Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi athletes hit heat chambers as part of Olympic preparations

Olympic athletes are praising the addition of four more heat chambers around the country, as preparations for the Tokyo Games hit full swing.

On Thursday, the Blacksticks men's hockey team made use of the Auckland chamber, doing their best to acclimatise to conditions never seen before at an Olympics. 

The team hit AUT Millenium's heat chamber, designed for athletes to prepare for the heat of  Tokyo.

They'll be the hottest on record with temperatures reaching the 40s celsius and humidity up to 100 percent. The temperature in the chamber was 37.1 C.

"We all recognise this is the work we need to do to even just survive out there in Tokyo," Dylan Thomas tells Newshub. "There's always a hurt locker and you just need to push through."

Most athletes will get a taste of the chamber before competing, with four others set up in Mt Maunganui, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.

And Thomas admits the Blacksticks have already come a long way since their initial stints inside.

"When we first did the heat chamber, there was a few fainters and a few spewers, but the more we do, the better people get."

They know the hurt they endure now will be worth it when they arrive in Tokyo.

While practice events for athletes to acclimatise on the ground have been called off this year, the Black Sticks have had a taste of what they'll deal with come July.

"We experienced these conditions on pretty much the exact same dates as what these Olympics will be," says Sam Lane. "So we recognised then that the work we're doing right now does actually pay off in the end over there."

Assistant performance physiologist Lorenz Kissling says just being in the chamber pushes athletes to the limit.

"They can lose up to 3-4 litres an hour, just sweating it out, " Kissling tells Newshub.

Olympic glory doesn't come without pain.