Rugby Fitness: Pre-season training programme – Week 5


Welcome to the fifth 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 5.

Monday: Weights day

Back squat5×5*
Pull ups (Overhand grip)5xmax
SA Chest press4×8*
Shoulder press4×10*
Bicep curl4×10*

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*
weighted Chin ups5×10/max10kg
Step-ups (to bench)4×10*
SA row4×12*
SA Jammer press3x10ea
BB half moon3×12
Side plank3x45s each

Thursday: Row day

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

Friday: Weights day

Military press4×8*
TRX row4×10/max
Glute ham raise3×5
Walking lunges3×12
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