The Sleekgeek HQ team were very privileged to be invited to attend the adidas Creator Squad training day – the launch of the latest adidas training apparel & a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse ourselves in the lifestyle of an elite adidas athlete.
We, along with other adidas athletes and media, were collected in the official Stormers bus and greeted with a lunch box that had portions of biltong and nuts as a little “pre-workout” snack for our journey out to Stellenbosch. We were taken to SAS – the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, a world-class training and preparation facility that is home to both the men’s and women’s SA 7’s rugby teams as well as host to several international and local athletes. There we were introduced to the mission & objectives for adidas in South Africa and learned a little more about why their training range is so well suited to performance and training of all types. The concepts of strength, power and mobility are integral too all that they produce and it was made evident to us later in the day of how true this is!
Our first surprise was an inspiring talk by the legendary Steve McIntyre – the Springboks conditioning coach when they won the Rugby World Cup in 2007 – who explained his philosophy behind becoming an elite athlete, and the mindset of someone who is never done, and driven to be the best. He was massively inspiring and it was such an honour for us to meet him and spend some time with him.
Next, we were whisked across the facility to the rugby training area where we were gifted with the most incredible bags – each embroidered with our own names and packed with the latest from adidas.
The latest adidas training apparel is built for performance; for power, speed & mobility. All the products they’ve created are informed with Training movement studies – this provides function, form & a modern expression of performance.
We all kitted up and headed to the indoor training area.
Once everyone was ready to go, Steve McIntyre along with up & coming rugby star Ollie Kebble took us through the steps to performing the perfect deadlift – a movement Steve says is a great indicator of overall strength and power. Some key pointers – keep your head inline with your back, keep your back nice and straight & use a hip hinge to pick up the bar, rather than bending over and arching your back.
Then we were treated to a moment that I think few people would ever be witness to – Olympic gold medal & world record holder Wayde van Niekerk being sent through his paces by his coach, Tannie Ans. The relationship between the two of them brought an awe-inspired hush to the room. It’s so powerful to see an elite athlete like Wayde in training – his focus and power are palpable. Being able to see the concentration between the athlete and coach and the sheer power and speed he is able to generate at her call is something I don’t think anyone will soon forget.
Steve then made his way back to the training area with Mapule Ndhlovu – an adidas athlete and winner of the 2016 Women’s Health Next Fitness Star. They took us through some power and strength drills using medicine balls – wow, that woman is STRONG! Finally, we were treated to some yogi wisdom from yoga instructor & health blogger Cara-Lisa – she showed us that even yogis are incredibly strong and showed how many of the breathing and flow principles of yoga can be integrated into fitness or training plan.
The entire team was then invited on to the training area where we got to interact with the athletes and coaches and get some wisdom from them as well as do some lifting, skipping and yoga. To wrap up, Mapule took Wayde, Cara and adidas athelete & gym owner Irene Scholz through their paces with skipping ropes – put it this way, skipping is not for sissies!
Back over to SAS for a great lunch in the athlete canteen and a chance to tour the facilities – the gym is heaven for a Sleek with every possible piece of equipment you could dream of! They are also home to the first Cryozone in South Africa which uses extreme cold to aid in athlete recovery.
We headed back to adidas HQ inspired, ready to be creators and innovators, ready to push ourselves to become better athletes, better coaches, strive to learn and educate and be #NeverDone!
To browse the latest range from adidas training, you can visit their online store here.