Train like a DHL Stormer
Ever wondered how the DHL Stormers stay fit when they're not on the field? We caught up with Siya Kolisi, Brandon Thomson and Strength and Conditioning coach Stephan du Toit to get the lowdown.
When you're not training with DHL WP, where do you train?
Siya: I train at the Virgin Active closest to me. It has all the equipment I need, but I also always bring my mini monster bands to use during my warm-up.
Brandon: Similar to Siya, I bring my elastic bands along to the Virgin Active in Stellenbosch.
What do you focus on when doing your own workout?
Siya: As a loose forward, explosive power is important and I need to make sure, come Saturday, I'm physically confident. Because we do a significant amount of lower body strength training during the week, I focus on upper body, but I still throw in some leg press.
Brandon: Having a strong lower extremity and connected structure assists with my kicks, so during the week I focus a lot on my lower body. We also run a lot during DHL WP training, that's why when it comes to my off days I don't do any lower body to give myself a rest.
Let's talk training. How do you structure your workouts?
Siya: I do primary lifts, supersets and volume sets to build strength and hypertrophy – depending on what I need. I do either 3 or 4 per exercise with a rep range between 5 and 30.
Brandon: I focus on lower rep ranges between 4 and 6, except for exercises that prevent sports injury – those I complete at rep ranges between 12 and 15.
Now for the good stuff, can you take us through your workout routine?
Power contrast – 3 X 30 Shoulder elastic T's
3 X 5 Clap push-ups
Singles – 4 X 6-10 BB Flat bench press
4 X 6-10 DB One arm rows
Supersets – 3 X 10 30' DB Incline bench press + 3 X 6 Leg press
Volume sets – 3 X 10 Shoulder width push-ups
3 X 10 Pull-ups
3 X 10 Bar dips
Drop set – 3 X (12, 10, 8) BB bicep curls
Power contrast – 3 X 15 Elastic band external rotation
3 X 6 Explosive alternate push-ups
Singles – 4 X 4/6 DB Incline alternate bench press
4 X 10 BB Plate lifts
Supersets – 4 X 6 BB Shoulder press (split stance) + 3 X 10 Elastic band trunk flexion
Volume sets – 3 X 10 Elastic band trunk flexion
3 X 10 Pull-ups
3 X 10 Bar dips
Drop set – 3 X (12, 10, 8) BB Bicep curls
What makes these workouts specifically “feel-good” for the players?
Stephan: Feel-good is exactly what it says. They have to feel good (physically and mentally) when they are done with the workout. Increasing mental capacity, and driving positive physical performance and capacity, is the effect we need from their workouts.
Are there any guidelines or restrictions on players when they work out on their own?
Stephan: I give them direction on reps and sets and amount of exercises and then let them decide on the type of primary and secondary exercises. We educate the players all the time and encourage communication. If they do not know they will phone, but most times we educate them early on the parameters they can work within.
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