25 November 2015
Warriors return for intensive fitness tests
Super League Grand Finalists Wigan Warriors are already looking ahead to next season with help from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The Warriors are back in training and returned to UCLan to be put through their paces with intensive pre-season fitness tests to monitor each player’s individual progress over the next few months.
Staff and students from UCLan’s Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Science (CASES) spent the day in the University’s laboratories testing the Warriors players against a range of physiological checks as part of the club’s pre-season training. This includes the gruelling VO2 Max assessment which pushes the athlete to exhaustion to test their aerobic capacity. The players will then return to UCLan at the end of pre-season to analyse their fitness developments.
"The tests are really beneficial as they set a benchmark for our pre-season and help us to focus on areas we need to improve on.”
It is the sixth year in a row that the Warriors have worked with UCLan on a pre-season fitness programme which Head of Sports Science Mark Quinn says plays a key role in developing individual player training packages.
“We get a good idea right from the beginning of where each player is at fitness wise and what they need to work on. The data we’re gathering today allows us to individualise training programmes for each player so we can target key areas.”
First team player Taulima Tautai said: “This is my second visit to UCLan. The tests are really beneficial as they set a benchmark for our pre-season and help us to focus on areas we need to improve on.”
The Warriors’ visit also provides vital experience for UCLan’s sports science final year undergraduate and postgraduate students who perform all tests under supervision from their tutors.
Dr Howard Hurst, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, commented: “We are really proud of our long-standing relationship with Wigan Warriors. Working with the club allows our students to gain hands-on experience working with elite athletes in a professional environment which will make them stand out when applying for jobs in the industry.”
“There are some great facilities and services at UCLan and the V02 Max assessment in particular is really useful."
Mark Quinn, who is also studying for a PhD through UCLan, added: “There are some great facilities and services at UCLan and the V02 Max assessment in particular is really useful. I am also very impressed with the level of professionalism the students have shown today and I’m sure this experience of working with world-class performers will be invaluable.”
The fitness tests are part of an ongoing sponsorship deal that UCLan has as the ‘official university’ of the Super League club. UCLan has worked with players and staff over the last few years by providing pre-season fitness tests, video analysis support and several University degree places for its staff.
In addition, two pupils from St Peter’s Catholic High School in Orrell were also allowed to see their favourite team in training as Joe Riley and Ben Fairclough were invited to the fitness testing to learn more about roles in sports science.
Joe said: “We’re both Wigan fans so it’s really exciting to see the kind of training the players do. It’s also interesting to see where science and maths can lead to and how sports science actually works.”
More photos from the training session can be found on our Flickr gallery.