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Swans put pedal to the metal

Swans Media - Tanya Paolucci  November 21, 2014 2:12 PM

SwansTV: Wattbike higher Go behind the scenes at a Sydney Swans fitness test using the club's WattbikesSong: Ruben K - Ready! Aim! Fire!

The Sydney Swans put pedal to the metal this week when the first to fourth year players took part in a new fitness test at the club.

Kitted up with gas analysers and heart rate monitors, the players completed a gruelling new test on the club’s Wattbikes to assess a number of fitness markers, including aerobic capacity.

Conditioning coach Matt Pine told SwansTV the new bike test was a great addition to the club’s fitness assessment regime and would be an ideal tool for players completing rehab programs.

“It’s a test we think we’ll be able to use with rehabbers, particularly when they can’t run around and do the three kilometre time trial, so it’s just another marker than we can use,” he said.

“We came up with the test as another marker of the players’ fitness, without taxing their legs too much as running around outside can do.

“(The test) focuses on them doing some sub-maximal stuff to look at their efficiency on the bike and we’re getting them to do a three minute all-out effort, which is an aerobic maximal test.

“We then finish off with some repeat sprint work, which include some six-second efforts as hard as they can, so it’s pretty hard work.”

In addition to the Wattbikes, which arrived at the club during the season, the gas analyser is a new inclusion to the Swans’ fitness assessment tools.

Pine said the tool was used to gauge oxygen consumption during exercise segments.

“The mask is a gas analyser, so we’re looking at the oxygen usage of the person that’s using that during the exercise,” he said.

“That’s just a good measure of their aerobic capacity and how they recover after exercise and that sort of thing.”

With the Swans five-plus year players set to return to the club in the first week on December, Pine said it was likely the test would be used club wide.

He added that he expected the bike test would be utilised as various points throughout the pre-season as well as during the season to gauge a number of important fitness markers.

“We’d look to repeat these tests for sure,” he said.

“It will be a good test of how the altitude room affects the guys as well and for all sorts of reasons like that.

“We’ll repeat the tests towards the end of pre-season and then do it again through the season as well.”