Arne Slot ends Jurgen Klopp's dreaded pre-season ritual but it's more bad news for Liverpool squad

The first day of pre-season was often a dreaded one for the members of the Liverpool squad during Jurgen Klopp's time.

Day one of the summer schedule brought with it the punishing lactate test, which was the infamous drill overseen by former fitness guru - or infamous drill sergeant, if you asked the players - Andreas Kornmayer.

The exercise saw the players complete numerous laps around the perimeter of the pitches at the AXA Training Centre before having their blood samples measured. According to EKF Diagnostics, training to improve a player's lactate threshold is one of the most effective "performance markers" used by football teams.

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The point of the drill was to measure the maximum intensity at which a player can compete before suffering from high levels of lactate in the blood, which causes fatigue. James Milner, prior to his departure, was usually crowned victor before Mohamed Salah took the crown last summer.

Andy Robertson's first memories as a Liverpool player are shaped - and scarred - by his experience of the lactate acid test in the summer of 2017, shortly after he signed from Hull City.

Speaking in an interview with Open Goal in 2018, the left-back detailed how the gruelling examination caused him to be sick on the first day of his Liverpool career as he struggled to keep pace.

“It’s horrible, running round the pitch, I’m doing it with Danny Ings and that, said Robertson. “My medical went on for two days – it was quite a long medical – so I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t doing this and that. I was fit, because I had three weeks at Hull and I was looking after myself.

“So I’m taking the lactate test and I’m thinking, ‘my stomach’s a bit dodgy here’. I started gagging and I was sick everywhere. Halfway around I had to stop and be sick, then I tried to catch them up because I’m thinking, ‘I can’t drop out at this point’, because this point was like you are super unfit, that was the point you had to get by.

“So I was sick around the pitch, then I had to stop because they have to take the blood out your ear, and I was sick when I was getting my blood taken. I went another lap and I was like ‘I need to stop.'"

It even earned the Scotland an unwanted nickname from Klopp in his fledgling days as a Reds player in the summer of 2017, with Robertson later adding: "Luckily the gaffer wasn’t there and I thought I’d got away with it and he returned three days later and introduced himself, blah blah blah, and then he called me Mr. Sick Boy or something like that. I was gutted!”

However, a new era at Liverpool has brought with it a change in direction for pre-season training under head coach Arne Slot, who has wasted no time putting some of his charges through their paces at the club's Kirkby base.

According to STATSports, whose X account describes them as "world-leaders in performance monitoring technology", Liverpool have changed from the aforementioned lactate test to a Six-Minute Race Test (6MRT) this pre-season.

The endurance exam, as the name indicates, lasts for six minutes around a 400m race track with the exercise designed for those undertaking it to go as fast as possible to cover somewhere between 1.5 and 2km.

Jarell Quansah, Conor Bradley and Sepp van den Berg all took part in the gruelling run which was overseen by fitness coach Dr Conall Murtagh and new head of performance Ruben Peeters alongside Slot. Curtis Jones and Kostas Tsimikas joined later in the day for their own workout.

"I think it's been said already but go all in," Slot can be heard saying in the video to his new players. "So I am expecting you to win," he adds to Quansah. "Sepp is from Zwolle and I am from Zwolle as well, it's a city in the Netherlands and a week ago he was saying he would win, so...Just give everything you have in these six minutes."

Rather them than us.