The new-look James Slipper has been living Brad Thorn's "lift big, eat big, get big" mantra for his expected Saturday return from a torn achilles.
Packing on an extra 10kg in the gym starts at breakfast for Slipper every morning when he devours four pieces of toast, three eggs, bacon, avocado and haloumi as fuel.
The 86-Test prop has hit 120kg, his heaviest in five years, for a likely comeback for 20 minutes with Queensland Country against the Greater Sydney Rams in Sydney on Saturday.
His first game in seven months would be a wonderful landmark considering he felt "a bit clumsy and awkward with my legs" when he returned to running in August.
Well before Thorn's unveiling as the new Reds coach last week, Slipper was under his influence in the gym.
"Thorny pushes everyone to do their best in the gym ... it's 'lift big, eat big, get big' with him and my strength is better than it has been for years," Slipper said.
"I've never been a watcher of rugby so I struggled watching the Reds and the Wallabies when the heart was always to be out there playing."
A strength-building off-season may prove a blessing for Slipper, who has a handful of National Rugby Championship matches to show if he's ready for a role with the touring Wallabies next month.