially the shoulders, elbows and knees. Here’s a couple of ways to look after those sore spots!

Neutral Grip Variations –

Using a football bar or neutral grip dumbbells on pressing and pulling exercises can take the stress off the shoulders and elbows quite easily.


Exercise Selection –

Pick exercises that are more posterior chain dominant and therefore stress the knees less. Box squats and trap bar deadlifts should be your staples and for jumping use box jumps to stop you from landing heavily on those old bones!

Fat Gripz – (or a thick bar)

Are really effective at removing stress on the elbows and shoulders too just remember you won’t be able to lift as much weight! They also help build your grip and forearms!

Use Higher Reps –

Continually grinding against heavy weight is going to wear your joints down. Try and use higher reps and build/maintain your muscle mass. Unfortunately your muscle mass will be on the decline after your early twenties so now is the time to go higher rep.

Get Bigger For Rugby Now

Extra Mobility –

You’re no longer able to rock up late to training and get stuck into sprints and full contact without a proper warm up! You need to work diligently at your mobility and preparation for injury prevention. Something like our Rugby Proof programme would be perfect for you.

Rugby Proof Injury Prevention

Low Impact Conditioning –

If you’re keen to do extra conditioning to maintain your fitness try and stick to low impact activities like rowing, cycling and even swimming. No, it isn’t rugby specific but you’ve done plenty of that over the years and it’s in the bank. Keep your heart and lungs topped up but save those joints.

Need Fitness Ideas?

Rest & Recovery –

Make sure you get it in! No excuses here. You’re recovery again won’t be that of a young kid and you need to take that into account and get your recovery in.

Wrap Up

Hopefully that gives you a good idea how to modify your training if you are getting a little long in the tooth in rugby terms. You can still train hard but you must train smart. Stick to this advice and you should get a couple more seasons out and that experience should still let you get the better of those young kids!

Want to become the machine you were meant to be?

Join Team Renegade Now

Recommended Posts