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‘I sound like a psycho’: Pies legend shares secret routine

Scott Pendlebury spent this past off-season getting faster and lighter.

At age 34, Collingwood’s games record-holder and longest-serving captain – he is preparing to lead the Magpies for a ninth- straight year – is still ploughing on with his seemingly endless pursuit to get better.

That’s why Pendlebury sucked up his pride and signed up to train, alongside on-footballers and peers from Collingwood and rival clubs, with The Speed Project’s Jarrad Kay.

In the back of his mind was his much-discussed positional shift from the midfield to half-back, where he won’t cop as many bruising knocks but will need to run more.

“Honestly, that was pretty daunting, knowing you’re going to be the slowest guy there,” Pendlebury told News Corp.

“We were essentially on a running track learning how to sprint.

“I was comfortably the slowest when I started, but, individually, to add four or five kays to your top-end speed in 12 weeks was massive for someone like me.”


‘Someone like me’

Understanding Pendlebury is knowing he accepts he doesn’t always have a great football-life balance – and that he doesn’t think that’s a weakness.

He’s obsessive. Almost everything he does is geared towards maximising himself as an athlete.

There are his Tempur bed sheets where he can control the temperature he sleeps at, the magnesium in his home pool, his sauna, and even the Archies thongs he swears by to maintain his country roots but also his elite mentality.

We will get to Pendlebury’s eating habits later.

He turns off the solar heating on his pool once football season arrives and it effectively transforms into an ice bath at 10 degrees.

Pendlebury starts the day after games right there – for 11 minutes – then switches to the sauna for about 40 minutes, before moving onto the exercise bike in the fully equipped gym he paid for during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I sound like a bit of a psycho with this stuff, don’t I?” Pendlebury said.

Scott Pendlebury

Scott Pendlebury wears Archies thongs. Picture: Josh Miller

He entered the AFL as a teenager having broken his left foot playing basketball about a year earlier, then did the same on his right not long into his Magpies career.

Both breaks were to his fifth metatarsal bone.

Pendlebury insisted on still wearing thongs, so club podiatrist Bec Morarty introduced him to the arch-supporting Archies, which promote themselves as everything thongs typically aren’t (in a good way).

He heard all the whispers around the corridors from the old stagers when he was still a kid about how they all wished they paid more attention to recovery and nutrition.

Pendlebury promised himself then not to be one of those regretful veterans.

“I just gravitated towards that stuff and thought if I did all that

now, then maybe I’ll feel better at 28, 32, 34, whatever age it is,” he said.

“I’ve done the little things since my first year and I’ve continued that for a long period of time.

Scott Pendlebury heads to the beach three days a week for recovery purposes. Picture: Michael Klein

“That means going down to the beach three nights a week for 20 minutes and learning a lot about what actually is a good diet and nutrition – performance nutrition – and investing time and money to learn about that space.

“It helps that my wife (Alex) is a nutritionist, but it’s just a quest for knowledge and improvement.

“I’ve never been one that’s said ‘No’, so I’m always happy to have a go at things and see if it might make me a little bit better.”

Studying the greats from various sports.

NBA superstar LeBron James famously spends US$1.5 million a year to maintain his body, once costs are factored in for his home gym, trainers, massages, therapist, and nutritionist, among other things.

Another evergreen sporting legend, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, has his own fastidious approach, from an all-natural diet, no alcohol, plenty of sleep, and a focus on flexibility over lifting heavy weights.

Pendlebury couldn’t put an exact figure on what he spends annually said anything he did, so long as he saw a benefit, was seen as an investment rather than a cost.

“I love the NBA and NFL and it’s different, but on the nutrition side of things, there’s a lot to learn from boxing and UFC, with what they go through with weight cuts and rehydration strategies,” he said.

Scott Pendlebury is always looking for new ways to improve himself. Picture: Getty Images

“I consume all that sort of stuff, even if it’s jockeys with their hydration and how they do all that. I try to learn from other athletes and teams.”

Pendlebury even picked world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao’s brain on his own training habits when they crossed paths five years ago.

What stuck with the Magpie most was the amount of core training Pacquiao completed, so he tried one day to replicate one of the Filipino’s sessions.

“I remember just with my brothers mucking around and we did a session that he would do and I could barely laugh for a week, I was that sore,” Pendlebury said.

“Again, I just like to try things like that to see if I can incorporate it into my routine and get benefit out of it.

“LeBron James talks about how he does float tanks and cryo chambers. It gets you thinking and it’s a bit of trial and error to see what might work for me.”

Pendlebury with Pacquiao

Scott Pendlebury with world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao and former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire. Picture: Kylie Else

The off-season that’s anything but

Pendlebury said his wife would vouch for him being arguably as busy during the AFL off-season as at any other time.

You read that right. Take this off-season, for instance.

He did speed work at Moorabbin three times a week, another three footy-based sessions on an oval with teammates and was in the gym on six other occasions.

There were also weekly myotherapy with Mina Garas at My Body Clinic in Bentleigh.

“Mina is the best in the business,” Pendlebury said.

He will start season 2022 about 3kg lighter than he’s played at in recent seasons in preparation for his new football chapter in defence.

Scott Pendlebury, pictured celebrating with fellow Magpies star Jordan De Goey, is optimistic about what Collingwood can do this year. Picture: Michael Klein

Pendlebury fractured his left leg again in December but that recurrence was never considered overly serious.

His sixth All-Australian selection was three years ago and his fifth and most-recent Copeland Trophy win as Collingwood’s club champion was in 2016 but don’t let that and his positional change fool you.

Pendlebury remains one of the Pies’ most critical players, evidenced by his third-placed finish last year in the best and fairest count.

“I feel like, individually, I’m performing well,” he said.

“I’ve had a really good off-season to set me up to play and, obviously, I’m going to play more down back this year, so I’ve

lost a bit of weight.

“I feel like I’m on track to have a good season and influence and hopefully help Collingwood get up the ladder.”

Team success, namely experiencing that 2010 premiership feeling at least once more is still his great motivator, rather than becoming the next AFL player to reach 400 games.

Where does family fit in?

Pendlebury is a father-of-two these days – son Jax and daughter Darcy – so he’s had to become more organised to remain so dedicated.

“I’m locked in when I’m at footy and give everything I’ve got, then one thing I’m pretty good at saying is no to things,” he said.

“I’m ruthlessly efficient with my time, because I don’t like to do things that take away time that I could spend with my family.

“When I’m home; I’m present. I’m with my kids, with my family. It’s very different to when I was 18 to 27 with no kids.

“I used to have a lot more time up my sleeve, whereas sometimes now it’s like, ‘I’d rather be at home shooting hoops with Jax’, because that also fills my cup and makes me happy.”

That doesn’t mean Pendlebury has lost any of his edge. His average in-season week is still as regimented as ever.

Scott Pendlebury and son Jax share a passion for basketball. Picture: Fiona Hamilton Photography

Just like his go-to, day-after-a-game recovery routine, he does the same things three, two and one day out from playing.

Pendlebury didn’t want to share exactly what he eats on match day – he didn’t want to give up any advantage he holds over competitors – but the science behind his approach is obvious.

He has figured out which types of carbohydrates and sugars to consume, at what time and how close to a game.

“It’s obsessive but I’m just trying to get better. I don’t want to be defined by a number, like being 34 now and (the narrative) ‘It could be your last year’,” Pendlebury said.

“I’m trying to get better every day and not put limits on what I can do. I feel like that’s how all athletes should operate – why put a ceiling on yourself?

“Just do you and have fun. I love the process of it as well, so I don’t see it is a chore. I love training and trying new things and feel really good from staying fit and healthy.”


Games: 334 Goals: 183
Collingwood captain 2014-present
Club games record-holder and longest-serving captain 2010 premiership player
2010 Norm Smith medallist
2013 AFLCA Champion Player of the Year
Six-time All-Australian
Five-time Copeland Trophy winner


Footy Performance S&C Program

Footy Performance S&C Program

Vida Fitness is excited to announce our new athlete development Sports Performance Strength & Conditioning Program.

Athlete development or sports performance strength and conditioning is about developing key athletic skills that are at first fundamental, and then specific to someone’s sport or sporting position. All athletes need to learn how to squat, lunge, hinge, push, and pull for strength while gaining appropriate flexibility and mobility. All athletes need to learn how to move efficiently; run, land, jump, hop, stabilize, accelerate, decelerate etc.

For junior athletes, learning these fundamentals takes time, and needs to be consistently worked on and monitored. A strength and conditioning program should develop the athlete’s strength, ability to move effectively and efficiently, and then specific qualities that are important for their chosen sport.

This program is designed to help develop each individual to give them the best chance of achieving their goals in sport. This is not a quick fix, do it once program. This is about developing athletes to have long term results, improve sporting performance, reduce injuries, creating training habits and increase their love for the game.

The program also enables the junior athlete to be surrounded by like-minded people, creating an environment to thrive and achieve. The Vida Fitness vision is to create life opportunities for each individual through exceptional experiences.

Who should do this program?

  • If you are a junior sporting athlete aged between 15 & 18 looking to develop yourself to achieve an increase in performance and achieve your goals, this is the program for you.

Who is Dan Bailey?

  • Dan is a strength and conditioning coach with a background in track and field. As a junior Dan represented Australia in the Decathlon at the underage World Championships, in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
    He now coaches a private track and field squad of national-level hurdlers and sprinters. He was Head of Strength and Conditioning, Athletics and Track and Field at Carey Baptist Grammar School for 5 years before taking a full-time position with Richmond Football Club as an AFL strength coach and VFL Performance Manager.
    Dan has also worked in the Richmond AFLW program since its inception in 2018. Dan has a Bachelor of Sports Science from ACU, a level 1 ASCA Strength and Conditioning Coach, and an Athletics Australia Level 2 Advanced Sprints, Hurdles, Middle Distance, and Jumps Coach.
    Dan’s strengths include running/movement mechanics, technical lifting coaching, and performance programming from the developing athlete to the elite.

So what is in the program?

  • Initial one on one consultation to ensure the athlete meets the criteria and is a good fit for the program
  • Individualised S&C program
  • Access to your personal program via the Teambuildr App
  • Gym access and in gym support from the Vida Fitness team
  • Program monitoring
  • Program Update and small group tech/education session every 6 to 8 weeks

When does the program start?

  • Our first intake will start from Monday the 14th of December 2020

Can I start at any time during the year?

  • Yes you can start at any stage. The best time to start was yesterday, but the next best time to start is today. After you have done your initial individual assessment you will receive your program and complete the remaining weeks of the 6 to 8 week block.

How do I get access to my program in the APP?

  • You will be sent details on how to create and log into your program via email.

How do I register?

  • To register, simply click on the following link and select the Sports Performance S&C Program membership option and set up your account.
  • CLICK HERE to join

How do I get access to the gym?

  • As a member, you are able to receive a FOB which gives you access to the gym between opening hours. The FOB can be arranged with the Vida team for a $20 refundable deposit.

What is the cost of the program?

  • $44 per week billed fortnightly
  • Speak to us about a 6 month or yearly price if you prefer

How is the payment made?

  • The program will be billed fortnightly via direct debit through your membership account. Please speak with the Vida team if you would like to pay for the program upfront for a year.

What if I need help understanding my program?

  • If you are unsure about any part of your program or technical support, please feel free to speak to a Vida Fitness team member in the gym. Otherwise, email coach Dan and he will come back to you.
100 Words Mate to Mate & Vida Partnership

100 Words Mate to Mate & Vida Partnership

Did you know the biggest killer of men aged between 16 and 44 is…… themselves!

Each day 7 men in Australia take their own lives and another 82 men call an ambulance due to suicidal thoughts or attempts. We are sure you are all as shocked as us when we first heard these stats, and to be honest, it shocks us every time we have heard it since.

Vida is excited to announce our partnership with 100 Words Mate to Mate, as we look to help make a difference through awareness, connection, and education. Mental health has or will touch someone close to us all!

100 Words mate to mate’s vision is to create a national network of active local communities to improve men’s mental health and reduce male suicides. The mission is to create happier generations of men through real conversations and connections to local communities.

We aim to support 100 Words Mate to Mate to bring about the following outcomes:

  • Stronger Connections: We want males to get beyond the superficial discussions with each other and be open and honest about their mental health.
  • Reducing stigma: We want all parts of the community talking about suicide and mental health. Taking action to maintain good mental health and reduce judgment of those struggling.
  • Encouraging help-giving: We want more men to be confident and capable of checking in on those mates whom are experiencing emotional distress.
  • Encouraging help-seeking: We want people experiencing emotional distress to have a way to seek help from the people around them as early as possible.
  • Education: We want to create learning opportunities to build awareness of mental health issues, triggers, and tools to support those around them.


The Vida Vision for the partnership is to encourage guys to connect more with their mates, dads, brothers…all the good blokes in their lives! Tennis, sport, physical health, and fitness will be our vehicle for community connection, awareness creation, and education for men’s mental health. We want to promote long term sustainable community connection opportunities to create happier generations and prevent suicide.

Tennis, Fitness & Footy, for us, are the vehicles to connect our community and create sustainable programs.


To launch the partnership we will be hosting an event at the Veneto Club in Bulleen which will include tennis, fitness, footy, and sporting opportunities for the men in our community. Our aim will be for the men in our community to bring a mate along for the evening.
Following the sporting fun, there will be a social BBQ function, a guest speaker panel, and plenty of time to connect. On the night will introduce case studies, real-life experiences, and our ongoing Mate to Mate at 8 programs in 2021.

More details about this event will be made available in the coming weeks.

You can find out more about 100 words Mate to Mate on their website but first, you can view an interview with tennis player Sam Groth on their weekly mate to mate at 8 podcasts.

Sam actually played competition tennis for the Veneto Club at age 16 and 17 and was part of the club’s state grade team.

GPS Data Intensive 6 Week Footy Program

GPS Data Intensive 6 Week Footy Program

Vida Footy is excited to bring you this 6-week intensive training program focusing on GPS data to improve development & performance.

No longer are how many possessions a player gets good enough. The demand is for data that reveals how players affected the contest and whether they ran defensively once the ball was turned over, giving a better indication of how individual players and teams, in general, are tracking.

The data now readily available includes repeat sprints, overall distance covered during a match, and work rate. “Teams can plan training sessions based on game data, replace generic fitness testing with footy-specific drills and use the data for recruiting purposes, so they know when an U18 player is ready to perform like a senior player.”Mr Westover said Catapult Sport

The program will run for 6 weeks and feature three sessions per week where all players in the program will be wearing GPS trackers to monitor their running and repeat efforts. The stats will be made available for the players and training sessions will be designed around the results of the data. The focus areas of the program will be

  • Intensive running
  • Skill and fundamental development
  • Strength, speed, and agility
  • contested ground ball – developing body positioning
  • contested marking – developing body positioning

There will be two age brackets for the sessions with a cap number of 10 per group (due to restrictions)

  • Group 1 – 11 to 14 years old
  • Group 2 – 15 to 18 years old

The details

  • Location: Veneto Club Bulleen or Ford Park Ivanhoe – To be confirmed
  • Start Date: Tuesday 10th November
  • Last Session Date: Sunday 20th December
  • Days of the week: Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday
  • Session Times:
    • Group 1 – Tue & Thu 4.30pm to 6.00pm, Sunday 10.00am to 11.30am
    • Group 2 – Tue & Thu 6.00pm to 7.30pm, Sunday 11.30am to 1.00pm

Due to limited places, if you are wanting to join this program please register quickly, as once we are full, we can not take any further players.