Saints train in heat studio for China game
ST Kilda footballers have been training in a suburban heat studio in a bid to acclimatise to the energy-sapping humidity in Shanghai.
Temperatures are tipped to hover around 29C this week in the Chinese city ahead of the Saints' clash with Port Adelaide on Sunday, with an extreme UV index and humidity of 60 per cent.
The Saints head to Townsville two weeks later, after the bye weekend, to face Gold Coast.
To prepare for both games they have been cranking up the temperature in the heated Upstate Studio in Balaclava for yoga and boxing sessions.
"It's pretty hot (in the room)," a sweaty Jack Newnes said after a session.
"It's high 30s … doing the boxing we sweated the house down.
"We're just acclimatising and getting our bodies ready for the heat.
"The more times we put ourselves in something similar to the heat we're going to get over there, our body might acclimatise to it a bit and it won't be such a shock to the system.
"It will be a bit different to the winter months here in Melbourne, that's for sure."
The sessions have varied from intensive boxing to stretching and "flow" yoga, with players working up a sweat within minutes of stepping into the studio, which sits between 34 and 40 degrees depending on the class.
The Saints wingman admitted that playing in stifling conditions is "definitely harder when the heat ramps up", but that was not enough to dampen his excitement ahead of his first trip to China.
The players have also been encouraged by club fitness staff to embark on similar sessions in their own time as they prepare to jet off on Thursday.
"They're telling us to get into some steam rooms, saunas, once or twice throughout the week in our own time," Newnes said.
"We're just trying to get our system right and play good footy.
"It hasn't been a whole lot different, but obviously in the last few weeks we've been speaking about it a bit more so everyone's ready mentally."