Rugby asks a lot of its athletes. They have to be fast, powerful, strong and able to repeat maximum efforts of each of these attributes over and over again without tiring or becoming injured.
Listen to the third episode of Ride to Win with Nic Gill, All Blacks S&C Coach, in which we’re talking about off-feet conditioning and how it allows athletes to reduce load whilst still working at high intensities.
Nic has been looking at how bike sprinting outputs relate to other aspects of physical performance and is confident that he can assess physical performance in game-specific manners without doing it on the field.
“There’s good evidence that suggests we can improve our running output through Wattbike sprint training. Off-feet conditioning is vital in my opinion, we have large humans, 130-140kilos and weight bearing activity is quite tough on joints and muscles. So we need the rugby players to be very strong, very fast and the Wattbike helps with that.”
Data shows that repeating high intensity efforts on the Wattbike has just as good a transference to improving sprint training as doing high intensity running efforts, but the ‘off-feet’ nature of the bikes helps reduce joint impact and injury risk.
But Nic explains it’s not all about the science. Let’s not forget the mental toughness associated with pushing yourself to your limits. Going into that ‘hurt box’ and ‘emptying the tank’ is something that is hugely transferable to any sport.
“The Wattbike has become part and parcel of our travelling team. The players don’t feel like their preparation is done for the week unless they’ve had their Wattbike hit. So, we have Wattbikes delivered wherever we are in the World.”
Tune in to the final Episode of the Ride to Win miniseries next week where we talk to Nic about Rehabilitation.