Strength & conditioning at the, Bradford Bulls – An on hands approach by, Tom Clough
As you may or may not know already, Kinetica Sports and Bradford Bulls have recently set up a partnership for the coming season. This partnership will mean that Kinetica Sports will be official sports nutrition supplier to the west Yorkshire Rugby League Club and, as a sports nutrition company with a deep heritage, just like The Bulls, we are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious club. We asked Head S & C Coach, at The Bulls, Tom Clough, to give us some insight as to what products the players will be using and, also what training regime will be at this time of the year.
I’m sure most people are aware by now of the trials and tribulations which were happening at the Bradford Bulls only a few months ago. Having survived administration and given a new lease of life I was fortunate enough to be given the job of Head Strength and Conditioning coach and effectively given a blank canvas in which to shape the programme which will enable us to compete physically in the 2013 Super League season.
Most good S&C coaches know that nutrition is often the missing ingredient in a players approach to training and playing. Players will often train hard and play hard but oftentimes leave gains behind in the gym due to a lacklustre approach to their eating habits and supplementation. For that reason one of my first tasks in my new role was to team up with a sports nutrition company to help support and guide the players. I’m very fortunate to have Kinetica as a partner going forward for a number of reasons, drug tested supplements, great tasting products, and formulated by Elite Sports Nutritionist, Matt Lovell.
At this time of year leading up to the Christmas period in rugby league we are in pre season in a very heavy way. Currently we have the players in training 6 days a week from the start of November through to the Christmas break where we plan some much needed recovery. A week typically gets broken down into the following:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday we typically will do weight training where we focus on hypertrophy early on in pre season, through to max strength and power as we get closer to xmas. In addition to this the coaches will do skills and I will also do conditioning sessions, these typically focus around wrestling and running (aerobic and anaerobic). Throw into the mix speed work, rehabilitation with the physio Dan Ramsden and the players individual extras and you can see why the players nutrition and supplementation play a massive role in how the players recover between sessions and get the gains we are hoping for. I didn’t even mention Swimming on the Wednesday and hill running on the Saturday!
So how do we use supplements around such a packed schedule?
We work closely with David Dunne, who helps the players decide what products work best for them and when they should take them to maximise gains.
For example: when we have skill and conditioning sessions we use 100% Recovery for every player. It has a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio (41g:25g respectively). I love this product as it helps players repair muscle, encourage growth and replenishes energy, we ensure that the players take this within 20 minutes post session. Products such as 100% Recovery does exactly what it says on the tin and carries simple messages so that players understand what they are taking and why.
In the gym we generally use two products, Kinetica Complete and Kinetica Whey Protein. Complete is ideal for the mass builders as it has carbohydrate and 35g of protein with added L-Glutamine and Creatine. We then use Whey Protein for those who need to preserve lean muscle and maximise recovery, the Whey protein delivers 23g of protein per serving and a great blend of BCAAs.
Oat Gain is another great product which we use in two ways. Some players really struggle with eating breakfast, while we work on encouraging them to form that habit we use Oat Gain as it provides protein and complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and some essential vitamins and minerals.
Another use is with our U19 Academy, the players typically train on evenings after college or work. As they can finish sometimes as late as 9pm we use Oat Gain post workout due to its nutritional profile and knowing that some players won’t get home to eat their main meal until late into the evening.
So that’s it, we train them hard but in basic terms whatever we take out we have to put back in and them some, if we want to see gains in the players fitness, lean muscle and reduction in body fat and the subsequent strength and power!
Head of Strength and Conditioning