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CrossFit is a high-intensity training methodology that has gained popularity in recent years. It combines different elements of exercise and training, including weightlifting, cardiovascular exercises, and gymnastics. For rugby players who are looking to carry out an efficient training program, CrossFit as a methodology offers a range of workouts that can significantly enhance performance on the field.

There are a number of CrossFit workouts to explore; “The Girls” are very popular. Fact: these workouts have female names similar to how the National Weather Service in the US names storms after girls – they are so demanding on your body, they are designed to make you feel as if a “storm” had hit you.


  • “Fran” is a classic CrossFit workout that consists of thrusters and pull-ups.
  • Benefits for rugby players: “Thrusters” (compound exercises) build explosive power in the lower body, essential for sprinting, tackling, and jumping. Pull-ups strengthen the upper body, improving grip strength for ball handling and fending off opponents.


  • “Grace” involves performing 30 clean and jerks for time.
  • Benefits for rugby players: “Clean and jerk” exercises target and activate multiple muscle groups, enhancing overall strength and power. This translates to improved performance in scrums, rucks, and lifting opponents during gameplay.


  • “Cindy” is a bodyweight workout comprising pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats, performed in a high-intensity AMRAP (‘as many rounds as possible’) format.
  • Benefits for rugby players: Cindy helps to build muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness, crucial for maintaining stamina throughout a rugby match. The bodyweight movements mimic the demands of various aspects of gameplay, including quick changes in direction and explosive bursts of energy.

Fight Gone Bad

  • “Fight Gone Bad” is a longstanding CrossFit workout. It is a circuit-style workout that incorporates wall balls, sumo deadlift high pulls, box jumps, push presses, and rowing.
  • Benefits for rugby players: Mimics the dynamic nature of rugby by engaging multiple muscle groups and energy systems. Improves cardiovascular endurance, strength, and agility, enhancing a player's ability to perform well in a fast-paced and unpredictable game.

Tabata Intervals

  • Tabata intervals involve 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for multiple rounds.
  • Benefits for rugby players: This format is adaptable to various exercises, such as sprints, burpees, or kettlebell swings. Tabata training enhances anaerobic capacity, crucial for short bursts of energy needed in rugby, and improves recovery between high-intensity efforts.

Benefits of CrossFit for Rugby Players

  1. Functional Movements: CrossFit emphasizes functional movements that closely mimic the demands of rugby, promoting improved agility, coordination, and body awareness on the field.
  2. Power and Explosiveness: The combination of weightlifting and high-intensity exercises in CrossFit enhances a player's explosive power, vital for activities like sprinting, tackling, and lifting in rugby.
  3. Versatility: CrossFit's varied workouts prevent training plateaus and provide a well-rounded approach to fitness, addressing strength, endurance, and flexibility—all essential components for rugby players.
  4. Time Efficiency: CrossFit workouts are designed to be short yet intense, making them ideal for rugby players who have limited time for training amidst a busy schedule.

Integrating CrossFit into a rugby player's training routine can lead to significant improvements in power, agility, endurance, and overall performance on the field. By incorporating a mix of workouts like Fran, Grace, Cindy, Fight Gone Bad, and Tabata intervals, players can develop the physical attributes necessary for success in the demanding and dynamic sport of rugby. As with any fitness program, it's important to tailor the intensity and volume of CrossFit workouts to individual fitness levels and gradually progress to avoid injury.

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