As Gloucester Rugby's first team squad near the end of phase one of preseason training, Mark Bitcon the club's Head of Strength & Conditioning told the club website about the hard work put in to date.
Bucking the trend of recent years, the Gloucester Rugby squad had less time off this close season and reported back for training in the first week of June.
The obvious exceptions were the players absent on international duties and new signings yet to report for duty.
Talking at the club's training base at Hartpury College, Bitcon explained the rationale behind the change in approach:
"We finished a little bit earlier than we'd like last year and they (the players) all had 1:1s with the coaches and with myself and the fitness team and they all had objectives and recommendations made for their time off and targets to hit when they come back."
"Things are slightly different this season as we've given them less time off. They've had three or four weeks off so they didn't come back as de-conditioned as in recent years so we're already starting off from a higher base."
"None of the guys came back in bad shape. They'd all followed the programmes we'd set for them. We're really pleased with them as it means that we can build and push a lot further."
There has also been a deliberate effort to have senior Academy players working alongside the first team squad and two players in particular have caught the eye according to Bitcon:
"One example is Freddie Burns who has been outstanding in preseason and benefitting from training with guys like Carlos Spencer, Tom Voyce and James Simpson-Daniel. His weights have been outstanding and so has his speed work. We have big hopes for him."
"Another one is Yann Thomas who has been working with Olivier Azam and the other front rowers and has come on leaps and bounds. Over the first month, the front rowers were in between 7am and 8am doing fat burning sessions."
"Yann was part of that group and has made massive gains dropping about 5kgs in body fat and enhancing muscle mass by 3 to 4kgs which are massive results."
Phase one effectively concludes at the end of this week with the squad relocating to St Andrews in Scotland next week for a week's training camp before enjoying a well earned week off.
However, Bitcon was quick to quash any rumours that the players would spend the week playing golf on the Old Course!
"It's not going to be Portugal or Spain and playing touch in 30 degree heat! And I don't actually want the guys training in 30 degree heat because I can't do as much work with them."
"Hopefully we will get some decent weather but we will be working extremely hard up there. It'll be a high intensity training camp. The boys will have one afternoon off in eight days so they'll probably be too tired to golf!"
"They'll be up at 7 in the morning and doing about five sessions a day with meetings planned in some of the evenings so it will be hard work physically and mentally."
"It's a marker for our season and a really important week in the development of this squad."
Speaking after Gloucester's final preseason friendly, a 29-24 defeat away at Scarlets, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reflected upon a performance that will form a crucial part of the Cherry and Whites preparations for the Aviva Premiership opener at Northampton next week.
Speaking to the media after the 45-8 preseason friendly victory over Munster, Director of Rugby David Humphreys wasn't getting too carried away, admitting that his team are making progress but that there's still a way to go.
Billy Twelvetrees spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV on Friday ahead of the pre season friendly with Munster Rugby. The club captain is excited to be back in the action at Kingsholm and experience the atmosphere again.
Gloucester Rugby Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke to the local media after the 62-19 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie, and showed his delight at the first run out and stated there was still lots to work on ahead of the new season
Mark Atkinson made his first appearance in Cherry and White in the pre season victory over Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday. Speaking to the local media, he was impressed with the first experience of Kingsholm.
Gloucester Rugby travelled to West Wales for their third and final preseason game ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership next week. The Scarlets were the opposition and Gloucester left Parc y Scarlets on the wrong end of a 29-24 scoreline.