Train Like a Pro to Party Like a Pro

Cristiano Ronaldo

Who wouldn't want to shag a room full of bimbo groupies, crash an Aston Martin, and whip out their junk to piss on the dance floor of a trendy nightclub just because they can?

To be a professional footballer, and enjoy all the fun things that come with that, you need to have an extreme amount of skill though. You also need a bit of dedication to your craft, and in the high paced modern game you'll need the body of an Adonis.

So when they're not beating up mouthy teenagers outside of a McDonalds at 3am or threatening DJ's lives for not playing Phil Collins, what do today's footballers do to stay in shape?

Well besides doing a bit of running and mucking about with a ball, modern footballers have to spend some time in the gym. Most football coaches recommend squats, lunges and more squats. So for those of you that hit the gym occasionally, and hate leg day, this will come as bad news if you still harbour delusional dreams of making it as a footballer.

Nani

Squats help to boost endurance and also aid in reducing the number of injuries by building up your quads and overall lower limb strength.

Lunges on the other hand will improve your explosive speed. So if you're a top professional footballer for Valencia or a slightly overweight 40 year old for the Dog and Duck if you want to be able to burst past defenders, or escape from angry nightclub bouncers, you'll want to get some walking lunges into your routine.

Building a strong core is also key to being a fit footballer. Former England striker Teddy Sheringham, who played into his 40's, would always stay behind after training to complete 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups, five sets of 20. A lot of modern professionals also train using the TRX training system which adds a stability element, making it harder for your shoulders and abdominals to stabilize. Sort of a two for one exercise if you're into that sort of pain and suffering.

Liverpool TRX


In terms of running, the type of running needed for football is very different than what long distance runners do. I've seen people who run cross country 4 or 5 times a week, at a good pace, collapse in a heap on a football pitch. Manchester City's conditioning coach, the highly regarded Simon Bitcon, recommended the following for footballers in a recent interview with FourFourTwo:

  • Jog: 5 minutes
  • Three-quarter pace run: 5 minutes
  • Walk: 1 minute
  • Three-quarter pace run: 4 minutes
  • Walk: 1 minute 
  • Sprint: 1 minute
  • Walk: 1 minute
  • Sprint: 1 minute
Sounds like fun doesn't it?

Some footballers, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, use swimming as another way to stay fit and reduce the risk of injury. Swimming for footballers and the average Joe like you and me can help build cardiovascular endurance.

Swimming


Finally, as difficult as this may sound, you should also try to cut back on your alcohol, as most drinks are filled with empty calories and can even slow down your recovery from aches, pains and injuries. It's no mystery that the majority of the players that go on to long careers are not big drinkers, whereas the guys who like a night out generally don't last as long. But they likely have more fun I'm guessing.
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