Jermain Defoe has revealed Sam Allardyce and his staff are putting the Sunderland squad through a gruelling regime at their Austria training camp.
The Black Cats are undergoing a vigorous training programme in Austria in preparation for the new campaign.
The players have been cycling, doing weights and running as they step up their fitness regime.
And while Defoe admits it's been hard work, he says the players will feel the benefit come the start of the Premier League season.
“It’s been hard work but it’s been good,” said Defoe. “It’s a nice place and quiet so everyone can focus, and the lads have looked forward to coming back, seeing each other again and getting down to the hard work.
“We want to have a good start to the season so it’s important that we put the hard work in now.
"We are doing three sessions a day which is never easy - but like I said, it's important and we need to make sure that we’re flying when it comes to the first game of the season.”
Defoe's fitness remains one of his key attributes, despite being one of the older members of the squad.
The 33-year-old did some fitness work on his own during the off-season, and is already he feeling the benefit.
“People say you have to do it like you love it and its hard work, but at the end of the day if you put in the work you get rewarded," he told the club's official site.
“I did a lot of power work [in the summer] to give me a base for when I came back and my legs feel strong."