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Will lifting weights make me big and slow, hurting my speed for rugby?

It really depends on you program. Lifting weights, or resistance training, will help you build strength and can lead to increased muscle size. As muscle size increases, weight gain can be a by-product. The heavier you become, slower you might become due to the increase mass you are carrying. However, that is not to say you can't be fast if you gain muscle. As long as you are incorporating a well-designed speed program along with your lifting program, you can still maintain or gain speed while increasing muscle mass. You get what you train for as your body can only adapt to the demands that are placed upon it. If you only train to gain muscle, but not speed, you'll gain muscle, but not become fatser. If you only train for speed, but not for muscle gain, you'll be faster but not bigger. If you want both, you'll need to train for both.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.