St Kilda has used a specialised heat training facility in inner Melbourne to warm up for one of the most important games of the season.
The Saints take on Port Adelaide in Shanghai on Sunday, but not before ticking off a last-minute session in the heat.
At 5-5 after 10 rounds, a win in Shanghai would put Alan Richardson’s men on the cusp of a top eight berth.
With temperatures set to register close to 30 degrees on Sunday, St Kilda’s high performance team turned to Upstate Studio in Balaclava to help simulate the stifling conditions expected.
The Fitness Studio specialises in hot yoga and pilates, the perfect place to prepare for two consecutive matches in tropical conditions.
The Saints will travel to Townsville in Round 13 to face the Gold Coast Suns, with the mid-season bye separating the clash in Shanghai.
Head of High Performance Matt Hornsby said it was a small step in helping the players acclimatise.
“We had the boys complete a number of sessions at Upstate Studio over the past two weeks to prepare for the trip to Shanghai," he said.
It’s obviously difficult to simulate playing a game of football in 30 degrees temperatures, especially in the middle of a Melbourne winter. - Matt Hornsby
“But using Upstate Studio, we were able to put the players through a few yoga and high intensity boxing sessions where heart rates were up and there was plenty of sweat pouring off the boys.
“We made sure the players were optimally hydrated with added electrolytes, which will also be critical on Sunday.”
Players will land in China on Thursday night before training at Adelaide Arena on both Friday and Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s clash.