Cronulla Sharks veteran Michael Ennis finds the transition between off-season and regular season in regards to weights as "chalk and cheese";. "Our guy at Cronulla, Robert Lesley, is a terrific weights trainer. Over the off-season it's all about working up to a testing week. To start, you might have a week or two at eight and six reps. The next week will be fives, the next week will be fours, then threes.
There will be some testing involved around that week or the week after to get a gauge of guys' improvements; where they're at, their strengths and weaknesses. During the pre-season there is a testing week through December - once you've knocked out six weeks of weights. Towards the middle or end of February, we'll probably have another testing week. When the season rolls around, guys are usually carrying different injuries.";
When it comes to short turnarounds between matches, the weights program at Cronulla is described as "pretty minimal"; by Ennis. "It's more about getting moving again and just trying to maintain strength rather than increase it, which is near-impossible during the season.";
In regards to food and maintaining a good diet, Michael Ennis is pretty routine with what vitamins he takes and what proteins he sticks with. At Cronulla, it can come down to the size of you, in order to work out what you should and shouldn't be eating. "For us smaller guys it's really important that we try and maintain our weight through the season with the amount of running we do and the extra effort we have to put in to contain the bigger guys in games.
It's really important that not only do we maintain our muscle, but also our strength, so there's a big focus on that. In terms of vitamins and supplements, with me it's pretty basic. I like my multi-vitamins and I like my fish oils. BSC is our sponsor at Cronulla. I've found them to be terrific throughout my career; their stuff has been excellent.";
Ennis plays in a competitive team at Cronulla, but he enjoys that aspect. "I find when we play a game against our Under-20s in opposed matches at training, they tend to compete really hard to try to show they're on the right path, which produces a really good session. It's certainly something we do a fair bit of at Cronulla. It gives you that unpredictable game sense mid-week. Often you can't get a good gauge on where we're you're at just by running against your team-mates, whose playing styles you know.";
Working with a group of people can be good and bad, but Ennis says "If you can surround yourself with guys who train really well and apply themselves really well, you tend to get the best out of yourself. I've always tried to put myself in those situations throughout my career.";