‘CraxFit for Festive Season’ at The Falkirk Stadium

And on the first day of Christmas David McCracken will give to me, three kilometres to run, a two kilometre row, and five kilometres on the watt bike.

Falkirk’s performance gym manager, and ex-Bairns captain, is gearing up to take on his first clients at the south stand performance gym in the coming weeks.

Never shirking a challenge on the pitch, he’s following suit off the field and pledged to get this reporter ‘Fit for the Festive Season’.

Cracks, or Craxfit as his new gym training programme will be known, has set up a four week plan to be followed ahead of party season and to give me a headstart on the January fitness peak.

We started on Tuesday with a 10k challenge, 2km of rowing, 5km cycle and then a 3km run.

Sounds easy. It wasn’t. From guinea pig to sweating like a pig in just over half an hour.

“We’ll get that down, the less of that you have the better and we’ll see what that reads in four weeks – but that’s not particularly long so there would need to be a long-term measure there,”

David, a qualified personal trainer, ran through stats on body fat, hydration, weight and composition measurements.

It wasn’t all bad news either. His smart scales revealed my weight’s made of more muscle than I realised and my body fat is... well, better than feared.

With my vital stats and insight into my usual exercise schedule he’s drafted up the four-week programme he wanted to call ‘Sexy For Santa’ but we’re sticking with ‘Fit for the Festive Season’.

Robbie Thomson, Peter Grant, Lee Miller and Craig Sibbald were doing some extra work alongside me, so the equipment is clearly fit for a high-standard of athletes and being put to good use.

Local teams and groups have already been making full use of the performance-level facility and David’s tutelage.

A pitying look from Lee as I started my challenge on “the toughest machine in the place” was appreciated, followed by Sibbald’s music selection soundtracking the serious stuff. If I could remember the playlist, I wasn’t trying hard enough... I was too busy to listen.

Club staff don’t use the gym all the time, but there were a few concerned glances. But I was fine – didn’t think it at the time – and spurred on by the now Peterhead FC defender who was polite enough to seem impressed at my results. Even after marking him down on a couple of match reports over the years!

They might come back to haunt me but for now, survived and spurred on by Cracks, I have my target time of 35 minutes and ten seconds.

I have a re-assessment on the 12th day before Christmas next month.

I have targets and areas to improve on. And today (Thursday) I have another HIIT session ‘Behind The Goals’ to prepare for.

For more info or bookings visit {http:// www.craxfit.co.uk|www.craxfit.co.uk| Craxfit}, call 01324 624121 or follow on social media - @CRAXfit or on Facebook.