“The Vodacom Stormers strength and conditioning training phase is progressing well.” Confirms specialist strength and conditioning coach Stephan Du Toit.
“In the weeks pre festive season break we tested our athletes and set specific programmes and goals for each to achieve. Coming off a good base, the Strength and Conditioning Coach’s work becomes a lot easier. The conditioning focus of this period was to increase our gym training intensity and transfer this to the training field. We pushed a lot of volume in the gym and players achieved significant results with the new training techniques we followed.
“During these tough 3 weeks of training and conditioning we had to make sure we also allowed for a bit of fun away from the training field and 3 fun sessions were also planned in. Although these fun sessions had very tough conditioning components included in them, the emphasis was more on enjoyment. At the end of week one the Stormers, Vodacom Cup players and both team managements took part in a Touch Rugby Tournament at the HPC.
During week 2 we moved one of our training sessions to Clifton 4th beach. The session started with 60min of breakdown on the sand and then finished off with a competitive 3 hours between 4 teams that were made up of players and management. The team of Joe Pietersen showed their swimming, sprinting, paddling and strength skills to win the day. Thanks a million to the Clifton Lifesavers that offered their help! Week 3 ended off with a 90-minute stand-up paddle session in Big Bay presented by Gig Cilliers and his team, where the Tight 5 proved to have the upper hand over their stability skills.
“At the end of week 3, the initial conditioning phase, the players were issued with training programmes that had to be completed by themselves whilst on break over the Christmas period. Importantly, the focus was on recovery from the 3 tough weeks, but they had to ensure that they could achieve a 5% increase in their running fitness when they returned. Few understand the dedication of these athletes and the competition amongst them and to a man we knew that they would progress their training.
“This week training started off with a bang with another series of tests for the athletes. Our faith in our players was justified and we were not disappointed with the results. Due to the high emphasis on conditioning at the Vodacom Stormers we pride ourselves to be as fit as humanly possible, therefore players fought for every yard to ensure they achieved their goals.
“The mood in the camp is extremely positive and at all levels our preparation continues to progress well. We want to do our talking on the pitch this year and are preparing accordingly.”