The three components that I am wishing to develop are cardio vascular endurance, muscular endurance and upper body strength. This is to try and enhance the performance of my rugby. My position of open side flanker will require me to have improved upper body strength to be able to tackle harder. Also to help me scrumage better. As scrummaging requires an isometric muscular movement I feel that all over upper body strength will improve my ability to do so it is an explosive into a static movement and should help me have improved control over my opposite number. Explosive, static and dynamic strength are all used in rugby, explosive strength for tasks such as sprinting at kick off and especially for me as open side flanker exploding off the scrums. Static strength for scrummaging and dynamic strength to allow me to run with the ball and dodge round other players.
I will need improved cardio vascular and muscular endurance so I can last the full 80 minutes at a higher energy output plus have enough energy left to last extra time, if required. I am hoping to improve my output rate from around 70% to between 75%-85% throughout the entire period. To improve my upper body strength I will be performing exercises such as pull-ups (station 10). These will work on many muscle groups such as biceps and triceps pecks shoulder and back muscles e.g. trapezius, deltoids and latissimus dorsi. (From now on I will refer to latissimus dorsi as ‘L.D’) My abdominal muscles will also benefit from this exercise.
Other exercises such as sit ups (7) will mainly work on my abdominals, L.D as well as gluteus maximus quads and hamstrings. Bicep curls (1) will improve the strength just in my biceps, but for this to be effective I also have to work on my triceps (1) because it is the opposing muscle. Also because I am looking to improve the strength of my arms I will be using a heavier weight than I would for endurance with fewer reps performed slower. Push ups with my feet on a bench (8) will overload my arm muscles putting more weight on my arms and therefore increase the strength in my neck, arm, shoulder, back and stomach muscles.
The final exercise that I am doing to improve my upper body are dips (4). Once again this works on all neck shoulder arm back and stomach muscles, but focuses mainly on triceps L.D, deltoids and trapezius. The shuttle run (6) if performed properly, if I push my self, should improve my cardio vascular and muscular endurance to a certain level, so long as I perform it for a long enough time period and at a high output. Skipping (3) will most definitely work on both endurance aspects, but once again I must push my self beyond the pain barrier every week I must progress for any of the exercises to take effect. Equally the same with step ups (2). Finally so long as I work my feet and leg muscles the ladders (11) should also contribute towards both aspects of endurance. I will also improve my feet-to-eye coordination.
Depending on where I start will have a direct effect on my three components of fitness. E.g. if I was to start on station 7, the one after the shuttle run, and was to finish up with the shuttle run I would be much more fatigued and wouldn’t be able to run it as well. However this will definitely improve my cardio vascular and muscular endurance as I will have used up the glucose in my body and should by then be using my aerobic system. If I had started on the shuttle run then I would have used my anaerobic system on a station that I would have preferred not to, and so the shuttle run would not be improving my endurance levels. I must include a warm up and cool down before and after my activity. This is for my own safety as without a warm up I could end up injuring my self, putting too much of a sudden strain on a muscle group. It prepares me mentally and physically for the task and gets oxygen going to the muscles.
I will also need to complete a cool down so that I get rid of all the lactic acid that will build up in my muscles. To help prevent lactic acid building up I will be stretching throughout the circuit and at the two stretching stations as this should ease me from one activity in to the other. I have been free from any serious injury for at least 12 months and feel confident that any previous injury will not impede my level of health. Principles of training For any of the above exercises to be effective they have to be SPECIFIC to my sport and have to relate to my aims and objectives. With my training I must exercise the muscles as I would and at the same intensity of which I would use them in a game situation.