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New Head of Strength and Conditioning

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Plymouth Albion is thrilled to introduce the newest member of our staff. Pete Howe is our new Head of Strength and Conditioning! Pete served in the Royal Marine Commandos, represented Team GB, has been on the cover of Men’s Health magazine and has owned his own gym for the past ten years. We can’t for him to start to get to work with our squad.

Mr Howe kindly answered a few questions so our supporters could get to know our latest addition a little better:

‘I grew up on the outskirts of Manchester and when I look back now, I was completely surrounded by the world of Rugby league literally within five miles either side of me, but five miles might as well be another country back then, so no transport, mum and dad didn’t drive – all these sorts of things. It’s crazy when I played rugby, when I got in the Navy team, represented GB at Rugby League etc I couldn’t believe I missed out on all of that as a kid. I was naturally fast so I think I would have had a great time in a rugby youth set up. I missed out on that as a youngster actually which is really disappointing.’

‘My old man was in the Special Forces as well, so I kind of grew up with being fit and I was super fit as a kid. Fortunately, I was a professional footballer as a youth, but it was joining the Marines that swapped my codes over so to speak as I got a little bit bigger and put on some muscle. So yeah, I kind of started out with athletics and football and when I joined the Marines, I found other sports and tried to put on a bit of size.’

‘I’m a very much for “if you are gonna do something, do it to the best of your potential” whether that’s training in the gym, training for Rugby – anything sports-specific I think you know regardless of what standard you play at you should set your standards to go above and beyond. That’s kind of the approach I take really’.

‘With owning my own gym over the last ten years as well I’ve taken all sorts of people like that and turned them around and really made them into some extremely fit guys and girls so the kind of knowledge that I’ve attained to try and help to adapt. Recovering from injuries, I’ve sustained a few injuries myself which I’ve still managed to maintain my level of fitness with so I’ll certainly bring out my arsenal of tricks to help the guys to get to optimal conditioning and definitely with the varying positions as well. What works for some won’t work for others, we’ve got to be able to adapt.’

‘We are gonna start taking action asap. Firstly, what we have done is created a performance assessment platform that I can get all the guys to run through and put in as much data as possible, which will give me a really good insight into each player’s current level of fitness and their own personal bio. What I would then like to do is get certain players, either the ones that are in great condition get them better and the ones that are maybe lagging a little bit get them working on things while they can and while they have the time to do so during lockdown. And that may just be going out for a few runs to improve conditioning so I’m hoping to try and do that with some of the players because are going to set a really high level of fitness for the players, for the club going forward and unfortunately, these guys are gonna be the first to get to do that.’  

‘If this (lockdown) continues I think we are fortunate that we have got some good facilities to our disposal down at the club. Once the weather picks up to be able to conduct one-to-one training outside and get the players into that, so I think that we are quite fortunate that living in the south-west we don’t normally get hit too bad by the weather. As soon as that becomes an option that is something, we’ll be looking at doing. But there are a lot of gains that can still be had even in a lockdown situation, even if the guys don’t have much kit available. We want to be fighting the effects right, we don’t want the kind of lockdown depression, the lockdown few pounds gained when actually we can counteract that a little.’

‘That really does come down to individual bases, have the player managed to maintain any form of condition, if they haven’t, they need to reintroduce themselves slowly to the program I give them. I think some of the things we see at this level is the ego of “I use to be able to lift this, I use to be able to do that” but if you have almost taken twelve months out maybe you need to revert back to not being able to do that, let’s build yourself back up to it. Mentally they are gonna be ready to go, they may just have to slowly get back into it. But I don’t think that will take too long if they follow what I plan on giving them during the next couple of months while we are off then I think they will be at a point where we can hit the ground running.’  

Welcome aboard Pete!

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