If you are a distance runner, you will know that a three-week ‘taper’, when you gradually reduce training, is recommended before an event. This will allow muscles to rest after their most fatigued period. Three weeks is within the period that muscles do not deteriorate, so you should be both strong and rested.
It has been three weeks since the Scottish Cup Final, so the Celtic players who arrived back at Lennoxtown this morning to start preseason training will be ready for the strength training ahead. Champions League qualifiers are a further three weeks away. All other things being equal, that will be enough time to ensure Celtic are ready, but even the first round could present a serious challenge, so there is serious work to do this week.
What you gain in summer fitness costs you later. Three weeks is not a proper rest period, the body needs more time to recover from the exertions of a long season. Celtic players are not unique in this respect, but they carry a burden not shared by many others in Scotland. We need to find fresh energy, not to mention motivation, for the challenges ahead.