Ulster front-row Callum Black has revealed the squad is training Monday to Saturday and doing seven weights sessions a week during their pre-season.
The 29-year-old, who impressed in the loosehead position last term, knows a strong start while the World Cup takes place will be key for Ulster this year.
And he is looking forward to the challenge, not least the ongoing training.
"It has been pretty gruelling," he told Ulster's official website on Friday.
"The coaches have pushed the boys hard. We've done a lot of power work in preparation for the new season.
"At the moment we're training Monday to Saturday and we're fitting in seven weights sessions throughout the week. A typical day would be a weights session and a speed session with the prowlers in the morning and a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu grappling session in the afternoon."
Like many of the Pro12 sides, young players will get their opportunity during the World Cup months and Black has every confidence they will do well.
"The new players have settled in really well and the Academy guys have stepped up to the plate in training. We'll have a lot of boys involved in the World Cup, and we wish them all the best, but Doaky (Neil Doak) has said from the off that this is the group that will take us through the start of the season. We've got a lot of confidence within the squad," he continued.
"We know that a lot of teams are also going to have players missing so it's a key opportunity for us to get a good start. We've targeted the first five games – if we can get five wins that will put us in a good place to finish in the top two at the end of the season and that is a minimum requirement for this squad.
"When the boys come back from the World Cup hopefully we'll be in a good place and they can add to that on their return.
"The way last season finished was hard to take and it took a while to get over it. But it has added motivation for us to come back again this season and really take it a step further, because we know we're good enough."