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James McClean proved that age is just a number this week, after he finished joint-first in Wrexham’s pre-season Yo-Yo Test.

First things first, the Yo-Yo test is a maximal aerobic endurance fitness test that involves running between markers placed 20 meters apart, at increasing speeds, until exhaustion.

The test was developed in the '90s by Danish footballer physiologist Jens Bangsbo and his colleagues, and is now one of the most commonly conducted fitness test in the sport.

Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 involves running between two markers 20 meters apart, following audio cues which dictate the running speed required.

After each 40 meters run, the participants have an active break of 10 seconds before running 40 meters again.

Image credit: X/@statsports
Image credit: X/@statsports

At regular intervals, the required running speed increases – and the test continues until the participants are no longer able to keep up with the required pace.

McClean was a standout performer during Wrexham's latest Yo-Yo test as they prepare for life in League One.

In fact, the 35-year-old former West Brom and Sunderland winger delivered a masterclass in the session, finishing joint-first.

X account STATSports posted footage of the exercise, saying that McClean is "anecdotally one of the fittest players of his generation."

Shortly after his move to Wrexham was confirmed last year, former Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill said McClean was "the fittest player I’ve ever met" after managing him at international level.

Ben Foster agrees with O'Neil's claims. “I think James McClean is the hardest working player I’ve ever come across in my life," he said on the Fozcast podcast.

“The very first day he signed actually, I used to get in early, I used to get on the bike and I’d do my session on Zwift. And I got in there, probably an hour before the rest of the lads came in.

“But as I’m opening the gym door, I can hear ergo ski. It’s brutal – it’s the most brutal thing in the world – there’s two battle ropes running alongside it and he’s on this ergo ski, sweating his tree off.

“I’m just like ‘you alright mate’ and he just looks at me as if to say ‘not right now, I’m dying’. He gave me a thumbs up then carries on and he’s straight onto the battle rope. He’s doing a circuit at 8 in the morning and I’m like ‘you’re an absolute animal’.

“That is James McClean in a nutshell; he was like that everyday, and I mean, everyday.”

Featured Image Credit: X/@statsports

Topics: Wrexham, League One, Sunderland, Wigan Athletic