Jack Gunston has rediscovered the running power that defined his early career and believes his mid-season training block can be the catalyst to add a new dimension to Brisbane's already potent forward mix.

After a month away from the AFL to rejuvenate his body, Gunston returned on Saturday with a bang, kicking six goals in the Lions' 81-point romp over West Coast.

It wasn't just the goal tally – the equal most in his 237-game career – it was Gunston's movement and work around the ground that impressed.

He gathered 20 disposals, with 15 of them resulting in scores as he roamed well outside the forward 50.

"That's what I did early on in my career, got up to the wings, got up to half-back and got involved," Gunston said following his big day out.

"As the years have gone on, I've probably got a bit deeper.

"It was great to have the confidence in my body to cover the ground and get up and get back.

"It was a good way to get involved because sometimes up forward you can be starved of opportunities, especially when you've got so many stars running around the forward line."

Gunston and fellow veteran Daniel Rich were left out of Brisbane's team following its shock round 13 loss to Hawthorn, sent back to undergo a training block and sort their bodies out.

They were "joined at the hip", completing running sessions of up to 14 kilometres, and adding extra aerobic work on the bike, in the pool and doing extra gym circuits.

Gunston said he simply didn't have the power in his legs prior to the break.

"It was great to take a step back, have a couple of kilometres in the legs and do a few really solid sessions," he said.

"I just felt today I could cover the ground better and keep running and rip out and then rip back and keep working.

"It was what the coaches wanted me to do … get up, use my engine and try and link up between the arcs.

"It gets you in the game and it might bring another dynamic to this forward line. We've obviously got some strong targets deep and some crumbing forwards that are really lively.

"If I can be a link-up guy and use my engine and get back to goal, it might be another dimension."

Coach Chris Fagan was delighted with Gunston's comeback, while acknowledging sterner tests await – starting with Friday night's blockbuster against Melbourne at the MCG.

"He moved a whole lot better than what he was before he had the month off, so hopefully it's done him some good," Fagan said.

"Kicking a few goals will certainly help his confidence. 

"I just want to see him get up the field and get involved in in the offense, which I think he did. 

"He was in this vicious cycle of play, recover, not really train much during the week, and we just felt it was a good idea to give him that one month (off) because he is a good athlete, and I think today he feels like the old Jack, the athletic Jack is back.

"We won't shout it from the rooftops or get too excited by it, but certainly a step in the right direction."

Gunston's haul came just three days after the one-year anniversary of the passing of his father, Ray.

He said it was an emotional week, but a good one with his family nearby.

Aside from the physical benefit of not playing week-to-week, Gunston said the time away gave him a chance to take a bird's eye view of his new team.

After 11 seasons with Hawthorn, it was apparent early in the year his new teammates weren't quite on the same page, often missing his smart hit-up leads.

"It probably just started wearing on me mentally, not getting the ball, and the patterns I was running," he said.

"It was great to be able to sit up in the stats box for at least two of those games and just watch the patterns and how the players play.

"When you have a few weeks off you start to miss it, that's what the whole theory was behind the three, four weeks of training, just to get the kilometres in the legs and get that thirst to want to play footy again.

"I didn't have any doubt in my ability to perform. I just think when you step back you get a better gauge."