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Book review: Training Tough – Ben & Owen Franks

RRP: $34.99

How did two average-sized kids, who spent much of their early days as the smallest guys in every rugby front row they played in, reach the pinnacle of their sport to be All Blacks?

From day one, Ben and Owen Franks’ father, CrossFit coach Ken Franks, told his sons that if they wanted to become professional rugby players they would need to work hard at it. From a young age they committed to a training schedule and continued to evolve their training philosophies over time.

Many of their successful techniques are credited to Reebook CrossFit – a high intensity workout which is scalable to any fitness level. That led the pair to open their own gym: Franks Brothers’ CrossFit, which has enjoyed huge success in Christchurch and is due to be rolled out around New Zealand. The Franks Brothers’ gym members range from 10 years old through to 72, and they have more female than male attendees.

What’s inside it?

Within the pages you’ll find a fitness programme that anyone can follow. The best thing? You won’t need much equipment to do it. This is for young and old, males and females, experienced and inexperienced alike. There are a range of exercises which are broken down into step-by-step pictures and finished off with training programmes you can do whether you are at home or at the gym.

There is a great story with background info on the Franks brothers’ along with their influences and a raft of useful training tips. Much of the book is centred around rugby but is also applicable to general strength conditioning and is very useful in teaching the bare basics of fitness training; the best place to start, and a great place to revisit to check your progress over time.

Basic training equipment, warmup and cooldown tips, and a number of bodyweight and weighted exercises will have you refining your training regime and give you some great guidelines to ensure that you will continue to move forward in your workouts.

Read it if…

You’re intrigued by the CrossFit phenomenon taking the fitness world by storm, you’re a rugby fan, or you could do with some tips on the basics. It’s good to read through Training Tough and revisit the basic training concepts even if you think you already know them!

Image / Hachette NZ

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