Dark side of the sauna

Written by Martin van Niekerk (vanmartin)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 19 Mar 2014 at 11:00
Tagged with : , ,

Let me get my apology for what must be one of the worst headlines to ever grace the Sharksworld website out of the way first – I’m sorry! In my defence, I’m still suffering from the after-effects of what must have been one of the worst workouts I’ve ever had the misery of enduring. More on that a bit further down though.

A number of Australian websites have reported on the unpleasant conditions the Reds had to endure in Durban this past weekend, with most saying that upwards of 60 kg in weight was lost in total between the squad. That Australian rugby players apparently consider it a necessity to go check their weight immediately after a loss is a topic I’d love to further explore but I’ll leave that discussion to readers. Mention of the term ‘sauna’ is made in all the reports I’ve come across to date. Having spent some of time doing my growing up in Port Shepstone, the comparison seems an appropriate one. I still remember how the humidity could have been cut with a knife at times.

My Natal memories let me down however when it came to the effects of trying to exercise in that humidity. Until this morning that is. I frequent a three-tier gym in Centurion with a heated indoor swimming pool on the ground floor and a running track gracing the top tier. Just the necessary amount of self-loathing ensures that I pitch up each morning at this gym to partake of some Crossfit with a few fellow masochists. Β Despite this being considered a flagship gym, the air-conditioning on the top two levels is just about always on the fritz, this morning being no exception. In a perfect conspiracy of unreliable machinery and unexpected weather, Β the rising sun finally managed to pierce the overcast Centurion sky this morning, baking the gym’s glass exterior while the humidity from the heated pool did its bit to aid the creation of a ‘devil sauna’ (or mini Shark Tank if you will) on the top tier. The top tier just so happened to be where we were trying to re-enact our own version of Hades – a 30 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout.

During the fleeting moments of clarity while doing HIIT sprints (eyewitnesses confirm this is what I was doing, although I can’t be sure of it myself) I imagined what it must feel like to play a contact sport lasting 80 minutes in these conditions. Fellow Sharksworlders, our boys have endured 320 minutes of hell (not even including practices) this season. It’s a wonder they have any points to show for it at all.


  • hehehehe nice work man

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.03.14 11:06:33 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • First thoughts that went through my mind was “Dark side of the Luna(r)”.

    So how many kilos did you shed?

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.03.14 11:14:29 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 2) : I still have some low-level brain function at my disposal so you won’t catch me that easily. There’s no Australian in me bud :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.03.14 11:19:58 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Nice writing vanmartin…. πŸ˜€

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.03.14 11:22:23 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • When the going gets tough the tough gets going.(Old army motto) You are probably all too young to have been in the Army? Irrespective of conditions, place or time we believe our TEAM will continuously improve and ultimately succeed.

    GO SHARKS !!!!

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.03.14 11:31:41 by Observer Reply

  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : @Pokkel (Comment 4) : Appreciated!

    @Observer (Comment 5) : Amen to that brother

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.03.14 11:33:27 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • If this was a Stormers site, would the headline have read “the dark side of the bath house”…?

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.03.14 11:46:27 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • This year has been as hot as I’ve experienced during my 10 years on the Coast, and Durban is even more humid than down here.

    I cannot imagine how difficult the practice sessions had to be in the midday heat. That none of them passed out is a miracle.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.03.14 11:47:31 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) : Which gym offers crossfit in centurion, planet? We don’t have the luxury of pools etc. at radium in centurion…

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.03.14 12:04:10 by mbay-shark Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 7) : Hmmm, even the ‘dark side of the full moon’ could work in that case 😈 😈

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.03.14 12:05:08 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @mbay-shark (Comment 9) : None that I’m aware of. I go to Planet simply because Discovery subsidizes most of the fee. We follow Dogtown’s WOD’s on our own (bar any ring workouts). I’d join Radium in a heartbeat if my budget allowed it though, I have nothing but respect for that box. A few of my friends and my sister are members there and I run into one of the Radium trainers (also named Martin) at my gym every so often. Great guy.

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.03.14 12:10:33 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 11) : Yes I know martin well, he’s a good friend. “Planet simply because Discovery subsidizes most of the fee” that is why I was asking πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.03.14 12:23:46 by mbay-shark Reply

  • @mbay-shark (Comment 12) : I’d love for Discovery to start subsidising fees at affiliated Crossfit gyms. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been but I know I’m still missing out on certain things, especially technique coaching. Youtube can only help so much.

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.03.14 12:43:03 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : thank goodness for that hey

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.03.14 12:46:16 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @vanmartin (Comment 13) : Yes that would be awesome. At least discovery has put in a tablet for attendance capturing so you can get vitality points. Talking about crossift, I use to see Louis Ludik was heavily against it, not sure why. He did something called flux motion.

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.03.14 12:49:35 by mbay-shark Reply

  • A steaming hot wet blanket was what Saturday night was

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.03.14 12:53:07 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @benji (Comment 14) : Indeed πŸ˜€

    @mbay-shark (Comment 15) : Lots of negativity surrounding it due to irresponsible coaches valuing reps above form and technique which ultimately leads to injury. But hey, you’re going to come across that scenario in just about any exercise regime. I’ve even seen people attack yoga because of sub-par instructors. The results speaks for itself though.

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.03.14 12:58:44 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Nice one van the man.

    Durban in Summer is indeed like a wet blanket. But I still miss it.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.03.14 13:38:14 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : Nice, another Sheppy boy πŸ˜† Were you at Sheppy High?

    I can only agree with you on the humidity!!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.03.14 15:54:58 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 19) : We moved deep into Bulls country while I was still in primary school. Haven’t been back in ages. Is the place still holding together?

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.03.14 16:10:51 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @StevieS (Comment 19) : @vanmartin (Comment 20) : you okes aren’t going to believe it, but I’m actually a direct descendant of the guy the place is named after πŸ™‚

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.03.14 16:24:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : So your dislike of the Lions is hereditary? πŸ˜‰

    Just kidding of course, everyone loves to dislike the Lions every now and then. 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.03.14 16:40:02 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well, imagine how our team must feel when they play in icy πŸ™„ y cold rainy weather!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.03.14 10:15:12 by Stef Reply


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