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Japan Waseda Rugby

Wattbike Case Studies

Japan Waseda Rugby

Waseda University’s standard protocol for off-feet conditioning is mixing workouts on the Wattbike, an indoor rower, and running.

Waseda University Rugby

Turning the Luck Around

On December 2nd 2018, something special happened at Chichibunomiya stadium in Japan. Waseda University broke an eight-year-long losing streak to beat their longtime rivals Meji University in front of a full stadium of 22,000 people. Waseda University can now call themselves University champions of the Kanto region for the first time in almost a decade, but what was the key to this sudden success? It seems that a combination of tough off-feet training, determination, and Wattbikes really did the trick and allowed the team to finally turn their bad luck around.

Takahiro Muramaki, Waseda’s high performance coordinator and Wattbike Master Trainer, states that the players have been improving their physical capacity with the Wattbikes since 2015. Muramaki further highlights the importance of off-feet conditioning in rugby; he explains that half of the total time of a rugby game is a ball game which features on-feet running, and the remaining half of the game consists of break down and contact, so it is incredibly important to spend a substantial amount of time and effort on off-feet conditioning. This is also crucial from a risk management point of view to prevent injury, especially for bigger players.

Waseda University Rugby

Waseda University’s standard protocol for off-feet conditioning

Waseda University’s standard protocol for off-feet conditioning is mixing workouts on the Wattbike, an indoor rower, and running. This is all done under close watch from Murakami, who monitors his players to see what effects the off-feet conditioning has. 

By monitoring data during games, Muramaki has found that players have an increased ratio of high intensity running (>5m/s), top speed, and number of sprints in 1 minute as a result of mixing off-feet conditioning and on-feet conditioning. He also found that the standing time for each player increased during games, and stand up time after collapsing was also significantly shortened. 

Muramaki’s - perhaps unconventional - way to look at rugby training really seems to have had a great effect on the players, so we can’t wait to see how they all get on in the future.

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