I spent a Sunday afternoon playing Rugby, and I use the term playing loosely. It was more like I ran around aimlessly, not knowing what the hell was going on. My first mistake was completing a squat day and going for my one rep max prior to playing rugby. What in Harry Potter land was I thinking? My second mistake was attempting to comprehend Rugby the same way I do American football. Looks can be deceiving. For starters, you don't pass forward, you pass backward while running forward. It seems simple enough but is totally a mind bender in practice. My third mistake was underestimating the game. American football is slower. The plays, markers, penalties, and timeouts all amount to a much slower game than rugby. You need far more cardio endurance for Rugby. Let me tell you, I was not prepared. The game is about constant forward momentum and minimal downtime. You just don't stop running. If you stop running you lose. Not only are you constantly running, but often fast bursts of speed as well.
Did I mention that many of the players on the team were semi-pro Samoan men? Yeah, I didn't think so. I'm just thanking my lucky stars it was only touch rugby. Even my two hand touches were met with a ton of forward momentum from very large fast men. At times I quickly thought of ways to two hand touch them while pivoting out of the way to safety. I survived though; I survived.
Before the game began I set my polar m400 heart rate monitor and off we went. This new heart rate monitor isn't like my Polar A300 in that it doesn't display my calories burned during the workout. I had to wait until I completed the "workout" to see my summary. Overall I was pretty proud of my cardiovascular conditioning. I was definitely tired after an hour and forty-five minutes. Give me a break, it was an hour and forty-five minutes of near constant running and very little water! I felt like a beast. I am a beast. During gameplay, I ran back a touchdown, which is probably not called a touchdown in Rugby. However I didn't touch the ball to the ground in the end zone, so all that work didn't count. I also dropped the ball a bunch of times. I'm sure it was painful to watch. Despite, by the end of the two hours forty-five-minute-long beat down I burned a whopping 1,150 calories. So that's it. Rugby makes the cut on what will be a growing list of activities I will try to burn some calories outside of the gym!