New Dundee manager Paul Hartley has banned weights from his players’ fitness regime as the Dark Blues bid to power their way back to the top flight.
Hartley has told his players to stop pumping iron just a week after he took over from John Brown as manager at Dundee.
The former Hearts, Celtic and Scotland midfielder has been busy asserting his authority and he has made clear to the players his opinions on how they should approach fitness and training.
Hartley, whose reign got off to the perfect start last weekend with a 1-0 win over title rivals Hamilton which moved them back to the top of the Championship table, has revealed he is putting an end to players working out in the gym so they remain leaner – and, he hopes, meaner – for the crunch promotion run-in.
Hartley said: “I want to cut out the gym sessions. I don’t want the boys to be doing any more weights.
“Instead of power and strength I would prefer to have power and speed. I think you can overdo the weight training. Some players want to get too bulked up.
“That comes from the individual because they want to see themselves big and strong. The problem is, though, that you lose sharpness and pace. There is no point being big and strong if you can’t run. So we have put a stop to that.”
Hartley has wasted little time in putting his own stamp on how the Tayside squad prepare for games. The ex-Alloa manager has brought his tried-and-trusted methods which won him back-to-back promotions with the Wasps.
The 37-year-old is all geared up to try and work his magic on his new crop of players in the last 13 games of the league season as they bid to make the step up to the Premiership.
And Hartley hopes it will make the table-toppers all the more equipped for the challenge which lies ahead of attempting to seal a return to the top division in Scotland.
He said: “We have the players going into ice baths after every training session and games now, although we need to get more bins for the ice. It is all about recovery.
“Cool-downs after training, measuring body-fat levels, hydration and testing urine samples. Also, we are looking at what the players are eating for pre-meals.
“The intensity of our training is going to pick up.
“On Monday and Tuesday we will have tough, tough sessions, then there will be recovery on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday will be more game- related.
“We will be organising them and naming the team on a Thursday. That gives the players time to soak up the information.
“Every player will get their own copy of the report on the opposition, covering formation and the opposition players.
“I have done all that at Celtic and Hearts and took it into management at Alloa and now here at Dens.”