All Blacks rugby player puts on 8kg in six weeks

Something is not quite right here

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parnell
Planet Rugby: Be afraid, be very afraid

In fact, the All Blacks of 2007 will look radically different from the All Blacks of 2006 so dramatic have been the physical advances made by the "protected 22" in the last six weeks. Jason Eaton has packed on eight kilograms. Mils Muliaina is five kilograms heavier than he was in December. The seams of Keven Mealamu's shirts appear to be having a hard time holding back the advancing mass of muscle and Ali Williams, once a sapling, looks more an oak tree. The conditioning programme still has six weeks to run and that, according to former All Black fitness coach Jim Blair, is a very long time in the life of an elite athlete.
8kg in 6 weeks for an already elite athlete, what kind of sauce do they have the kiwis on?
Timmeh
Kiwi kids are weetbix kids
parnell
Miss New Zealand bikini 2006 - lovely slip of a girl...

Attached image
LeChamois
Did anyone think there were no cheats in rugby?
Johnny English
It does indeed sound like they are gonna be impressive. They will be proper pissed about the last few World Cups, and I just cannot see them throwing it away this time. I think they will cruise to an easy win this time - and that is also what the bookies are saying of course.
Katrina
From the article linked to above:

"A lot of the guys are producing personal bests in terms of the weights they are lifting," Henry told the Herald.
"The idea is that we will have bigger, faster, stronger athletes. The guys will be able to run faster and run quicker for longer and that gives us some major positives on the field.
Although I'd love to know what kind of programme they are on just to be nosey, I am a bit confused.

Can you get bigger and faster?
Parnell et al, please explain because I am confused - always thought it was big = strong but not fast? That to retain/gain speed you can't add that much bulk? That while rugby players will have a mix of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle build, I'm lost at how they can improve so much in both at the same time.
But I'm probably being daft and hopefully someone will explain how it works.
parnell
Drugs ... and a fucking mudderlode of them at that are the ONLY way an already elite level athlete can put on 8kg of muscle in 6 weeks.

I'm not sayin Ireland are squeaky clean - Denis Leamy last year looked shocking , Mike Tindall still does but there is a world of difference between what these guys are on and what is neccessary to put on such huge amounts of lean mass in such short time periods.

The closer you get to your natural peak the harder it is to improve.

To answer your question directly Katrina - Ben Johnson was a sprinter , drugs did not make him slower but much much faster. Something needs to be done here or it will be rugby league...
Dally M
To answer your question directly Katrina - Ben Johnson was a sprinter , drugs did not make him slower but much much faster. Something needs to be done here or it will be rugby league...
Be careful as what you have stated could be classed as libelous Seen as Rugby League has one of the best Drug testing sports programme in Australia and the UK at this time and according to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2005 no other Sport spent as much money on the fight against Drugs in Sport as Rugby League. Also Rugby League is now one of the few Sports where anybody taking recreational drugs as oppossed to Performance enhancing drugs will be given a warning and help to get off it. The testing in Queensland for example is from U18s upto NRL Level with Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and the North Queensland Cowboys. The sport of Rugby League is also part of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)

New South Wales Rugby League Anti Doping 2007 Procedure

In the UK in 2006 from January to September, 212 Anti-Doping Tests was carried out on English Rugby League players while only 57 occured in English Rugby Union. Swimming 157 tests were carried out in this period and Cycling 187 with Soccer/Football on 522 tests carried out. Rugby League was the Sport that had the 3rd most players tested despite other sports like Rugby Union, Swimming, Cricket etc having more participants. A ciouple of League players have been found guilty and have been banned but name me one sport that involves the use of Running (or swimming or Cycling ) that hasnt has anybody found guilty?

Rugby Union Players found Guilty of drugs abuse in the last 5 years include:
Pierre Durant-London Irish (Marijuana)
Jason Keyter-(Benzoylecgonine)
Wendall Sailor- (Cocaine)
Apoua Stewart-Coventry RFC (Ephedrine)
Johannes Britz (2002) South African U21s became the EIGHTH local player in the past 5 years to be suspended for a doping offence
ALL The players of Penygraig RFC (Wales) in 2003 refused to take anti doping tests

Lawrence Dallaglio has question marks over drug abuse and dealing
The Examiner

Maybe look at your own sport before judging other sports with drug problems.
DoubleVision
I'm not surprised about this. Back in the days of the Baby Blacks of 1986 there was a conditioning program then. The Baby Blacks were born out of the older Blacks who were from the 'old school' team (such as some of the members of the Cavaliers coached by Colin 'Pinetree' Meads, a rebel team that toured South Africa in '86). The new Baby Blacks, coached by Ian Kirkpatrick with assistant coaches Alex 'Griz' Wyllie for the forwards and John Hart for the backs, implemented innovative training programs in time for the inaugural World Cup the following year. The training program was no doubt rigorous and scientific more so than any other national rugby team at the time, with Alan Jones's Wallabies not far behind. The new Blacks went on to win the William Webb Ellis trophy the following year and every subsequent international games for a number of years after that. There were no performance enhancing drugs then, and I can't see there'll be any now.

So, now with this 2007 team coached by Henry I can see why other international rugby teams feel a bit nervous. As most of us know, Henry has a background in physical education, albeit at high school teaching level, but of course it's the genius of Jim Blair that must be admired. Here's a brief overview of Blair's resumé:

Rugby:

  • All Blacks preparation for 1987 and 1991 World Cups
  • Auckland Rugby fitness trainer 1986 - 1997, 1999 -
  • Canterbury Rugby fitness trainer 1983 - 1986
  • Manu Samoa preparation for 1991 and 1995 World Cups
  • Bath, England, fitness trainer 1997 - 1999
  • Queensland RFU advisor 1986
  • Fiji RFU trainer 1991 World Cup
  • Advisor to the following NZ provincial teams 1980 - 1996: Hawke's Bay, Manawatu, Wanganui, Nelson, Marlborough, North Canterbury, South Canterbury and North Otago
  • Conducted seminars on fitness preparation for the English, Irish and Scottish RFUs
Yachting
America's Cup

  • Fitness advisor to the 1987, 1988 and 1991 teams
  • Fitness advisor to the 1995 Tag Heuer team (skipper Chris Dickson)
  • Fitness advisor to the 1991 Nippon Challenge team (Japan)
Admiral's Cup

  • Fitness advisor to the 1989 New Zealand team
Hockey

  • NZ Women's Hockey team - Los Angeles Olympics 1980
In addition, Jim Blair has worked with the Whitbread Round the World challengers, the New Zealand cricket and hockey teams and many prominent individual athletes, and was a visiting consultant in 1989 for the Glasgow Rangers soccer team.
I'm glad the Blacks are undergoing this new conditioning program and bulking themselves up. It moves rugby up another notch on the athleticism scale, something that the Super 14 teams have done for a while but the Northern Hemisphere teams still aren't used to (with the possible exception of France). I'm looking forward to the France versus New Zealand clash later this year.

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Jim Blair
LeChamois
There were no performance enhancing drugs then,..
How on earth would you know that?
...and I can't see there'll be any now.
You must be very naive.
DoubleVision
Let's be clear first. I'm talking about the All Blacks only. And you ask how on earth would I know about it back in '87? Because I was at the World Cup tournament in '87 following the Blacks closely, including their regimen. The likes of Green, Kirwan, Kirk, Shelford, Jones, Fitzpatrick, Gallagher, etc. were top athletes that observed a strict discipline that was, you might say, revolutionary for a typical international rugby team. This included their diet, training and, something unheard of with British and Irish teams at the time, cutting back on alcohol consumption during their leisure times. They carried out doping tests during the tournament and I don't remember anybody in any of the 16 teams, let alone the All Blacks, being busted for drugs during that time or even long after the tournament ended. So that's how I know.

You also say I must be incredibly naïve if the Blacks don't induce such drugs come this year's tournament. Not only is it an insult to me but it's like saying that a highly respected fitness trainer such as Jim Blair is a hardcore drug dealer.
LeChamois
They carried out doping tests during the tournament and I don't remember anybody in any of the 16 teams, let alone the All Blacks, being busted for drugs during that time or even long after the tournament ended.
I think you need to do some reading about steroids. In any case, if not one out of 500 professional athletes tests positive that merely shows that the tests were not effective.
You also say I must be incredibly naïve if the Blacks don't induce such drugs come this year's tournament. Not only is it an insult to me but it's like saying that a highly respected fitness trainer such as Jim Blair is a hardcore drug dealer.
Clearly there is no way on earth for me to know whether Jim Blair is a hardcore drug dealer or not. He would not be the first formerly respected coach to fall from grace though. I was never a professional athlete but apart from personal experience everything I have read about training would make the story posted at the beginning of this thread look very implausible. Of course the figures stated in the article could simply be wrong.
So, no offence, but anyone who is willing to take such a story at face value without being more than just wary of how such results can be achieved is, sorry, naive.
DoubleVision
I don't know why you highlighted during the tournament and not long after the tournament ended. Anyway, the fact is that any drug would still be detected afterwards and not just at the time. I also want to point out that after the first World Cup the Blacks went on to crush Wales the following year with astronomically high scores like 52-3 and 54-9, then against Japan where they humiliated All Japan with triple digit numbers, and ask you: don't you think the Blacks were seriously scrutinized for any use of drugs during these tournaments? Is it you who's being naïve? I agree when say that if there's not one out of five hundred professional athletes tested positive it could show ineffective testing procedures, but when you include the Blacks in that group it's just random and fool-hardy generalization. You fired off another insult - about not reading up on steroids - so I guess I think it's fair for me to say that you have no knowledge of professional rugby teams particularly the All Blacks, the main subject concerning this topic. I noticed that you misconstrued my comments about Blair; I was being facetious, but you've really belittled his reputation by saying he's "formerly respected" (he still is respected) and that he's a "coach" (he's not, he's a fitness trainer - there's a difference). And...hmmm...I'm really starting to detect a British bias against the All Blacks here.

So, no offence, but anyone who is willing to take such a story at face value without being more than just wary of how such results can be achieved is, sorry, naive.
Yes, no doubt anybody and everybody would raise a suspicious eyebrow. But as I said earlier, such innovative training methods have been employed by the NZ team over the past years and the players have always come out clean. Now I'm not saying rigorous doping tests might as well be dropped when it comes to the All Blacks and that the doping officials should take the team's word for it. Now that would be acting naïve. They should go ahead and test - hell, test each player more than five hundred times. It's just that I think you're really slinging mud at a brilliant rugby team that have an impressive history behind them, and are regarded as some of the finest athletes in the sporting world. You're basically going on about raising doubts over their new conditioning program being drug-free and making it sound like they're a bunch of lying cheats, when in fact they're under the tutelage of the finest group of sports trainers worldwide.

I tell you what, should any one of the All Blacks get caught with steroids/performance enhancing drugs in their system from now until the end of this year I'll buy you fifteen drinks of your choice.
BuLi
[quote name='DoubleVision' post='862831' date='Feb 28 2007, 2:12 am']I don't know why you highlighted during the tournament and not long after the tournament ended. Anyway, the fact is that any drug would still be detected afterwards and not just at the time.
I think the point that he was making is that testing during or after a tournament will not necessarily catch cheats, because there are many drugs which are cleared from the system quite rapidly meaning they can be taken easily throughout a conditioning program before a tournament then the doping can stop shortly before... for example nandrolone clears in about a week, Winstrol, of ben Johnson fame, is faster still I think...
Katrina
DoubleVision, I'd still like to know how they are doing it then.
By releasing such figures about kg gain in time periods, which for the layperson or amateur sound bananas, but not releasing the method, it stands to reason that folk will suspect the methods involved.
Yes I can understand not wanting to give away competitive advantage, but even with open methods, nobody can do the training in the athlete's place.
Now I am neutral on the All Blacks, I'd just like to know how anyone can achieve these results. No idea about League, sorry.
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