Pre-season training is well underway and this week the squad took their preparations to a new extreme with recovery sessions in a cryotherapy chamber with temperatures down to -140 degrees celsius.
Thanks to the help of BOC, the UK’s leading industrial and medical gases and technologies business, the entire squad benefitted from the unique mobile treatment facility which visited the training centre in St Albans.
The treatment, which sees athletes exposed to short bursts of extreme cold (down to -140 degrees celsius) is proven to speed up recovery times, enabling them to train harder and more frequently.
Following its deployment during the Lions training camps, Saracens are the first club rugby team to use the mobile facility in preparation for the coming season.
In groups of two or three at a time, the players will spend no longer than three minutes in the chamber.
“It’s pretty chilly to say the least,” explained back row Kelly Brown. “But when you are finished you definitely feel as though your muscles are fresh. After just finishing a hard training sessions, now I feel I can go again.”
His views were echoed by prop Petrus du Plessis. “You do feel pretty fresh and ready to get back to training again and I am already feeling the benefits.”
Stuart Askew, Cryotherapy Manager at BOC, explained that the mobile chamber was used by the British Lions squad ahead of their tour to Australia.
“The chamber has only been on the road for a couple of months, we followed the Lions down to Cardiff, across to Dublin then over to London, we have been letting a few sports teams try it out.
“The players think it’s going to be as bad as an ice bath but it’s really nothing like it. The wet cold of an ice bath is quite shocking and painful but when you go through the dry cold of cryotherapy, it’s surprisingly comfortable.”