The Premier League is back and we’re all excited to see our favourite teams in action. For many of us, this means the return to some structure and hopefully a return to the pitch, the gym or just training in the park with your friends!
Premier league athletes will go from training at home to an intense match schedule with games every couple of days. We have spoke to our specialists and had a word with our ambassador Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain about how he is preparing for the return. Hopefully we can provide you with some insights and tips you can use for your own training.
Intensity is everything
One of the key areas of emphasis for our athletes is intensity. We’re all familiar with this in some way or another, pre-lockdown you may have played a killer game of 5-a-side that has left you suffering on the way home. It could even be an attempt at a PB for a 5k run as many of us have tried during lockdown. Either way, we all have our own way of reaching an intense level of training and its something most of us are familiar with.
If you take that feeling of intensity and push it to the most elite level you can think of, this is the challenge facing many Premier League athletes in this game period.
What makes it all the more difficult, is that replicating that match day intensity without playing an actual game is very challenging. Core workouts and cardio is key but to truly prepare for a Premier league match there is nothing like playing. So, how do footballers prepare?
One way to prepare is with high intensity interval training. We have some great examples of this training here but to give you an overview, this kind of training uses high intensity intervals. Typically this includes, aerobic exercises (sprints and short bursts of energy) plus resistance training (weights, resistance bands etc). These high intensity bursts are followed by a short rest or low intensity exercise before repeating the high intensity exercises.
Training like this is a fantastic way to burn calories and fat. A 30 minute HIIT session will really get your blood pumping like no other. To quote our ambassador Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain:
“HIIT is the closest we can get to replicating our movement on the pitch. With intense pressing and attacking we use short bursts of energy followed by low intensity running. We rarely have chance to pause during Premier League matches and our training reflects that”
Resistance and Weight Training
If you’re following premier league footballers on social media you will have seen many varied routines. To maintain their strength and power, resistance training plays a key part in this. Core workouts will keep their stabilising muscles strong which is key to avoiding injury. Many will also add resistance through the use of bands and weights to increase the intensity of these exercises.
It would be unfair to discuss Premier league fitness without mentioning cardio. This of course plays its part in every athletes training routine. As an example, you will have no doubt seen many footballers posting their 5k times on social media. Even still, a lot of players, especially those in central midfield will record over 10k in distance during a game. They will often do this in short sprints too, serious fitness levels needed!
Intensity training will be your key to getting match fit. This applies to almost all sports that require sprinting and high intensity. For 5-a-side players this goes without saying, the game is almost defined by its intensity. However, this also applies to Badminton, Tennis, Rugby etc.
We would always recommend resistance and strength training but as long as you’ve been hitting the core workouts at least 3 times a week you should have maintained much of your pre-lockdown strength. This of course, depends on your nutrition too. If you’re maintaining a good daily intake of protein you’re likely to find your muscle mass has maintained - it takes 3 weeks before any signs of real muscle loss and even still you can slow this down by supplying your muscles with much needed protein. This differs greatly to aerobic and cardio training where resting for just a couple of days could you see your fitness begin to decline.
We’ll be giving you the details on how premier league athletes such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have altered and ‘optimised’ their diet next… Stay tuned!
The Supreme Nutrition Team