Ever wanted a body like Cristiano Ronaldo?
Well, the Portuguese and Real Madrid superstar has opened up about the secret to his steel-like six pack.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner was speaking at the launch of his new fitness chain ‘CR7 Crunch Fitness’ and revealed the intense programme behind his incredible abs.
Asked if he does 3,000 sit-ups each day, Ronaldo said: “I do them 4-5 times a week, but the minimum is 200-300.
“It’s about the maintenance, but you should try and avoid doing too many – when you do that you get a hernia or problems with your discs.”
“They are the basic exercises, really good for the front and the back, but 3,000? No, I don’t even do 3,000 a week.”
He may be 32, but Ronaldo is still looking in tip top shape as Real Madrid go in search of more La Liga and Champions League glory.
Our top five bitesize chunks of training advice will help you get more from your sessions, train harder and avoid injuries.
From the best athletes in the world to regular gym-goers, the following five points are applicable for all.
Take these onboard and you can’t go too far wrong:
The natural human instinct is to keep on training and training, pushing yourself as hard as you can.
Ultimately, though, if you adopt this approach – you will eventually grind your body to a halt.
Adequate rest allows your body to fully recover from intense physical activity, reduce inflammation and give muscles the opportunity to build and regenerate.
Rest in-between sessions will help your body stay fresh and avoid injury. As will practices like using ice baths or simply a foam roller.
This is applicable to the very best athletes – from Cristiano Ronaldo to Andy Murray – rest and recovery is absolutely vital to high performance levels.
MIX UP YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE
Variety is the spice of life and all.
Avoid getting bored or fed up of your training programme by mixing things up as much as possible, changing training locations and disciplines.
For example, if you’re a runner – mix up your running routes to keep your workouts fresh and mind active.
If you’re a gymer, the same rule of thumb applies, i.e. complete arm sets one day, legs the next – it’s generally just good to keep your brain guessing and you’ll see the long-term benefits.
AVOID USING YOUR MOBILE PHONE
This is a classic and just common sense.
Okay, so we’re all guilty of looking at our phones during a training session sometimes, but try and just keep your phone in the changing room.
Constantly checking and replying to messages, changing music track and not switching off from the world will slow down the intensity of your training dramatically.
By using your phone, you could spend up to 20 minutes more in the gym, instead of an intensive more meaningful stint where you’re working close to your maximum heart rate.
The latter is where you want to be. This will help you increase your lactate threshold point and you will notice the overall impact on your fitness level.
EATING THE WRONG THINGS
Most of us feel hungry after exercise but make sure you top up your body with the right fuel.
Protein is the best post-workout source as it helps to rebuild muscle tissue and aid recovery.
Avoid heavy carbohydrates or fatty snacks after training, eating too much really defeats the object of working out in the first place!
USING THE WRONG KIT
Our final point isn’t quite as important as the four above, but nevertheless, make sure you are well kitted out and prepared for the activity you’re undertaking.
For example, if you’re training for a marathon – buy the right footwear to fit your foot type. Otherwise, you risk injury.
From professional athletes to regular gym-goers, if you feel good with what you’re wearing it will boost your confidence.
Research has also shown that it can have a positive impact on performance.
By eating the right snacks, you can eat your way to a flatter stomach.
There’s a myth that to get a washboard stomach you have to do hundreds of sit-ups per day and skip snacks/meals – but simply put, it’s all about consuming the right types of food.
Try these top five snack choices for starters:
Yes, indeed – you did read this right.
Dark chocolate is packed with various minerals such as potassium, zinc and selenium – all of which can boost your overall health.
The consumption of cocoa can also reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and because dark chocolate contains less calories, it has more weight loss benefits than normal dairy milk varieties.
Recent studies also found that dark chocolate can help blood flow and prevent white blood cells sticking to the walls of blood vessels.
Chocolate, obviously, is high in fat – but if eaten in moderation, the darker variety certainly has its advantages.
Studies have proven that eggs are a great protein-rich food to have for breakfast and will make you feel fuller throughout the day. As a result, you’ll resist the urge to eat and eat.
The fact they are extremely fulfilling, especially when you start your day with eggs, means you’ll likely to need less calories to keep your energy levels high.
Although high in regular fat, Avocados contain monosaturated fatty acids – which reduce so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Avocados are also rich in important minerals such as vitamin E, iron and potassium.
In addition, the fruit contains fibre, including both soluble and insoluble types, enabling the slower breakdown of carbohydrates into your bloodstream – spreading out energy stores over the course of your day.
The sub-heading is slightly mis-leading as other fruits apply here, too – such as grapes and strawberries.
They all contain anthocyanins, which is simply a pigment that gives fruits like berries different colours. Importantly, though, the pigments (plant chemicals) attack belly fat in your body and will help you get that flat stomach you’re after.
It’s a cliche but one apple a day can help keep the doctor away.
Eating an apple is a perfect snack and contains lots of fibre and vitamins, which will stem the flow of hunger in your body.