Go, Stop, Go!

By Dave DiFabio

In my article, "Stop Acting Like an Adult", I wrote about the benefits of interval training. Intervals can take many shapes and forms depending on one's goal. Furthermore, any interval program can be modified to accommodate any fitness level. Click on the link below to download (excel file) a portion of the off-season conditioning interval program I designed for the Forwards on the Rutgers Rugby Club:

Rugby Intervals Excel Chart

I hope you noticed a couple of things:

-The lack of long distance, stead-state running.

-This workout doesn't require any equipment other than a pair of running shoes and workout clothes. (Believe me, no matter how good you look, no one wants to see you running naked this summer).

So take advantage of the warm weather, grab your sneaks, and head to your high school track. If you're thinking "I'm no athlete", I say, "Yes you are, you just don't realize it yet". So if you think this workout is too intense, I say "No problem, we can fix that". Just ignore the time goals, and where it "says" to SPRINT, just RUN instead. Where it says to RUN, just JOG instead. To tired to JOG? Just POWER WALK instead. To tired to POWER WALK? Then just walk. Too tired to WALK, then CRAWL..... JUST DO WHAT IT TAKES.

The rugby team's primary goal at the start of the off-season is to build sports-specific endurance. The good news is their intervals can help YOU burn a bunch of those SUMMER BBQ calories. As the summer progresses, their goals will change. So should yours. Their work intervals will become more intense (faster bursts over shorter distances) with longer rest intervals between work bouts to allow for complete recovery. This strategy will help build sports-specific speed/power. You may not be interested in that sort of thing, but higher intensities will help you take your fitness to the next level while burning more calories and adding a little variety to your training. When the rugby team transitions in to Training Camp, before the season starts in the fall, their intervals will be in the form of "change of direction"drills to improve agility. Their agility drills will include drills like this one:

Even non-athletes can incorporate these drills into their training. Have you seen the "boot-camp" style classes popping up in your local park or gym? They're full of stuff like this, plyometric, and calesthenic style drills. Many of these drills can be done forward, with a backpedal, a side step, or a karrioca step. Sounds a little more interesting than typical exercise doesn't it?

Till next time, always remember to TRAIN LIKE YOU PLAY & PLAY LIKE YOU TRAIN

Dave DiFabio MA, CSCS, USAW

Owner/Strength & Conditioning Coach - Team Speed Fitness LLC