Professional footballers come under fire for a whole host of reasons. One of the common ones is that they have such an easy life. Well, I’m not having that to be honest. They’re hounded by the media at every opportunity. They sacrifice their privacy, they’re rarely taking it easy and partying with booze and takeaways and that’s just the start.
Sometimes we get into the mindset of all they’re doing is kicking the ball around for 90 minutes and getting a bucket load of cash in return. Yes they’re often on obscene amounts of money, but the level of training and dedication is no joke.
Have a read and see what it is actually like to train like a Premier League footballer and then decide if they have it so easy.
I know everyone’s definition of easy will be different, but most footballers are training twice a day six days a week and watching what they eat and drink 24/7. Their one rest day is probably spent with one eye on a recurring injury, an upcoming game or making time for their family and loved ones.
Due to the level of training and high intensity matches it is no surprise that a lot of time is spent on recovery.
Players can easily cover 10km in a match and still be expected to clock in for training at the crack of dawn the following day, so allowing plenty of time to recover is a must. The typical recovery phase is 48 hours after a game and consists of ice baths and the wearing of compression tights to promote blood flow and increase oxygen levels to the muscles.
Gone are the days when all players needed to do was kick a ball around to be match sharp. The game has evolved and modern day footballers really are superb athletes. The likes of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular have crazy physiques and wouldn’t look out of place in a 100m sprint lineup.
To get to this level means very strict diet and nutrition as well as focused workouts. A typical day will usually consist of football training in the morning, followed by a workout in the afternoon.
Having a standard workout day in day out would soon become tedious and too predictable to be of any use, so the training and workouts are very varied for a few reasons.
Firsty, a top club in the height of the season doing well in a few competitions may well be playing three times a week, clearly during these times nutrition and tactical training for specific games will take up most of their time.
During the pre season it is very intensive in terms of getting the players back in shape.
Football at the highest level is frightening. The levels of skill and athleticism on display is amazing to see. Developing speed and explosiveness is vital if you want to survive in today’s game.
Players now spend a lot of time on plyometric training to achieve those levels of speed and explosiveness. Workouts usually focus on very low reps at high speeds. Power cleans and hurdle jumps are some of the more popular exercises.
The only way that anyone would be able to perform at this level consistently is by making sure their body gets exactly what it needs in terms of nutrients. What we eat and drink is basically fuel for our bodies.
Footballers need to make sure they drink lots of water to stay hydrated as well as making sure they’re having lots of lean proteins, vegetables and supplements to aid recovery.
Luckily they’re not on their own here. The majority of this is prepared for them.
Now don’t go thinking footballers do all of this on their own. The reason they’re able to maintain the level of fitness is due to all of the experts around them. Clubs have an army of staff at hand to help including doctors, physiotherapists, nutritional experts, chefs and more.
This means regular massages when required, the perfect diets including all the correct macros as and when needed and the best in the business in terms of doctors and surgeons to look at any potential injuries and get them back on their feet as soon as possible.
As you can see it takes a lot more than kicking the ball around for 90 minutes to be a footballer. These guys really are at the peak in terms of fitness and they have got there through sheer hard work and determination. On top of that they have gave up a hell of a lot to get there.
They entertain millions upon millions of us week in week out as well as putting up with all of the added extras that comes with being a famous role model to millions.
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