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Newcastle Knights strength and conditioning coach Dave Ballard reviews the week that was after pre-season commenced on Monday at the University of Newcastle.

"We had around two-thirds of our squad when we kicked off on Monday with the beep test," Ballard explains.

"We had some good performers, the usual characters stood out.

"Kurt Gidley was our best (14.3), followed by Jarrod Mullen, Dane Gagai and our best big man, new recruit Jack Stockwell."

Gagai believes it was a new hobby that help him perform in the beep test.

"I have taken up surfing, and I was in Bali and got pumped a few times," he explains.

"I was climbing the ladder so I think that helped out my lungs trying to hold my breath."

The week also featured speed work, conditioning and a number of strength sessions.

Although the first week back at pre-season training is always tough, Gagai was happy to be back in the team environment.

"I am pretty sore, but it is good being back around the team and getting some structure back in my life and getting out of holiday mode," Gagai explains.

The team resume on Monday for another solid week on the track and in the gym. Each Friday, Knights TV will bring you a wrap on the pre-season week that was.