You’ve heard us talk about primers a ton.

Like a literally ton.

In fact those guys in the academy will have seen my 5 favourite primers (and got some mortal kombat references because we love mortal kombat).

It’s because they’re the next level in warm ups. Without to much hyperbole they will take your training up a level.

Why is this?

Well that’s petty easy to explain and it’ll eave you wondering why no one has told you about this before.

Because we're all about 90's video game references and electrocuting fools
Because we’re all about 90’s video game references and electrocuting fools

The principle hinges around the fact that your body essentially runs on electricity. You’re mother-loving Iron Man or maybe in some cases more like Blanka from street fighter

You probably know this. You know that your entire body from your brain, through to the innumerable calcium cascade which are happening all over your body right now, are happening because of electricity.

So what’s this got to do with training?

Well Sparky, you can make the way your body reacts to the electricity, or the stimulation from the electricity, more efficient. This means either a movement pattern becomes more ingrained i.e. it takes less effort to do it, or that with the same amount of effort your get more bang for your buck.

There is something that scientists refer to as PAP (Post Activation Potentiation) I won’t go into too much detail here but what it is saying is when you do something explosive or heavy your prime the body to do something heavy or explosive again.

Let me explain that a bit further. So when you do either a heavy or an explosive exercise you force the body to recruit a high % of the fibres in the working muscle. For example a heavy power clean demands a lot more of the muscles work than say a light front squat.

That’s just a fact. But it’s a fact we can use in our favour.

So lifting heavy or explosively gets your muscles more fired up. It makes your body think that it’s going to have to use a really high % of you muscles again.

This is what we’re taking advantage of.

Stupid body,, doesn't even know what's coming
Stupid body…. doesn’t even know what’s coming


If your body thinks it’s going to have to use a lot of muscle that’s what it’s going to do. So you’ll end up being able to lift more or fast, jump further and higher.

This is the essence of a primer.

We do explosive movements after a warm up and before a big lift in an effort to get this PAP and trick our bodies into utilising more muscle.

Thus lifting more weight and making us stronger.

But obviously it can’t be that easy, and it’s not…. the trick is to use the right pattern for the primers.

So if we’re squatting, that’s a vertical force production knee dominant pattern.

This means the primer has to use that same movement pattern, something like a jump squat so not identical but as near a possible.

For something like a deadlift it’s a hip dominant horizontal pattern so you’d use something where the movement is sideways and primarily using the hips. Like a jump for distance or a power-clean.

The point is that you should use a fast explosive movement in a similar pattern to fire you body and nervous system up.

Start adding jumps, throws, Olympic lift variations in at the start of workouts and start seeing your lifts off the field and your strength on the field explode.



Now this is where we can really use primers to help rugby players.

As primers aren’t focussing on out-and-out strength (which is done with very few movements), we can use them to try and ingrain efficient movement patterns that now only prime the body for heavy lifting, but also mimic rugby-specific movements.

Here’s an example from our Academy exercise database for side-stepping.

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You can also use Primers to work on

Line-out jumps

Scrummage position / power

Line-out throw

Line-out lifting


Fast Feet

Ruck Position / power

Hand-off (fend)


Jackling (turnover)

Sprint Speed

Olympic lifting

and many more aspects….

So start adding them in today and see your game develop at a lightening-fast rate!

Or join the academy and let us bridge the gap between you and your potential

(please dont be put off by the sign-up page, we are getting it worked on to look better, but that is the least of the priorities, number 1 is your RESULTS)