- 33-year-old Mark Taylor is taking part in the Virgin Active Fit for Rugby programme
- Find out more about Virgin Active Fit for Rugby
Mark Taylor, a 33-year-old from Sussex, is one of two competition winners being put through their paces as part of the Virgin Active Fit for Rugby programme.
Over eight weeks a Virgin Active personal trainer will be overseeing his progression through the programme as Mark attempts to finish his grassroots rugby career on a high.
"I don’t really have a ‘typical’ day"
Working as a firefighter for two days and two nights a week as well as at my cattle farm for the rest of the week means every day is different.
I’m a husband and dad of two as well so balancing work and family alongside rugby can be difficult but playing at the weekend is important to me, it’s sort of my release.
For the last 26 years I’ve been putting my boots on but age is catching up with me a bit. I’m a hooker at East Grinstead RFC and I’ve pinpointed this season as my last year playing in the first team.
Rugby’s always been my sport. It’s the camaraderie, it’s the team – you are playing for something bigger than yourself, it’s the love for the game. Any rugby player will tell you that.
"I want to go out on a high"
I wouldn’t describe myself as unfit but I was playing at prop last season and I think the front row diet has caught up with me. I know I can be better, and deep down I know I have to.
Going through this process and getting fit is about proving something to myself but also to my teammates and my family. I want to be the best player I can be this season but also make sure I’m fit and healthy at work and at home with my kids.
Losing some weight and building strength is what I want to get out of this but I didn’t expect the first session to be as hard as it was.
This kind of training is completely new to me and I was knackered but I can tell already that it’s going to help.
The Virgin Active Fit for Rugby Programme focuses on six areas, everything from strength to stamina, and by the end I’ll be a better conditioned player. That’s what I’m looking forward to.
There was a real mix of strength-based exercises alongside high intensity, full body movements and that's the kind of thing I need to be better on the pitch.
My teammates and colleagues at the fire station can’t wait to see me put through this and I’ve been getting a fair amount of stick already.
You could say I was nervous about the next eight weeks but mainly i'm excited to see the improvements.
|Mark's first Fit for Rugby workout|
|Thorough warm - find effective warm ups here: EnglandRugby.com/activate|
|Side lateral hops: 4 sets of 10-12 reps.|
|Battle ropes: 3 sets of 20 second efforts|
|Medicine ball slams: 3 sets of 10|
|Weighted cleans: 3 sets of 10 reps with 20kg bag|
|Deadlifts: Complete 4 sets of 10-12 reps at an intensity range of 60-75% of his one rep maximum|
|Bench press: Complete 4 sets of 10-12 reps at an intensity range of 60-75% of his one rep maximum.|
|Pull down: Complete 4 sets of 10-12 reps at an intensity range of 60-75% of his one rep maximum|
|Cool down: Hip flexor and hamstring stretch followed by pectoral, tricep and back stretches|
To follow Mark's journey through the Virgin Active Fit for Rugby programme, follow @EnglandRugby on Twitter and Instagram.