Workington Town’s players are being pushed to their limits in training as they ramp up their preparations ahead of the start of the new League One season.

Matthew Johnson, the club’s strength and conditioning coach, said the players have been preparing “really well” for their first full season under head coach Chris Thorman and expects that to continue up to and following the Christmas break.

“We’ve got a five-week period building up to Christmas and then post-Christmas we’ve got a four-week block which includes our pre-season friendlies,” he said.

“In this first block the lads have trained really hard and we’ve thrown a lot at them.

“They’ve had some strength work in the functional suite at Netherhall Sports Centre in Maryport.

“This year the lads have been asked to train in their own time as well so we use Ted’s Gym in Workington locally and then the Barrow-based players use their own gym.”

Thorman and Johnson have put together a pre-season plan which has the players training regularly either as a full squad or in groups with team-mates based close to them.

“In effect they’ve been training five nights a week getting a mixture of strength training, power training, a bit of speed agility and then the conditioning stuff on the field,” Johnson added.

“In terms of the progress of them, they’re going really well.”

Johnson said the presence of some of the new players who have joined Thorman’s squad for next season, like former Coventry ace Elliot Hall and ex-Egremont amateur Marcus O’Brien, has raised the levels even further in their sessions and helped to drive the improvements they want to see around the squad for what will be a gruelling push for promotion to the Championship.

“The lads that we’ve brought in have brought a bit of professionalism to the group and they’re pushing standards every single week,” he said.

“It’s been a pleasure working with them for the first four weeks.

“The first five-week block it’s about getting a bit of running into their legs so they’ve been doing a lot of road running, we’ve been doing some running on the artificial turf and we’ve been doing CrossFit-style workouts in the gym.

“After Christmas we’ll focus a little bit more on the shorter, explosive stuff to get the speed and agility right and get them ready for the games.”

Town have announced two friendlies so far, with a trip to the Recreation Ground for the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy game on January 19 before they travel to take on Barrow Raiders the following Sunday.