Tuesday 11 June 2013 Written by: Adam

With the rugby season over for a few months, it can be easy for aspiring players to take a break and find themselves out of condition when returning to action after the summer.

Storm Fitness trainer and former professional player Spencer Davey has been sharing his tips on off-season training for young and aspiring players for us here at the Falcons:

Players in today’s game can be divided into two categories when it comes to the off-season. Those that come back better than they left and those that come back worse.

Personally speaking, when I look back on my career my focus in the gym at the end of the season was often more on looking the part on the beach than on getting stronger and more resilient to injury!

Professionals who want to maximise their performance are now using the off season to become stronger and more robust at facilities like ours in Turkey ( and Newcastle or at facilities in the USA.

I have a great deal of respect for the sacrifice these athletes make and I think this is not just admirable but necessary to succeed at the highest level. Let me explain…

In an in-season training program athletes have to cover so many training variables, for example speed, agility, relative strength and functional hypertrophy to name only a few. Due to the demands of our sport there are so many different areas of conditioning to be covered and it can be difficult to make any real headway in any one of these areas.

In an off-season training program however, we have the luxury of targeting weak points of your game/physicality and making some tangible headway.

**Worst First…**

Ok, it’s the first exercise of the first session of your off-season. You (the talented young rugby player) arrive at the gym; what are you going to do? Are you going to move straight to work on your weak points?

Do you have a clear idea of what areas you need to improve upon or are you going to the gym unplanned?

The reason I ask is because if you go to the gym unplanned, you risk the content of your workout changing due to external circumstances, i.e. how you are feeling, if there are any attractive gym users present or maybe your hamstring re-hab session changes to a squatting session because the “gym rats” are making screaming sounds whilst they squat 60kg, and you’re about to show them how it’s done. Sound familiar?

Be honest with yourself and analyse your performance this season; what needs to improve? How could you be better?

Let the answer to this question become the focus of your off-season. Just one thing, the number of rugby players who need a bigger bench press are few and far between but almost every player could benefit from some functional strength work and developing their mobility. How many will waste their off-season trying to get a bigger chest yet still pick up injuries next season?

If you or somebody you know is planning a big season next year and want some help putting together a training program that’s right for you we want to hear from you. Drop me a line on