Since last summer I have been working with the University of Worcester Men's American Football team, the Worcester Royals, and the University's Men's Rugby team.
The Royals was mostly on a consultation basis - I have been designing programs for players to meet their physical positional requirements. I did attend sessions, and some games, but my appearances were rare due to working a full time job and also working with the Men's Rugby team and individual athletes externally to the University.
The Rugby team was a lot more hands on. I was able to attend Monday morning fitness (every Monday morning at 7am, rain, shine, snow whatever - the boys trained). I also attended other sessions, and was occasionally able to put on different things for them. Such as taking in different training tools to use on a Monday like kettlebells, battle ropes, slam balls etc. We also did sand dune sessions, hill sprint session, circuits around the local area, and sessions in gyms.
The Royals started their season 3-0. This is the best start to a season they have ever had, and they also went on to have their most successful season to date. By no means am I saying this is my doing, but I know that my programming and influence impacted on their performances throughout the season.
The Men's Rugby team also had an incredibly successful season - achieving their two goals they agreed at the start of the season:
1) Promotion to Prem B in the BUCS Leagues.
2) Win Varsity (the biggest game of the year against Gloucester University - played at Kingsholm-the ground of Gloucester RFC Premiership and European rugby team).
I simply cannot be prouder of this group of lads. They worked through a lot of hard times, and thanks to their coaches Jamie Tsang and Ieuan Mustow the old ways were brought back. Cohesion, hard work, and simple game planning led to a hugely successful season and I can't wait to keep hearing success stories from them over the coming years.
Another success story I want to touch on, and honestly the main reason I wrote this blog, was to talk about 3 of the American Football players who asked me to program for them in the lead up to a Powerlifting competition.
The local gym they use, Legends Gym Worcester, decided to run an in-house Powerlifting competition, so the guys, who had been part of the "HPC" group of players who trained with me on a more regular basis at Hill Performance in Hallow, asked if I would be able to design a program to allow development for the three lifts - Squat, Bench Press & Deadlift.
So I sat down and started to write a generic program for the 3 of them, but one that is specific to to their own personal bests of each lift. I took inspiration from several programs such as Jim Wendler's 531, Brandon Lilly's Cube Method, Chad Smith's Juggernaut Method, and more known theories like periodization etc and it worked on a two-weekly location and it included work at the high percentages of their max, as well as volume at lower percentages, and also rep work.
The three athletes - Carlo Richards, Josh Milgate and Andy Thomas all made significant progress throughout the training cycle and came out of the meet with PBs. Some got over 20kg of progress in just 7 weeks of training.
So I was absolutely over the moon as it was something I came up with sat at home, worked out all the lifts for each training session for them and everything. This is probably the first fully in depth training protocol I have come up with, and for it to have been so successful I am chuffed to bits.
Onwards and upwards from here. The internship with Harlequins starts tomorrow morning and it's only positive from there.