07.08.2019 » How to be fit like Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is widely recognised as one of the fittest players in football, with his physique the envy of many of his contemporaries. The Juventus and Portugal star is still at the peak of his powers, but he hasn't achieved that level without putting in a ton of hard work. His current levels of fitness are in stark contrast to the wiry framed teenager who left Sporting Lisbon for Manchester United back in 2003. Strict training regimes have helped Ronaldo hone his current physique, helping him remain one of the best players in world football. Read on as we look at how to be fit like Ronaldo...
Cristiano Ronaldo - Workaholic
Be ready to hit the gym
Ronaldo has worked extremely hard on his physique, spending hours in the gym to ensure he maintains a supreme level of fitness.
He works out five days a week for around 3-4 hours, mixing the sessions between physical and cardiovascular.
This level of activity gives Ronaldo a body fat level of under 10 percent, making him one of the fittest footballers on the planet.
His gym activity incorporates a mix of speed, strength, endurance, functional and explosive work designed to give him an extra edge during games.
In an interview with FourFourTwo Magazine, the Portuguese star laid out his ideal training regime to help maximise performance.
"High intensity is important to get your blood pumping and to increase stamina," he said. "We do a lot of sprinting drills in training and they can be incorporated into your workout whether you are in the gym or outdoors. Try and add it to every workout you do."
"Cardio sessions are also key for building up endurance and stamina, and to stay trim. Try to do periods of around 30 minutes, increasing the number of sessions as you get stronger."
Match preparation is key
Muscle injuries are common in football, so undertaking a proper warm-up before matches is an essential part of the game.
Sudden exertion of cold muscles significantly increases the risk of injury and places additional load on ligaments and tendons.
Top class clubs generally undertake a warm-up routine that takes around 30 minutes to complete and is timed to ensure players are at their peak when the action gets underway.
The session will include a mix of cardiovascular activity, stretching, core exercises and ball work, with each element designed to help minimise the risk of injury. Ronaldo paces huge importance on undertaking the best pre-match workout possible.
"Warming up properly prevents injury," he added. "In training we do a few laps of the pitch, stretching and cardio warm up exercises."
"Make sure you do something similar in your training, even if it is jogging to the gym or a warm-up on the treadmill or bicycle."
"Mix it up. I recommend a combination of cardio (running and rowing) and weight training to ensure that workouts target all areas of the body and increase both strength and stamina. It also helps to keep it interesting."
Research has shown that eating a healthy diet is an essential part of maintaining peak fitness and performance levels.
Most professional clubs utilise the expertise of nutritionists who will monitor their players’ diet and formulate specific eating plans for each individual.
An increased amount of carbohydrate intake in the run-up to the game helps to increase endurance and ensures a player can successfully make it through the 90 minutes.
Ronaldo says he eats little amounts on a regular basis and steers clear of eating unhealthy foods as much as possible.
"I watch my diet, eat healthily and avoid things that are bad for me like alcohol, sugary sodas and processed foods," he said. "I focus on eating simple whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein."
"I really like fresh fish and try to get a lot of my protein from it. I also stay hydrated with a sports drink that gives me energy for training and matches."
"It has a mix of carbohydrates that boosts endurance and is lower than many other sports drinks in sugar. It also contains electrolytes to help with hydration and vitamin B12 that fights fatigue."
Rest and Recovery
Ronaldo was taught about the importance of rest and recovery early in his career and he has continued to reap the rewards since then.
During his time at Real Madrid he met sleep coach, Nick Littlehales, who helped him create an optimal sleeping routine.
Littlehales recommends trying for five 90-minute sleeps rather than one long sleep, keeping electronic devices out of the bedroom and using an appropriate mattress for your body shape.
Ronaldo has embraced the philosophy, incorporating it into an off-field regime that keeps him performing at his best.
"Proper sleep is really important for getting the most out of training," he said. "I go to bed early and get up early, especially before matches. Sleep helps muscles recover which is really important."
"Training and physical sessions are most important, but living a relaxed lifestyle helps you to be the best you can be, physically and mentally. I spend my free time with family and friends, which keeps me relaxed and in a positive mind-set."
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Juve is a pre-season friendly for the International Champions Cup on August 10 of 2019, against Atletico Madrid. You can watch Juventus vs Atletico, Red Bull Salzburg vs Real Madrid, Barcelona vs Napoli, Liverpool vs Norwich City, Tottenham vs Aston Villa, and Crystal Palace vs Everton, all matches provided from our football live game pages.
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Juventus vs Atletico Madrid kick-off time (10-08-2019):
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