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Fitness check

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After a disastrous season and mediocre levels of performances from Chelsea players in the 2022/23 season, things are about to change real quick under new manager Pochettino.

The former Spurs manager wants his players to work hard, give it all they’ve got and work to their limits. His training methods might sound intense and gruelling, but they sure do work.

One component of Poch’s sessions is the Gacon test. A breakdown of how this Gacon/Beep test will help the Chelsea squad coming into the new season.


What is Gacon Test?

Gacon Test or Beep Test – that has been termed by many experts – was created by Professor Georges Caon in 1994. The fitness expert was the manager of the French National Team for middle-distance runners. He was in charge of the team from 1984-1994 and then joined the French football top-tier club Marseille as a fitness trainer.

The test is an intermittent way of analysing if a player can increase their speed – with 45 seconds of running, with 15 seconds rest, with the running distance incrementally increasing. This gruelling exercise is mostly taken up by football managers who like their teams to press high up the pitch.

This is what the setup for a Gacon test looks like. Players line up at a starting point. They are then asked to run 125 metres within 45 seconds. Once the first set of that is completed, players are given a 15 second rest after which, they repeat the set in the opposite direction, back to the starting point. Albeit the distance is increased this time by 6.25m, accounting for a total distance of 131.25m.

For each set, the distance is increased by 6.25m while the running and rest times remain the same. This is continued until the players are unable to complete the set distance within 45 seconds.


Beep/Gacon Test in Chelsea training

New Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino aims to improve the dressing room morale and performances on the pitch, after spending more than $700m on transfer in Todd Boehly’s first season as co-owner. Despite that kind of lavish spending, the Blues could only manage a disappointing 12th finish in the Premier League.

The Argentine manager has already put his players under some gruelling training sessions and the Gacon test is one of them. The way the former Spurs boss likes to set up his team, a physically dominating squad is the least of his requirements – hence the heavy gym work and running so far in the training sessions.

According to multiple reports, Chelsea’s left-back Ben Chilwell was the best performer in Poch’s Gacon test. The Argentine tactician will have been proud to see that one of his first-choice fullbacks performing at such levels, this early in preseason, considering Pochettino’s game is heavily dependent on the fullbacks.

The majority of the Stamford Bridge squad have embraced such work ethics from the new boss after acknowledging that they were well behind the fitness levels required last season. To put some context into this, no club had more injuries in the Premier League than Chelsea, with 46 different injuries across the squad in the 2022/23 season.

The Argentine tactician is known for his high-pressing football, which requires extreme levels of physical exertion – and hence the early pressure on players through the Gacon test. The Argentine coach is planning for yet another physically challenging week of the regime before switching focus from fitness to tactics. Mauricio Pochettino means business with this Chelsea squad and has so far stamped his mark before heading into the new season.

Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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