Jets lay solid foundation for new campaign

IF you wander down to the Ipswich Jets gym before training at North Ipswich, you’ll find a wide array of Ipswich players lifting weights.

No surprise there.

What might surprise is the planning and calculation that goes into what each player is doing.

It isn’t just left to the players to figure it out with the club adding Justin Holland to existing strength and conditioning trainer Reece Pagel to help give the Jets an edge for next year’s rugby league campaign.

Holland won the Ipswich Rugby League trainer of the year award last season for his work with Brothers in the Ipswich Rugby League.

The Jets employ a relentless pressure game during matches, requiring them to be fitter than the opposition.

At the start of last season, the Jets were fitter than the previous year.

It is part of Holland’s challenge to ensure they are fitter still for the 2014 season.

His focus at the moment is mainly in the gym, “getting new guys adjusted to new programs and conditioning and skills”.

“We’re doing one-to-one work ratios, which means a little bit longer rests and going a little bit longer,” Holland said.

“The aim is getting guys a good foundation of strength for more intense work before the season starts.”

The 23-year-old from Leichhardt graduated with an Exercise and Sports science degree in 2011 and is studying for his doctorate at the moment, focusing on hydration in elite athletes.

His challenge is to get the Jets players to increase their training performance without running the risk of injury.

“From my own training and training others, I give instruction and try to instil the belief they can achieve it,” he said.

“It’s about pushing them to what they’re capable of with science behind it.”

It is largely science-based but there is also psychology involved in convincing players they can achieve what they haven’t previously been capable of.

“With an intense session, sometimes you have to get in their faces a bit to push them a little bit harder to lift the maximum weight safely,” Holland said

“We make judgements based on what they have done in previous years, making sure they don’t over-reach.”

Holland has been impressed with the capabilities of the Jets players.

“This is a whole new element to Brothers,” he said.

“It’s sub-elite level. They’re all keen to get in and follow what you say. But Brothers is very professional, too, and that helped me.”


  • New Jets trainer Justin Holland has been impressed with the strength and condition of the Ipswich players.
  • In particular Tyson Lofipo, who can bench press 140kg four times, and Mahe Paseka, who can bench 150kg four times.

Thanks to the QT, Sarah Harvey – for more go to –