The Kelvin Lau

The Kelvin Lau


This program was written as off season program for school boy rugby players.


I sought to build absolute strength, strength endurance and provide a program that motivates them to train. This last point is probably the most important point. I don’t care what your science says, getting a 100% buy-in is the most important thing in the success of a program. Strength is a motivating quality for these school boys, especially in the compound movements. Bragging rights is what its about.  Sport performance is a bonus. 


Another issue is volume. School boys have an attachment to volume. Being used to playing 80 minutes of rugby they expect a session to be somewhat extended. You could just as easily put someone on 5/3/1 or some other abbreviated program but they love the act of lifting weights.


So I have attempted to keep myself happy as well as the boys.


I have based this program on a combination of coaching approaches. I have organised exercises using Joe Kenn’s Tier system and am using Ethan Reeve’s density training for the major lifts.  I prefer to stagger the main lifts so that you aren’t testing on the same weeks. But for ease of understanding I’ve presented the training as two four week blocks.


Warm Up

For the warm up I have the boys do spiderman crawls, lateral band walks and stability ball leg curls. The spiderman crawl with a straight up helps open up the chest , shoulders and hips. All of which need are needed with demands of being seated at a desk. I could have them do many different movements but having less is definitely more, especially when all they want to do is lift. Lateral band walk for glute activation is pretty important and for some this may be a strength exercise as I have abductors to be weak across the school boy population. Stability ball leg curls have been a priceless exercise as when performed with hip extension, it is very easy to access whether some leads with the hips or the lower back. Essentially this is a glute ham raise.

With the assistance work when it gets easy increase the weight. Don’t over think it.




Day One

1 Deadlift

Week One            7x4@65%

Week Two            10x2@75%

Week Three        4x3@70%

Week Four           Test 5rm

Week Five            8x3@70%

Weeksix              8x2@80%

Week seven        5x2@75%

Week Eight          Test 3rm


2               Front Squat



3a            Incline DB Press

3b            DB Row



4               Negative glute ham raise




                  Lying leg curl



Day Two

1 Squat

Week One            7x4@65%

Week Two            5x4@75%

Week Three        4x3@70%

Week Four           Test 5rm

Week Five            6x4@70%

Week Six               8x2@80%

Week Seven        2x5@75%

WeekEight         Test 3rm


2AMilitary Press


2b Pendlay Row



3 Famers Walks



4 Reverse Lunges

2x10 each leg


Day Three

1 Bench Press

Week One            4x7@65%

Week Two            4x5@75%

Week Three        3x4@70%

Week Four           Test 5rm

Week Five            4x6@70%

Weeksix              4x4@80%

Week seven        5x2@75%

Week Eight          Test 3rm


2 Pull Up Ladder

1/2/3/4/5 for 10 minutes

Perform set and rest for an equal amount of time. After five go back to one and start again. If you miss a set use the previous set and your new top set and keep going. Goal is to be able to get 50 total reps in 10 minutes. 


3 Full Combat Twist

2x15 each side

Make sure you don’t rotate at the lumbar


4 Single leg Leg Pres

Underated exercise. Deloads the spine.


5 Incline DB Curls


Use short rest in between sets. If they arms makes them lift. Also using internal rotation at the bottom of the lift really stretches out the biceps. The technique volume stops them going too heavy.


6 Rope Tricep extensions


The emphasis is on the flex at the bottom. Mostly just to even up the arm work.