The Bears first team returned to Edgbaston this week to complete their winter fitness testing.
A dreaded affair for some, the players arrived with smiles and good humour on Thursday as they were welcomed back to Birmingham with dark, gloomy skies and a bitter chill.
Tasked with sprinting drills, gym work and outdoor running, the squad were put through their paces in groups of six under the watchful eye of Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach Jack Murfin and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Ryan Cartledge-Taylor.
“The lads have returned these past couple of days and have been outstanding,” said Murfin. “We’ve tested their aerobic and anaerobic fitness as well as their strength, power range of movement and so far it’s been pleasing.
“During the first lockdown we did some voluntary Zoom sessions as the weather allowed us all to get out in the garden,” Murfin added. “The lads have chosen to do a lot of running-based work in recent weeks, and maintain some strength because that’s important.
“Credit to the players as they’ve put the work in and it’s showed so far. They’re in good shape and we couldn’t ask for much more.”
Throughout the two days, each player was put in a group of six with results recorded ahead of a full programme before Christmas. The whole team return on Monday with a blend of cricket and fitness-based activity before taking a break during the Christmas festivities.
“We’ll get a better picture after today as it will help us guide our training over the next few months,” Murfin concluded. “Hopefully, from all this testing, we can set some tight individual goals and link that with their cricket work.
“It may be the case that some players might need more physical work than others. The pre-season has become pretty short, so we need to up their cricket skills and merge the two.
“The squad will still have three to four fitness sessions a week with additional top-ups dependent on the player. Then come the season they’ll be in the best position they can.”
2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears
Membership will once again be the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus a host of exclusive benefits including priority access to international tickets.
Split payments will be available, allowing you to spread the cost across three, six or nine monthly instalments.