George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Sam Warburton and their Wales team-mates have been straining every sinew and working every sweat gland to get as fit as humanly possible ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Here, MaxiNutrition takes us behind the scenes to their training camp at the Vale near Cardiff where the team have been working on their power endurance with repeated blasts on SkiErgs and Wattbikes.
And to further boost their work capacity in a bid to run opponents off their feet, this video reveals they’re also using strongman training methods with tugs of war, human carries and even pushing Merc hatchbacks around a rugby field.
Wales have been especially susceptible to losing late on in matches against their World Cup pool opponents Australia – most recently going down 28-33 in Cardiff last autumn – and the team are recruiting every method possible to ensure they can go the distance this year.
In pre-season they’ve scaled the Swiss Alps for altitude training, endured sprint sessions in 40°C heat in Doha, Qatar, and now returned to the altitude and cryotherapy chambers of their Vale of Glamorgan home.
‘The pre-tournament training camp was brutal, a real test for the human body and for the whole Wales squad,’ says North, Wales’s instrumental winger. ‘It was really intense – we were 2,000 metres above sea level too, so the altitude meant an extra drain on body.’
‘With the heat and the nature of the training, recovery was essential – it contributed to performance and let us get the most out of the sessions,’ North says.
‘Getting the right protein, balanced diet and sleep was very important. After a session, I’d have a MaxiNutrition shake and I’d be snacking on the MaxiNutrition Promax bars too.’
Come the World Cup final on 31st October, you can bet the best team to win the tournament will most likely be the fittest one too.
MaxiNutrition is the #1 expert-recommended sports protein brand, with a strong heritage in rugby. MaxiNutrition’s products include a unique triple-release fast-acting, slow-release formulation. Click here to find out more.
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Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.