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RSL Preseason Confidential: RSL utilizing new Sports Science department in training camp

Real Salt Lake spent some time in the hotel pool on Thursday evening for the second of two training sessions on the day in Irvine, California.  While the morning was a typical session of position-specific training at UC-Irvine, the team stayed rooted to the hotel in the evening for a gym and pool workout led by Director of Sports Science and Performance Dan Barlow.

“There’s a tradeoff because we’re not on the field, so we’re not getting anything technical or tactical out of this.  But we started off in the weight room and we did some a resistance training workout,” Barlow said.  “The pool – what it allows us to do is get the guys a good workout, get their heartrates up without putting a huge load on their bodies.  They’re in there working pretty hard and getting their heartrates up but it’s not hard on their bodies.”

This off-season, Barlow was elevated to his new role while he added Pressley Okobia to his staff as Strength and Conditioning Coach, making up the LifeVantage Sports Science department after a new partnership with the club’s primary sponsor.

Through the LifeVantage partnership, the team is using GPS pods to track data in training sessions and is measuring recovery using OmegaWave technology.  That’s not all, though.

“We are doing very comprehensive blood-testing that goes beyond what I think any other team maybe in the world is doing right now,” Barlow said.

Thus far Barlow and his staff are just in the data accumulation phase, but in the coming weeks they will be better able to read that data and apply it to the day-to-day training, customizing the workload from player-to-player.

“We really need to accumulate several weeks of data before we have a good look at what we’ve done and where we want to go from there,” said Barlow.  “We already had a pretty good handle on it.  We’re going to get a better handle on it now with better data that’s coming in at this point.”

Real Salt Lake will be back on the field on Friday and will face UC-Irvine on Saturday in the first match of the second leg of training camp.