Jordon Forster has revealed it was lift-off during lockdown for his personal trainer business as well as his own fitness.
The Dundee defender used the long enforced break after last season was brought to a premature halt to work hard building up his online coaching classes.
As well as putting his clients through their paces, the 27-year-old former Hibs star was sweating buckets himself to ensure that when the Dark Blues finally returned to training, he would be in great nick.
Now, Forster is reaping the rewards both on and off the pitch.
The centre-half, who will feature in a friendly against Peterhead at Dens tonight, said: “I run an online coaching business.
“I have had it going for about a year and a half now but lockdown helped me focus on it.
“I got my website created and fast forwarded the process. It might have taken a year or so to do if I was playing football as normal.
“But I had the time to concentrate fully on it.
“It is something I am very passionate about and it also helps with football.
“It is going really well so long may that continue.”
No-one at Dens wanted to go months without football but Forster admitted that not playing games was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to concentrate fully on fitness.
He added: “You can never fully replicate the intensity football brings until you are on that pitch.
“But certainly in terms of aerobic-based running, everyone has come back in very good condition.
“I think if you compare it to last pre-season, it is night and day in terms of times and stuff.
“That is testament to the staff for creating the programme and also to the boys for sticking to it.
“Listen, it would have been easy to enjoy the time off more than you should so the lads have stuck with it and are reaping the rewards now.
“If you ask footballers, they will agree that they will never have that opportunity again to work on certain things in relation to your fitness.
“It has been very productive but all the boys are delighted that we are actually able to train and play again.”
While the players have returned, the fans are still absent.
Forster is fully aware of the full seriousness of the Covid crisis, however, he admits he is baffled that supporters are still not allowed back into grounds, even in reduced numbers.
He added: “It is hugely frustrating. First and foremost, fans make football. The atmosphere and the pressure that crowds produce impacts on the way the game goes.
“That’s part and parcel of football for me.
“Look, people are losing their lives and it is a desperately serious situation. I don’t want to disrespect anybody that way.
“But for me there are so many mixed messages – not allowing fans into football games but there can be 300 people on an aeroplane. For me, it seems ludicrous.
“Again, though, I don’t want to speak out of turn.”
Forster played the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Cove Rangers at Dens on Saturday and he is hoping to get more game time under his belt tonight against Peterhead as Dundee continue their pre-season build-up.
Forster said: “The intensity was there on Saturday and it was quite physical.
“So overall for me and a few of the other boys as well, it was good to get 90 minutes and another little step up preparing for the next few weeks.
“I think the squad here is more than capable of getting promoted this season.”