Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Rees ensuring players start season in top condition

Nick Rees is the man responsible for ensuring that the Ealing Trailfinders players are in their optimum condition when the Greene King IPA Championship season kicks off.

Strength and conditioning coach Rees has been hard at work with the players, guiding them in the gym and out on the pitch to lay the foundations of fitness that will underpin the team’s season. 

Preparations for the season began before the players started their summer holidays with individually tailored programmes to follow. They then began in earnest when they returned for pre-season on 8 June. 

“What we found were that most of them came back in really good nick with some of those guys better than they had been the previous year, ” Rees explained. 

“The main aim of the first part of pre-season is really to get the guys’ work capacity up and really ensure we have a really solid aerobic base and good quality to our training.”

Rees has been with the club since the start of 2013, so is leading the fitness gains for the third summer in a row. 

With the season just under two months away and all the squad reporting for duty at Vallis Way the focus will start to change as the season draws ever near.

Match-relevant skills will be honed as the focus edges towards match-fitness and conditioning.

“A lot more or the conditioning work will come through the rugby itself, ” Rees said. “That will come through conditioning based games and intensifying our skills sets and putting the players under duress and fatigue in those sessions.”

One thing that has been prevalent throughout the summer is the Watt Bike. Two of these instruments of torture arrived at the Vallis Way gym over the summer and every player has had to put in a number of shifts on something that ensures good conditioning, all the while keeping the players off their feet. 

“On a spin bike you don’t have the push and pull, so the watt bike is more unforgiving, ” Rees explained. If you ease off, it will make it harder, so you have to keep pushing and pulling all the way through.

“Resistance wise it is really intense and there are so many different settings, so there is really nowhere to hide.”