We sat down with Joel, who plays as a winger in a Rugby Union Team, to find out how RUFC has shaped his fitness journey and how he stays motivated with such a strict regime.
What are your fitness ‘goals’?
“When it comes to playing rugby there are multiple goals working alongside each other. This differs from times when I was focusing on strength training/ muscle gain for aesthetic purposes (which has been my motivation in the past). I think my main aims are to improve my power, endurance and agility. As a winger, I need to be able to run fast, dodge people (so be light on my feet) but I also need to be strong enough to tackle/ be tackled. I think one skill that goes unnoticed in this type of training is mental resilience.”
What does a usual training session look like for you?
“We do focused training from our coach multiple times per week, but I complement this with my own training in the gym. It’s a bit of a balancing act really, I need to make sure I'm not training TOO hard before a game, so I'm quite tactical about it. In training we tend to cover game- specific drills and do a lot of HIIT style training. Between these sessions, I do a lot of compound lifting to improve my strength and power, and you’ll be surprised to learn that I do long distance running. You’d be amazed at how many kilometres you run in a game, especially as a winger.”
Is there anything you think you need to improve?
“Absolutely. I think people would look at me and think I've smashed my fitness goals, when in reality they are always changing… I’m always thinking about how I could improve. Not only that, but you have to ensure you’re balancing things right. For example, I am currently feeling strong and powerful, but my mobility has taken a back seat. I could probably benefit from a Pilates session, but my motivation for mobility is never as high.”
What keeps you motivated to continue with your fitness journey?
“I think more than anything that it’s not just a personal journey. My fitness levels impact the whole team, if we lose and I feel like I haven’t pushed myself… The guilt is real. I stick to this blueprint with normal training too… I always train with a friend where possible. I find it helps me to hold myself accountable and it’s just more fun. I also think having a clear goal is helpful. You hear people talk about ‘attainable goals’, but it’s not just a fitness fad thing, it’s serious. Goals = accountability. I suppose all my motivation comes from accountability at the core. I shouldn’t forget the feeling of winning though. That endorphin rush keeps me coming back for more.”
How would you recommend starting an attainable fitness regime, as a beginner?
“You know I'm going to say set realistic goals, and this is much easier said than done. I’d start with assessing your current fitness level, so you’ve got a base for development. It might be worth starting with a fitness expert or personal trainer, who can assess your strength, cardio, mobility etc. This leads on to becoming a structured training plan that factors in gradual progression. Seeing improvement is great for motivation, so making sure the goals are reachable is vital in my opinion. Then lastly, I’d say don’t neglect the mind… as no fitness journey is happening without your brain saying so. Remember to factor in recovery days, good sleep, nutrition and times when you don’t think about your fitness journey at all.”
We’ve rounded up some tips & tricks from Joel’s answers to share some gems of motivation… Let’s level up!
PLAN… We hear about consistency, so match that with a top-tier plan and you’ll know exactly what you’re working and when! No excuses!
GOALS… You know what you’re working… Now you need to know what you’re working FOR. It doesn’t have to be a long term goal, it can even just be a weekly thing. Whatever works for you!
MIX IT UP… Even competitive athletes have some variation to their workouts. Why not invite a buddy along? A boring regime is not good for motivation.
COMMUNITY… It’s obvious that Joel’s motivation is increased by the RUFC team morale. Are you ready to join the fitfam? Your fitness journey will thank you!
We hope we’ve given you some motivation to take your fitness to the next stage. Sometimes simple changes are all it takes!