Jock Campbell is a leading expert in athlete high performance, strength and conditioning. Jock will be providing exclusive insights throughout the 2012/13 Summer of Cricket.
Michael Clarke is a very hardened professional and his captaincy style is certainly leading from the front. He has started from the front again this year with an initially tough batting display to get Australia out of trouble, followed by an up tempo and aggressive master class in how to change the momentum of a Test.
Test cricket is the marathon version of the game and unfolds as a story. That's how Michael Clarke prepares for Test cricket physically with many hard and uncomfortable training sessions. Ed Cowan said about Clarke that he just doesn't get tired out there and that endurance doesn't happen by chance.
Clarke said that he tried to keep everything like last season, when regardless of how many runs he scored his body felt fantastic. He scored 300 without getting too tired, his back was good and he felt strong and fit throughout the summer.
Part of his preparation last year was a self-imposed two week boot camp at Coffs Harbour. This year he was closer to home doing three training sessions per day, some even in the middle of the night. The night sessions according to Clarke were to take him out of his comfort zone and get him used to lifting himself when he really didn't feel like it.
The goal of the boot camp was to increase his size and strength, particularly around his lower body and core where he put on 3kg while maintaining his exceptionally low body fat levels of under 8 per cent. He put plenty of kilometres into his legs and worked on his speed.
The boot camp was just to get him started both physically and mentally on his way to preparing for this season.
In the first Test of the summer, after fielding for two days, he was able to bat in difficult conditions against the world’s best bowling attack. He still had the energy to then smash them all over the Gabba, proving that his regime is working.
At Australian training sessions Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey continue to be the hardest trainers and last to leave the paddock. My advice to the new breed is to copy what these blokes do - it seems to work.
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