Professional rugby players look and actually are among the fittest, most powerful and strongest athletes in professional sports. But the truth is, not all of them start out that way. As a matter of fact, some players regularly visit dieticians, who tell them how to bulk up and put on at least 10-15 kilos.
The highest level of rugby requires a player to be very strong and very agile – he needs to be strong enough to ride the challenges of opposition players and also need to be agile in order to be free when running with the ball. Perhaps, not many would be surprised to learn that weight training forms an integral part of the training regimen of a rugby player. First and foremost, it helps a player to take the battering on the field and still be strong and secondly, it helps a player develop speed and agility – and these two put together translates into a strong performance on match days.
Most of the players hit the gym to do weight training between 2-3 times a week during the season and between 4-5 times a week, during the off season. The primary goal is to develop muscle mass during the off season and maintain it during the season.
A rugby player needs to gain a lot of weight, and for that, he needs to have loads and loads of calories every day. This means, he needs more intake of calories than he burns throughout the day. Moreover, if a player is doing a lot of heavy lifting, he will need the calories to replace the burnt calories and some extra as well.
A rugby player, on average, weighs between 85-90 kilos and for a player of that size to have the adequate amount of calories; he needs at least 4,000-5,000 calories each day. That becomes pretty difficult if a player doesn’t have a huge appetite and it has been seen that many players struggle with the intake of so much calories from food alone.
Once a player takes care of his caloric needs, his attention turns to the intake of adequate protein. It has been seen that a player can bulk up in explosive fashion if there is an adequate amount of protein in his meal every day. But the sad thing is that most players do not get that amount of protein each day. If you also want to gain body weight and increase muscle mass quickly, you need to ensure that your protein intake is proportional to that of your body weight. For example, a player who weighs 90 kilos or 198lbs must have 198 grams of protein each day.
Fat is also another important supplement for the body and the adequate amount of body fat ensures that a player is able to build up his body that would be able to sustain the pressures and rigors of playing professional rugby season in, season out, in any of the harshest leagues in the world with consummate ease.