Being fit is more about a lifestyle than it is about working out, reducing body fat or building muscles. Successful athletes adhere to practices that make lifestyle full of nourishment for the body and eventually their skills. This involves sticking to a diet, a routine and a workout regime, among other do’s & don’ts.
The pursuit of fitness often is to look good or improve yourself at a sport. But how about looking good while excelling at a sport? We bet you see a clear difference between Cristiano Ronaldo or Kylian Mbappe on the pitch and Jamie Vardy or Harry Kane. Both sets of players are equally skilled, recognised & accomplished in their own ways. But why does a Ronaldo goal make bigger headlines than a Vardy goal? Simple- Ronaldo makes himself and his team look much better while he does what he does.
Football fans across the world are no strangers to the fitness regimes of the likes of CR7. But what are the essential elements of these regimes that hold the key for a professional footballer’s fitness & health? Let’s find out!
The basic idea is to give enough support to your skills for further development or ‘upskilling’. So the principles are divided into two types:
What makes a body strong or weak? The answer is protein, carbs & fat. But let’s not get into the technical.
Common dietary mistakes
Having an appropriate diet is a meticulous endeavour. With
- High sugar is always bad
- Sticking to just high protein or high carb diet
The key to giving your body what a skilled footballer should involves 5 simple steps:
1- Eat Fruits & Vegetables:
Let’s put it this way - the wider the range of colours in your diet, the better it is for your body. Two of the main functions of fruits & vegetables is hydration during training and muscle recovery after training. As fruits & vegetables are rich in antioxidants, they also help in combating illnesses that come because of physical exposure like a cold or the flu.
2- Eat the Right Carbohydrates:
Whole grain carbohydrate sources like whole-wheat bread and cereals rich in fibre are ideal energy sources for an active body. The disadvantages of alternatives to these are excess fat storage, high sugar content and much more.
3- Pick Your Protein Sources Carefully:
Protein comes from a lot of sources, but it is advisable to get it from the ones that have low fatty carbs. The ideal choices here would be chicken, egg whites, turkey, fish & solid dry fruits rather than the likes of red meat.
The ideal options to stay hydrated would include milk, water, 100 per cent fruit juice and sports drinks. Basically drinks with low content of complex sugar or sucrose. Some sports drinks have sugar content, but they’re usually essential for immediate revival. Their natural alternative like natural juice may lack in sugar content (not recommended for high-fatigue and high-perspiration body types).
5- Stick to Whole Food:
Mother nature gives all the right ingredients, so it is vital to stick to non-processed food as much as possible.
You’ve given your body the nutrition it needs. Now, how about utilising it? The key to staying fit is a continuance in energy consumption & energy exhaustion.
Common Workout Mistakes
- The more you workout, the better the results
- High cardio routine is the best for stamina
Let us have a look at some of the ideal ways of energy exhaustion a.k.a. work out.
Training- HIIT does not refer to the exercises. As the name suggests, it’s about maintaining & circulating a high-intensity routine for different exercise sets. Continuous cycling engages many muscles & body parts, so it is considered to be one of the most effective exercises. But HIIT cycling would mean increasing the intensity of cycling for 30 seconds-1 minute and then reducing the RPM (intensity) for just as long or longer and then repeating it. It is simple, exhaustive and effective.
Now, when the purpose is to lose weight or build general stamina, you can go for cardio or movement packed exercises. If building lean muscles is the goal, a training routine of two weights sessions and two HIIT sessions a week can help keep you lean, while making sure you aren’t overtrained. Overtraining leads to unnecessary exhaustion and even increased risk of injury.
Some of the popular HIITs are:
- Kettlebell HIIT
- Bicycle/bike HIIT
- Sprint HIIT
- Burpee HIIT
- All out rope HIIT
7- Body-part-workout Routine:
The simplest form of workout routine is to divide 4-5 days a week between different body parts and leave at least two days for rest (one planned & one unplanned).
The general approach is to alternate between challenging and easy body parts. Most outdoor sports like our beloved footy require all your body parts to be strong, swift & resilient. Doing this allows ample time for each body part and its muscles to rest, recover and rejuvenate for the next session.
8- The Pump-builder Routine:
Sometimes it’s about looking good, isn’t it? If you wanna go to the beach over the weekend, it’s good to look buff. Just do this to get the muscle pump: on the two days before the beach visit, do three body parts each (sets of three for each exercise- at least two exercises). But this time, instead of increasing the reps, increase the weight (not considerably).
9- The Routine:
It all boils down to this- the mind or the body does better with consistency. Adapting to any change requires effort, and effort requires energy. Would you rather use that energy to improve your fitness/skills or to constant & unnecessary change adaptation. An erratic sleep or diet schedule requires too much physical & mental effort. But a consistent one keeps your body functioning smoothly.
All we want to do is go out there play, our hearts out and look good doing it! The above basics of diet & activity are just guides to give you an idea or get started. A truly skillful endeavour would be complete by putting your heart & soul into fitness and a sport. Want to see how other football enthusiasts are keeping up with their fitness regime & pain management? Download the Kool Stories app to become a member of the skill domain of your choice to learn, network and connect with fellow like-minded learners and professionals. Join the exclusive #Koolcommunity now.
Frequently Asked Queries
Q1. Which exercise is best for football?
While only regular practice can make your game better, some specific workouts and exercises help you get stronger and more prepared for football. These most effective football gym workouts include:
Q2. How do footballers get fitness?
Football is one of those sports where athletes have to be fit in all areas. Strength, speed, agility and endurance are just some of the qualities footballers possess. There are a number of effective football fitness exercises that can be applied to the average person to get into good physical form.
Footballers need to a combination of speed, power, agility and strength to succeed on the field, and that means a lot of time spent in the gym. Footballers spend countless hours in off-season training to improve their physical performance. They sprint, jog, jump, lift dumbbells, kettle, throw medicine balls, spin tyres, push cars, tow sleds, and the list goes on.
Q3. Which foods increase stamina for running?
What you eat is equally essential to your training. To maximise the impact of your workouts and increase your stamina, strength and speed for running, include these power foods in your meal plans:
3. Brown rice
6. Peanut butter
7. Citrus fruits
11. Dark chocolate
Q4. How can I improve my stamina and fitness for football?
Fitness and conditioning are additional exercises in each training session. Endurance exercises help players work on their stamina and strength while running. Not only in football these exercises can be sprints or running times.
Q5. How do I increase my stamina for football?
Good stamina is indicative of a healthy lifestyle and is crucial for all athletic endeavours. For a sport like football, stamina is vital and can dramatically increase your performance. Building stamina is all about training the body’s muscle fibres, and they can be trained over time to build the endurance that a footballer requires. Here are some practical ways to increase your stamina:
1.Go for combination exercises like cardio, circuit training, plyometric movements.
2.Focus on compound movements like squats, sprinting, fartlek training, and cross-training.
3.Stretch after your training and workout.
4.Eat clean and consume a well-balanced diet.
6.Get ample rest and give your body time to recover.
7.Stay consistent with your workout.
Q6. What is the best diet for a footballer?
As a general rule, try to eat whole grain pasta, bread and rice. Try not to overeat fat. Avoid white potatoes and refined carbs, like white bread. Fruit and vegetables are a crucial component of any healthy footballer's diet. If you don't like them, well, you need to get to enjoy them!
Q7. Why are footballers so skinny?
Football players are professional athletes. There is minimal fat on football players, so their Body Mass Index is super low.