St Mirren manager Alex Rae and his players swapped balls for bells when they checked in at Pro-Life Fitness Centre as part of a new training regime.


And while the Buddies are getting up to speed on the park the experience left most of them gasping for a breather as they were put through their paces by fitness guru Gayle Brannigan.

Rae hopes the new regime, coupled with the plan he and David Farrell have developed, will supercharge the players fitness levels and give them an added edge when the season kicks off.

He said: “That was tough in there today. We have a young fit team but this is something new for them-another challenge- and I know it will give them added strength both physically and mentally.

“It was a real shock for some of the team and they were surprised at the physical power you need for the class.

“Gayle was really tough on them and that is what I wanted. It is a monster workout and I know some of the lads will feel the pain the next day.

“We will all be coming along to this type of class once a week at Pro-Life where it’s tough and then a second session where the players will get a softer workout out, nutrition advice and their own fitness programme.”

The manager added: “I enjoyed it, they enjoyed it but I know we are all going to feel the pain in a few hours. “However, I honestly believe it will take the players fitness to another level. I’m delighted to be here at a non-profit making gym, a charity which works within the Renfrewshire community supporting our hospices and young rising sports stars.

“I think they do a great job and was surprised and excited at the state-of-the-art facilities and expertise of Gayle and the team here.

“I hope the community support them back. This place and what they do is another thing Paisley has to be proud of.”

Gayle, who is also chief executive at Renfrewshire Sport Charity who run the gym in New Sneddon Street, Paisley, said: “The players were amazing. They were really up for it and when one was struggling their mates spurred them on.

“The camaraderie and support for each other was tremendous. You could see them bonding even more and working as a team.

“As well as their kettlebell training, we incorporated some   Plyometric exercises which will help to improve each players speed, skill and reaction time.

“We were performing football specific exercises, utilising as many muscle groups at the one time and in a very intense way. We are aiming to increase their cardio-vascular fitness, muscular endurance, flexibility, strength and make them into absolute machines!

“Saints are going to be at their fittest ever for the challenges ahead and their bid to get back into the Premier League.

“We are just happy to be doing our part in helping them achieve their goal.”

Lifelong Saints supporter and sports presenter David Currie joined the team for the workout.

He said: “It was tough, very tough and I was struggling in there at the end but it was a real experience. The squad are young, fit athletes and were really working hard but the atmosphere was terrific. I’m just glad I lasted the pace.”