What is the lactate test?
Before the start of every pre-season training camp when players return to Liverpool, the Reds hold their famous lactate test to check the fitness of the squad.
The test involves basically running full out, getting from one set up pole to the next before the whistle blows. However, the length of time between whistles shortens with each interval, so the players need to run faster each time.
Moreover, between some intervals, players have blood drawn out from their ears to check their lactate acid level.
As per Wikipedia: "Lactic acid is a substance made by muscle tissue and by red blood cells, which carry oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body." If the level gets too high, that indicates strenuous exercise and the player is pulled from the test.
One Liverpool player 'wins' the lactate test every pre-season. To win is to last the longest in the challenge and for the past six seasons, James Milner has been the victor. That tells you how insanely fit the midfielder is!
Robertson's 'Sick Boy' experience
Andy Robertson shares his experience with the test during his first season in 2017: "I remember my first day, there was only six or seven of us because it was pre-season, so only a few of us in and Danny Ings was just coming back from long-term injury.
“So he stayed behind and we had to do the lactate test that the Germans love, it’s basically running to your maximum. I remember running alongside Danny Ings and I was just sick everywhere! Actually physically sick.
“My medical took two days so I didn’t really eat, so I put it down to that and I was tired. Ingsy was talking to me on the way round and I could just feel it, I knew something wasn’t right. I tried to hold it in my mouth and I just had to let it go. It was terrible. Day one!
“Luckily the gaffer wasn’t there and I thought I’d got away with it and he returned three days later and introduced himself, blah blah blah, and then he called me Mr. Sick Boy or something like that. I was gutted!”