drawings of muscles and exercise apparatus

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Jerry Yanuyanutawa, rugby front rower, box-squatting 260kg for 6 reps

This video shows Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Sydney University front rower, box-squatting 260kg for 6 reps at the University gym in September 2008.

Prior to 2007, Jerry had been a back rower, but changed to the front row under the tutelage of Trevor Woodman, the University's scrum coach. For most of that season he played Third Grade but was elevated to the Firsts by Woodman for the Sydney Premiership Grand Final won by University 34-11.

In 2008 Yanuyanutawa scored 12 First Grade tries including one in the Grand Final again won by University 45-20. A highlight of that game was the dominance of the Uni scrum.

This video was shot in the week after that Grand Final. Right throughout the season Jerry's strength coach, Tim Leahy, had kept Jerry on a max strength program, although the amount of squatting was limited. Instead the lower body strength work was focussed on the MyoQuip MyoTruk and MyoThrusta apparatus together with the deadlift.


Nursedude said...

Wow, is this impressive. Great form. That's a helluva lot of force coming at you when the ref says "engage" on a scrum.

PS-I changed blog addresses.

Bruce Ross said...

Great to hear from you again, ND.

That's also what impressed me so much about the two sets - with both 240kg and 260 kg. Namely that Jerry kept such great shape throughout the reps. He didn't really appear to be working to his full limit.

Only a couple of weeks before the 6 x 260 - 6 x 572lbs in your money - he had lived up to the single rep prognostic of that lift by doing a 300kg. Unfortunately we don't have video of it. And this was when he was in the middle of the Finals series.

Yanuyanutawa (pron: yan-oo-yan-oo-ta-wa) was born in Fiji and attended the Suva Grammar School. He played for Fiji Schoolboys, then represented the Fiji Under 21s in their IRB Under 21 World Cup qualifiers against Samoa and Tonga.The same year he moved to Australia because his father was studying at the University of Adelaide and joined the local Onkaparinga Club.

In 2005 he came to Sydney to play Colts with Sydney University. He also commenced a now almost completed teaching degree course at the Australian College of Physical Education. Jerry had always played flanker and it took about 18 months of bullying and cajoling to persuade him to try front row. English World Cup winning prop Trevor Woodman worked one-on-one with Jerry for months before he would let him make the switch, then kept him under wraps in Third Grade before producing him for his First Grade debut in the 2007 Grand Final.

In 2008, the year this footage was shot, Jerry was named as the only non-Super 14 player in the Australia A squad, although he got no game time, leaving him still eligible to play for Fiji in next year's World Cup.

In 2009 he joined the CA Brumbies on an Academy contract, and later that year signed a three-year contract. Unfortunately the Brumbies conditioners have a very different philosophy to those at Sydney Uni. Apparently deciding that he was already strong enough they included virtually no max strength work in his gym programs.

You and I know, ND, that you're never strong enough in the front row. Why would anyone want to de-tune a motor like that?

Also, ignoring the fact that Melanesians tend to be highly endowed with fast twitch fibres, they subjected him to long sessions of grinding fitness work, thereby transforming a very explosive runner into a lagging plodder.

Most importantly, Yanuyanutawa came under the influence of the Brumbies' scrum coach, Bill Young, arguably the most cunning front rower ever to play for the Wallabies. Accordingly, he was schooled in the black arts of scrummaging rather than being developed as the ultimate power forward. Not surprisingly he has only played a few minutes of Super 14.

Still. he is only 25 and we may yet see him achieve his real potential as a player who can virtually shunt scrums at will and make open field bursts like a runaway train.

By the way, I will update my link to your blog

Bruce Ross said...
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Bruce Ross said...
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Nursedude said...

HI Bruce, after watching the travails of the inexperienced Wallaby front row against the Poms, it would be a shame for Australian rugby to lose out on it's investment and have this guy decide to play for Fiji.(Although to be fair, it is the country of his birth)

Bruce Ross said...

Based on where Jerry was at in 2008 I would have expected him to have been involved in the Wallabies squad by now, particularly when you consider the toll of injuries to frontline players.

If in a club environment you have a frontrower whose 1RM box-squat is at least 300kg, who is a very competent scrummager, and who can score 12 tries in a season, you would expect him to further develop in a professional franchise. Unfortunately in Australia we seem to have an inability to recognise exceptional talent and to realise that one-size-fits-all methods of training don't work.

As I pointed out in an earlier article, Australia is unique among the major rugby nations in not valuing and training for serious strength.

So I am not sure that Australia deserves to capitalise on its "investment" in this player as thus far the investment seems to have been squandered.