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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

HIT or traditional interval training

Overview of HIT or traditional interval training

The general physiological responses as a result of interval type or high intensity type running related training are well appreciated (Hoffman et al 2014). They include adaptations in the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems allowing the player to sustain a higher workload during exercise or activity. Players can however, differ greatly in training adaptations depending on training age with relatively untrained players responding to a greater extent and having greater adaptive ability when compared to well-trained players.

Yet, using high-intensity interval training can allow for performance improvements at a lower training volume (Kubukeli et al 2002, Laursen & Jenkins 2002). This in itself is a positive factor in that Rugby training and practice can be time consuming and it is often preferable if training can be optimised in terms of time and training effect.

To help us understand players’ specific responses to high-intensity interval training we need to examine specific Rugby Union related studies and practices that have focused on high-intensity interval training, repeated sprint-training and small-sided games. While there is some literature in relation to these integrated conditioning methods specifically using Rugby players, there is a lack of sufficient study within Rugby Union to make definitive statements. However, with caution we draw from studies that use team sport players as subjects as there is often some similarity of training responses and ultimately training adaptations when we compare team sport players.

Figure 4. Integrate, where possible, Rugby specific skills into HIT.