Rugby Fitness: Pre-season training programme – Week 3


Welcome to the third instalment of our 8-week pre-season fitness programme, designed by a personal trainer, that aims to get you in shape for the new rugby season. We’ll be releasing it bit-by-bit over the next few weeks, but do remember that they’re just ideas for exercises that are to be completed at your own risk, with guidance if necessary. Remember to warm up before starting.

Below is the programme for Week 3.

Monday: Weights day

Example weights
Back squat4×8*70kg
Pull ups (Overhand grip)4xmax
SA Chest press4×8*25kg
Shoulder press3×12*20kg BB
Bicep curl3×12*20kg BB
V-sits3×2010kg DB

Tuesday: Row day

1km: Easy row
10x100m (20s rest in between)
2mins rest
10x250m (30s rest in between)
2mins rest
10x100m (20s rest in between)

Wednesday: Weights day

Example weights
Front Squat5×5*50kg
Chin ups5×10/max
Step-ups (to bench)4×10*2x15kg
SA row4×12*17.5kg
SA Jammer press3x10ea20kg
BB half moon3×1220kg
sit-ups3×3010kg plate
Side plank3x45s each


Thursday: Row day

1km: easy row
(2mins rest)
Note average time

Friday: Weights day

Example weights
Military press4×8*2x15kg
TRX row4×10/max
Glute ham raise3×5
Walking lunges3×122x12kg
Leg Lowers3×12

Saturday: Sprints day

10x400m (60s rest in between)
Note average time

Sunday: Rest day

Where exercises are paired, perform them as supersets, without a rest in between each, but rest after the second of the two exercises.

* – Should be reaching fatigue by the last 2 reps on the last set. If too easy, increase the weights.
Max – Complete the exercise to failure
SA – Single Arm
BB – Barbell
DB – Dumbell
each – Each side

This 8-week programme has been designed by Sam Tomkins, a personal trainer and veteran of 4 Iron Man events. For more information, or to discuss your training requirements, please contact Sam via

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

One thought on “Rugby Fitness: Pre-season training programme – Week 3

  1. Interesting read Jamie, would you not suggest doing 3/4 day splits for the weights, isolating certain areas so Chest on Day 1, Shoulders on 2nd Weights Day and Legs/Back on 3rd Weights Day? By isolating the muscles and targeting those specific area, do you not think you would see better results?

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