Football didn’t come home this summer, despite an incredible performance by the England team in Russia. When they weren’t making headlines on the pitch, Gareth Southgate’s boys were at their base in Repino - relaxing, training and recovering (with the help of a fleet of Wattbikes).
As the new season kicks off, we dug a little deeper into the role of theWattbikein football. Why did we see players like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Kyle Walker on the Wattbike during the World Cup?
We spent the pre-season helping football clubs across the league get the most from their training. We caught up with Lee McMahon, Head of Sport Science at Sheffield United, on why the Wattbike has become such an essential piece of kit.
“In football, we experience a high level of exercise stress in matches and training drills” says Lee. “At times, the external stress can impact the continuity of the periodised training we assign to players. Off feet conditioning with the Wattbike gives us the opportunity to use continuous training, particularly in non-specific drills, whilst reducing the external impact stress on joints and muscles.”
Like other EFL and Premier League clubs, Sheffield United use specific programmes for every player based on theirfitness testresults. This means measured, repeatable training for top players with lots of data at the disposal of the coaches.
“We believe in collecting as much information about each player as possible. These parameters allow us to adopt an evidence based approach to each player in which we can make measured decisions on how to condition each player for any given outcome.”
It’s not just about off-feet training either. “From my experience, players in long term rehab really enjoy the Wattbike sessions. One particular player recovering from a long-term injury now values its inclusion as a primary aspect of his conditioning programme.”
“Players who are ‘fit’ typically look upon the prospect of a top up session with a little more dread.” says McMahon. “Having said that I think the key to using the Wattbike is educating people of its benefits. I think it becomes a revelation to each player that each session is tailored to their individual capabilities once we have undertaken the tests to generate their Wattbike profile. After this it seems players seem to enjoy the sessions a little more each time.”
Sheffield United are just one of the many football clubs across the UK and Europe using the Wattbike off the pitch. We happen to know you can find Wattbikes at Manchester City, Bournemouth FC, Leicester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais.
Want to train like a footballer with a personalised programme? Start one of ourexpertly designed planstoday for match-winning fitness.
Listen to the third episode of Ride to Win with Nic Gill, All Blacks S&C Coach, where we talk about off-feet conditioning and how it allows athletes to reduce load whilst still working at high intensities.