Brewers put through paces in pre-season
On Tuesday the first team squad were tested with another unique training method, in the form of a gruelling circuit at Beyond Black Belt gym in Hawkins Lane, Burton upon Trent. The centre, run by Kevin Ayre, has been open since 1st September 2011, and both the owner, and the manager Gary Rowett, could see the benefits that the afternoon had on the squad.
The workout was incredibly tough, with 22 different stations for the players to test themselves on, and Kevin testified to just how strenuous it was. "The session was designed to exercise every muscle that the guys have got, every muscle that they use when they are playing" said Kevin, who made the circuit look simple when he demonstrated each station without breaking sweat. "In football today, they need to be athletes, and that is what this is designed for, to push them to an extra level" he added.
There was every imaginable type of exercise on show in the circuit in the form of strength and cardio work-outs, and it was a testament to the players' desire that they did not give up and gave encouragement to each other right to the end. It was an impressive effort from every member of the squad, and this was echoed by Kevin, who finished with high praise for the lads, saying that they "did very well, and worked very hard" this afternoon.
Speaking to Gary, he was full of praise for the afternoon and the effect it had on the squad. He talked about the change of scenery, and stated that "everything here is the same kind of movements you would make in a game, holding an opponent off, or challenging for a ball". It was evident that the manager saw this as something of a test of character too, and he told us that "as much as anything it tests your mental capacity, your penchant for pain" which will be crucial in the upcoming season.
While it looked incredibly tough, the manager joked that he would have loved to have taken part, saying "I almost want to take my top off and have a go, I would love to do it". It is obvious that the enthusiasm shown by Gary is rubbing off on the rest of the squad, as even when the players were drained they continued to give it their all and spur on their fellow squad members.
The mental aspect of this day was commented on again by Gary, and he said it was about them "going through something together, sticking together when times are tough during the season, and also when times are good".