Rugby Fitness: Pre-season training programme – Week 4


Welcome to the fourth 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 4.

Monday: Weights day

Example weights
Back squat5×5*75kg
Pull ups (Overhand grip)5xmax
SA Chest press4×8*25kg
Shoulder press4×10*20kg BB
Bicep curl4×10*20kg BB
V-sits3×3010kg DB
Plank60secs(30s with one foot inch off ground and 30s the other)

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: Tests

Repeat the tests you did before the programme started (listed here in week one). Make a note of your scores.

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

5x200m (leaving off 60s)
2mins rest
5x400m (leaving off 90s)
2mins rest
2x200m (leaving off 60s)

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