Watch out Conor McGregor, the Yorkshire boys could be coming for you if the early stages of their pre-season training programme is anything to go by.
The squad have been back in training for almost a month now as they gear up to the start of the 2023 county season in April – and their work hasn’t just been limited to work with bat and ball, or lifting weights and pounding treadmills.
“The remit from the gaffer (Ottis Gibson) was to make sure that every morning they come in, they have a schedule they really looked forward to,” explained head of strength and conditioning Harry Booker.
“There’s some traditional strength and power work and some dreaded screening and monitoring processes, but we’ve tried to make sure that at the end of every week we’ve had the option to do something which takes them out of their comfort zone.
“That could be trying different sports, trying different activities and learning from other coaches and athletes.
“So far, we’ve done Mixed Martial Arts, we’ve done Ninja Warrior and Padel Tennis.
“Lots of different activities, and loads more to come.
“In season, it’s a pressure cooker, so they need a release. To do it in each other’s company is vital. They’re not robots, we recognise that, and they have to enjoy what they’re doing.”
Mind you, it’s not just the ferocious McGregor who may have to watch his back, but also the flamboyant Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his team on the BBC’s Changing Rooms programme.
“It’s been brilliant,” said Booker, of the early stages of training.
“We actually had a little bit of a pre-season where the lads came in and had a run around the gym, we painted the walls and got them to take accountability for their own working space.
“We had that the week before they came back, and then the three weeks after that have been fantastic.
“Every screening and monitoring process we’ve put in front of them, they’ve thrown themselves into. It’s been a great start.”
The fitness programmes, says Booker, have been “as individual as possible for the players”.
“We do have a template, of course, where we expect them to have a certain number of gym sessions a week.
“For strength and power, the lads will be on three sessions a week at the moment.
“We have plenty of off-feet options, which we’ve mentioned and are extra. But we also have some gym-based off-feet gym sessions too. On-feet sessions, we do plenty of running at this time of year. We get a chance to get more volume into their legs.
“We also try to get them exposed to sprinting at this time of year for hamstring condition.
“On top of that, one thing we’ve tried to do this year – which isn’t necessarily the most popular thing across the board, is get them bowling early doors before Christmas.
“We looked at and reviewed our injuries instances last season and figured that we could get them bowling earlier this year, albeit indoors and not at match intensity.
“But that’s a key part of our pre-season, to get them going through their actions once or twice a week as early as the first week of November.”
The squad’s intensity will be “ramping up” in the New Year as they build up to a summer which they hope will be ‘Notorious’ for all the right reasons.