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"Maximizing Performance: Implementing the F.I.T.T. Principle in Rugby Training"

Updated: Mar 28

“How do I prepare for Rugby effectively?”

There is a multitude of studies and research papers out there that will tell you soo many things to look out for, Yes this is correct but like most just be mindful. the first thing they miss is the importance of the human eye seeing changes faster than any piece of technology.

We see the significant changes in development happen between the ages of 11-16 for both boys and girls and they can vary largely due to the complexity of growth changes happening.

In youth Rugby players we have to accommodate a number of varying factors ie; environment, hormonal changes, and social networks. Believe it or not, this is also transferable to their training schedules as they will most likely change during these ages.

Yes we can use tools to make predictions but that’s soo generalised it benefits neither the player nor coach.

“What are the specific measures I should use?”

Seeing these changes over time will help you as a coach to understand how to move forward correctly. By following the F.I.T.T protocol you’ll be able to change the loading and exercises to fit the growth changes in each individual you’re working with a lot easier.

Nine times out of ten the athlete you are working with will enjoy the sessions more because you’ll be accounting for additional changes that have or about to happen.

“What is F.I.T.T and how do I use it ?”


We need to measure the frequency, how many sessions per week are they training both on/off the field. Each discipline's frequency would be different, however most team sport athletes I work with have a similar schedule across the week.

Example: Split the sessions into on-field/ off-field across the work and then based on the sport fill the gaps in. Account for whether it is an on-field training or game day.


Measuring the intensity is going to be critical during this time as we see the changes happening.

There are a number of tools we can use to assess this. I tend to use the 3 below to assess where they are at.

1. The volume of work - Strength Speed or Speed Strength work.

2. RPE - Varied across all exercises selected

3. Recovery time per exercise


Each session will last between 30-60 mins in a gym environment and fieldwork is generally the same. Working within defined time constraints will provide a structured method both you the coach and athlete can monitor closely.

Session times will vary based on the required outcomes. For instance, when working on injury rehab for rugby, I work on a 4-6 week block and then repeat it again to iron out any imbalances across the area of weakness whilst preventing any further issues.


The type of exercise selection can be split for this part.

We are looking for both physical and mental adaptations to take place, remembering each individual will require specific exercises based on a number of factors. I would generally as a rule of thumb follow the setlist below before any training is completed.

Ask your self a few questions first;

  1. Has Athlete profiling taken place at the beginning of the programme?

  2. Have you collected all previous medical history?

  3. Discipline the athlete takes part in?

In summary, this is a set structure, it works, we have covered all the bases we need to and our athlete is ready to go.

Most importantly you’ve made it simple and easy for you to continue what you love doing the most which are COACHING!

If you want to learn more about TRAINING PRINCIPLES get in contact for further information.

What coaching strategies do you have in place and why?

Comment below and let me know.

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