Lovell Rugby were very fortunate recently to be able to interview Fit for Rugby -The Complete Guide for Strength Conditioning and Nutrition author Jon Ellery. Lovell Rugby has been retailing the eBook for a little under a week and has been highly impressed with feedback already.
Can you tell us a little about the book and why you decided to write it?
I have been a Personal Trainer for over 10 years now and due to me playing and coaching Rugby for many years also, I was always getting asked “Can you write me a program for Rugby” which I was always happy to do, but in order to get all the information down to why they need to eat right, train smart and have adequate rest, it needed to be much more detailed, Thats why I finally decided I would put all my years of experience and knowledge into 1 book that hopefully everyone can follow and understand.
The eBook itself tries to cover all aspects of preparing 1 individual to play at his or hers very best and to fullfill their potential on Game day. I think at certain levels of Rugby, some players think that by training once or twice a week and playing at the weekend is enough to improve, on top of that the standard approach of a Mars Bar and Red Bull before training and a match is thought to be ok, well in my opinion it is most definitely not!!! Training has to be structure, and progressive every week, nutrition and hydration is a 24/7 commitment, not just an hour before a game. If you are serious about improving you performances, every aspect need to be covered: Resistance Training, Post Match Recovery, Nutrition, Hydration, Fitness Conditioning, Rest, Mental Development has to be planned out, to make this easier I have covered this all in the eBook and more.
How long have you been invloved in strength and conditioning?
I have been in the Fitness Industry a long time, ever since I left college which is now 12 years ago. I have always loved all sports but especially Rugby. I wanted to get involved in coaching my local team to the best possible standard, so about 6 years ago now I started to study sport specific training and then gain my qualifications in Strength and Conditioning. This really gave me the drive to continually learn, and by requesting to visit place like Bath Rugby, Northampton Saints and the Welsh RFU, I was able to gain some very valuable experience and knowledge. That being said a lot of the information in the book has been what I have studied and then tried and tested with my Rugby team, so I know what works and how to develop good athletes.
What is the books main aims/objectives?
The aim is to improve every player who reads the book, but there are no main Objectives, No one part of a players development is more important than the other, and every componant has to be taken into consideration. When you read the book, you will see I continually mention that it is very hard to design generic strength and nutrition programs, as no one person reacts the same way. I have tried to give everyone the tools and information to make good choices in their furture training, alongside plans to get them started.
What level player is the eBook aimed at?
The eBook is aimed at every level. Obviously some players have the facilities and time to get the very most from the book and complete all the critieria, but even if you don’t you are still going to learn how to improve your physique, fitness and nutrition which in itself will improve performance dramatically. I know of some pro’s and professional clubs that still aren’t quite caught up to speed in terms of the latest and most effective ways to improve Strength and Condition, and the Nutrition is even worse! That being said Rugby is far, far more advanced than football, buts thats no excuse. We as a nation and as a sport are still not up to the standard of say the NFL, those guys are the complete athlete. Big, strong, fast and agile. Those guys if converted to Rugby would tear up in the premiership. My eBook uses a lot of principle taken from developing Amercian Football athletes.
Do You feel alot of players under estimate the value of correct training and nutrition?
Massively. The simple message I try to get across with my players is POWER! A simple sum of Speed x Strength. If I can make you Stronger, I will then in effect make you faster, which will then make you more powerful. If in a game you are able to run faster, jump high, tackle harder, push further, wont that alone make you a better Rugby player?
Nutrition is an area, that I could spend days or even weeks talking about. I first want to make it very clear that health is always of the most importance If you are not healthy and do not put good, nutritionally dense foods into your body, your energy sytems, hormonal responses, growth and recoverability will never perform the way they are supposed to. I use the ‘Metabolic Typing’ princible in the eBook, which enables each individual to eat foods specific to improveing their own health and physique. The biggest mistake in sport these days are the reliance on sports drinks and stimulants, In the eBooks appendix, it will give you hundreds of reasons on the damaging effect these can have.
Whats the most common mistake you see players making while they are training in the gym?
Easy, too much vanity training!!! Guys who say they want to train for Rugby, but are actually training their ego by trying to get big and ripped. Rugby Players are not Body Builders, the aim isn’t the same, so when I see players doing a whole session on Chest and Biceps I will have a little word in their ear.
How important is the right Supplements to a player?
Supplementation is definately part of a Rugby players nutrition plan and is important to get right, I have dedicated a whole chapter to it in the eBook to it, but once again I must make this very clear, Supplements by its own meaning are only meant to ‘supplement’ you nutrition plan. If you are not taking the time to plan and prepare you real, ‘whole food’ meals first and then taking the time to eat the right amounts at the right time, supplements will be a waste of time and money.
I would like to say a massive Thank You to Lovell Rugby for helping me get this eBook on the market. It is currently exclusive on their website. I really hope that everyone who buys ‘Fit for Rugby’ enjoys and benefits from it.