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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

Game-related conditioning

This type of conditioning involves a ‘mix’ of the three energy systems. Also, physical contact, running at varying paces and speeds, and individual game skills such as tackling, evading and other related skills such as falling and getting up, pushing, pulling, grappling and wrestling can now all be accommodated within an integrated ‘game’ or ‘circuit’. Notice that the terminology used to describe game-related conditioning can be confusing. This type of conditioning is also called anaerobic type conditioning. Where it involves more game-related activities, it is also called ‘conditioned game training’.

The key point in completing this form of training or conditioning is that we are now starting to mimic the demands of the game in a closer manner. Studies have shown that when conditioned games are used there is a trend for less training-related injuries to occur (Gabbett, 2002). This can only be a positive thing. Conditioning for the Rugby player should first and foremost be concerned with reducing injury risk potential. However, training and practice per se are injury risk activities. That is fact. If we can reduce or minimise the potential for injury by adopting a different form of training that helps us achieve good fitness gains, then that is smart training. For example, traditional high volume and high intensity running training such as interval type training, which is a form of training that is common in the world of athletics, does have its benefits (Gorostiaga et al, 1991). However, it seems that a high volume of predominantly running activity is associated with a relatively high incidence of overuse injuries (Brunker & Khan, 1994).