The John Pryor rugby training program relies on a great deal of specificity in order to deliver the kind of outcomes that result in improved in-competition athletic performance, not just general improvements in strength and conditioning. After all, many training programs are able to help athletes become “bigger, faster, stronger,” but, according to John Pryor, strength and conditioning gains must be specifically designed according to the needs of the athlete and the demands of competition.
In preparing the Japan Rugby Football Union for international competition, Pryor designed the team’s training program according to the strategic goals the club hoped to achieve. Understanding that defenses are so organized and finely tuned to read and react to the movements of the offensive players, Pryor’s program strived to ensure that the team’s athletes we trained in such a way that they were less likely to telegraph their movements to the defender. This particular focus kept defenders on their heels, thereby eliminating any disadvantage created by the team’s relative lack of elite speed.