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Courtney Lawes' Training Plan

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The Lawes of Power in Rugby

What makes a successful player or team on the rugby pitch? A question that every rugby fan will ask themselves. From a training perspective, sporting attributes such as strength, speed, agility, power, team work, focus, resilience, bravery and many more are combined through player position and individual roles. Key areas of importance of England Lock, Courtney Lawes include speed, strength, agility and Power. Lawes brings strength and power in form of tackling, set pieces and ball carrying; making him a force to be reckoned with. RFU partner and nutrition sponsor Maximuscle take a look inside the world of Courtney Lawes and discuss how power plays an important role in rugby, in his training and contributes to the team's success.

Knowledge is Power

Lock forwards are the power behind any team, often the heavy hitters and the first wave of any attack or defence. Explosive power in terms of line out jumping or abruptly halting the opponents advances in the scrum, ruck or maul. Courtney is renowned for his powerful tackling, shutting the door firmly in the face any opponent. At 6 ft 7 inches (2.01 m) and 18 stone 8 lb (118 kg) Lawes is a formidable force, combine that with his speed, power is something he has in abundance. “My speed and agility help me produce the power I need.” says Lawes.

Power Stats:

  • 1 Rep Max Bench Press: 140 kg
  • 1 Rep Max Squat: 180 kg
  • 10m Sprint: 1.75 seconds

Did you know? 1.75 seconds for 10m is as quick as Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay (over the same distance)

Training for Power

Power is the production of force and velocity, from an elite athlete training perspective it is important that players like Courtney have a varied training structure to build their strength to develop force but not too strong to slow the movements. Therefore, being able to move heavy weights quickly are more important than moving the heaviest weight.

Here's what an average training week looks like for England's number 5:

MONDAY AM Lower body and skill session
PM Speed, power and game impact
PM Running / conditioning
THURSDAY AM Lower body and skill session
PM Speed, power and game impact
PM Running / conditioning
SUNDAY Rest and recovery

Maximuscle Training Tips

Looking at Courtney's training programme it is designed specifically for an elite athlete who is fully supported and monitored by a team of high performance professionals. For most people, who are not professional athletes, training 3-5 times per week is more achievable with balancing work, lifestyle and recovery but what you will notice is that even the best of the best provide time for their muscles to recover and adapt.

Maximuscle top tips* in training for Power:

  • Start with basic compound movements - such as dead-lifts, squats and Courtney's favourite bench press
  • Be explosive with heavy loads, for short repetition ranges (4-8 reps) with 4-5 sets
  • Allow good rest periods in between sets, encouraging maximal muscle activation for each set
  • Avoid having more than 2 heavy days consecutively. Listen to your body and rest if you need it
  • Vary your training programme to keep it interesting and avoid training plateaus

*Always seek the advice of an exercise professional and train within your own capability

Check out the Maximuscle 3 Day Strength + Power Training Plan to get you started.

Nutrition Corner - Product Power

Developing sporting attributes such as strength and power are achieved by more than training alone. Without doubt in isolation nutrition will not develop power but ingredients such as creatine can help to increase physical performance during short duration, high intensity repeated bouts of exercise when consuming 3g/day.

Creatine is a non-essential dietary compound that is found naturally in foods like meat and fish. It is also produced in small quantities (~1g) within the body (in your liver) and stored in our muscle cells, where it's used to power bursts of high intensity muscle contractions. With the limited supply available, creatine supplementation has been scientifically proven and remains one of the world's most popular sports nutrition ingredients.

As with all team sports, success in rugby is the combination and synergistic harmony between sporting attributes such as speed, strength, power, agility, focus and many more. Courtney Lawes is the Maximuscle champion of power. His performance in all areas of his game, from the line out to his tackling, is dominated by power. To improve power your training programme will dictate the training adaptation and your nutrition strategy will help provide the support network.