World Cup Workouts

 Cristiano Ronaldo

I noticed over the course of 'my' World Cup Football/Soccer campaign, that the majority of the players are extremely lean!

Now you may be thinking, "Ah yeah, but they are elite athletes, they get paid to be that fit!" And that's true. However, these guys are generally muscular and relatively injury free.

So why am I writing about them, read on...

Football or 'soccer' players are not known for impressively muscular frames due to the type of sport football is. They generally tend to have slight upper bodies and strong-wiry lower bodies.  But I noticed an influx of 'buff' players in the cup and many of them being important work horses in their teams.

I came across some impressive stats throughout the cup, many of which really opened my eyes to what the body is capable of:
  • The top players that played 7 games in the tournament, covered a distance of 84km (majority of time is spent walking and jogging).
  • The top speeds of these players were between 27-33km per hour.
  • Some players played up to 720mins total (12 hours of playing time).
  • Lionel Messi (Argentinian Superstar) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portuguese Superstar) play around 50 games per year (depends on progressions through tournaments).
So despite my old understandings of football players both from my watching and playing park football/soccer, I now have a new found respect for the rigors that these elite footballers go through.

So can we apply these understandings of their sport and apply it to our training for improved health and fitness?

For the general population, No!
For gym junkies looking to be huge, No!
For sport specific training, Yes.

I wouldn't expect anyone to go out and do 90-120 minutes of staggered interval training like the football players do, to get ripped like this...
 ... but for many of us to say that it is too hard, is ludicrous. These guys are proven again that the textbooks don't always run true. In a relative sense a strong balanced commitment to a strength and conditioning program could definitely achieve decent results and not require you to become a bodybuilder.

And even though I can't watch another player dive because someone called them a name or breathed on them, I can now watch with a new sense of respect for football players.

Thanks for reading.