Training Like a Pro
Work hard, play hard!
There isn’t a demographic that doesn’t love watching football and one of the reasons is that the sport has become such a spectacle. But whilst the footballers might make the game look easier than it is, one thing is for certain – their training regimes are not easy (four hours a day to be exact!)
We give you a rundown of each area that professional footballers are expected to train and how exactly to go about it in our centres:
When it comes to agility, it’s not all about physical training. Having the mental ability to react fast in a game of football is essential, and again, what sets players apart in their capacity to out-wit or use ‘skills’ to trick an opponent away from the ball.
As well as requiring good speed to execute each movement, good agility mainly relies on the power that comes from a mind to muscle connection. Both the thinking behind each movement, what movements to choose and the physical strength that drives it. As much as the development of muscle capacity in strength training is great here – one of our classes could be even better!
Try BODYCOMBAT™, BODYPUMP™ or Les Mills™ to grow muscle strength alongside the development of the mind-body connection in a physically demanding context. These classes combine weight with dynamic movements to mimic similar gestures that might be found on the pitch or in other athletic sports.
Speed is one of the primary characteristics that footballers need to succeed, allowing them to pace around the field towards the goal to score or towards an opponent to defend their side
Cardio in the form of HIIT is a great way to practice and build on the energy needed to drive short bursts of fitness in a game of football. This can be done using any cardio machine of your choice from a treadmill or bike to performing sequences using bodyweight movements. Hill sprints, interval runs, and fartlek’s are also great methods to practice if HIIT isn’t your thing.
Those who run will know that speed is nothing without stamina. Often an overlooked trait, stamina is vital to any sportsman, providing them with the long-term endurance needed to carry their best performance through the duration of a game.
Steady-state cardio with bursts of high intensity here (much like in a game of football) are best for stamina. Footballers generally carry out 25-30 minutes of cardio in their training, around 5 times a week. Our advice? Start slow, build up and add sprints where possible (try sprinting for the last 5 minutes of a run or for 1 minute every 5 minutes and slowly build up the frequency when you feel comfortable to do so). Don’t hesitate to mix up cardio in the form of swimming, cycling or jumping rope to build strength in different muscles – the benefits of multi-sport practice are undisputed!
No matter whether you’re a professional footballer, boxer, ballerina or just your average gym-goer – recovery is critical. So critical that footballers take two days out of their week just to focus on resting. Resting and recuperating is necessary to give athletes’ minds and bodies much needed time to recover– whether it be healing and slowing down mentally or rebuilding the muscles that have been worked.
Recovery comes in many forms:
Refuel. Nutrition and hydration are key in the recovery process. Footballers follow a strict diet plan. Protein intake contributes towards the rebuilding of muscles whilst high-fibre and probiotic rich diets will feed the good bacteria in the gut – one of the biggest impactors of mental and physical health.
Want to know more about gut health? Read our Pointer:
Rest. Professional footballers are advised upon 8-10 hours of sleep every day to allow their bodies to heal and recuperate.
If you struggle with good quality sleep or just want to know more about the importance of it, read our Pointer:
Recuperate. Sleep is undoubtedly the most important form of recovery, but what about recovery during the day? Rest days are just as important as training days and often come in the form of recovery cardio, stretching and fitness massages. Engaging in these activities is incredibly beneficial in really kickstarting the healing process – reducing tension, improving circulation and promoting relaxation.
Recovery swims take our vote as being the easiest on the muscles and joints. Find out more about the physical benefits of swimming in our article: