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Port guru praises heat training benefits

Kenny calls the shots Listen in as a mic'd-up Ken Hinkley barks the orders at training
Tom Logan and Jasper Pittard the Power celebrate their win in the 2013 2nd Elimination Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and Port Adelaide Power at the MCG, Melbourne on September 07, 2013. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
The Power were renowned for running out their matches last seasons
PORT Adelaide fitness coach Darren Burgess says the Power players were "flogged" during their recent 10-day training camp in Dubai.

The players were put through intensive training workouts in the United Arab Emirates as the club searches for ways to improve on its fifth-place finish in 2013.

Burgess is a champion of heat-based training, with his research suggesting it has improved training benefits compared to altitude training.

Carlton, Essendon and St Kilda are three clubs that have adopted the use of altitude training, journeying to Arizona and Colorado in recent times, while Hawthorn have ventured to South Africa for heat-based training.

"We just think the heat offers a similar training environment to altitude, in that it stresses the body a lot further than what it would in normal conditions," Burgess told SEN radio on Tuesday morning.

"Therefore you can adapt to training physiologically better; also the mental benefits of training a lot in heat are pretty substantial.

"Physiologically, heat and altitude, it's probably reasonably similar. But my belief, and through my research, is that heat might just have the edge."

While the Power were in Dubai, cross-town rivals Adelaide had a little fun at their expense.

Burgess said the players made a strong commitment to completing their exhaustive training loads.

"We just trained them really hard and the boys got a really good combination of footy and running, team meetings and walk-throughs," he said.

"The advantage was that we had the guys away from their comfort zone for 10 days, in 30-degree heat and in really, really high per cent humidity.

"They certainly worked as hard as any group I've seen work."

The Power were renowned for their fitness levels late in games last season and Burgess puts that down to the players' willingness to trust the fitness staff's advice.

"We probably trained the guys a little bit harder across the board and took a few more risks in-season," he said.

"Nothing dramatic, or anything like that, but we just really encouraged the guys to make every session count and their training loads were probably a little bit more than the average."

The players returned home last Wednesday and were given a few days off, before launching in to the final phase of their pre-season training stint on Monday.

Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie