Hunty’s technically in his post-season break now – but does that mean he’s taking it easy? Of course not! If you want to hit next season harder than ever before here’s what Hunty’s recommendations are!
Welcome back everyone!
It˘ been an exciting end to the season in all leagues and I˘€žËm sure everyone˘ looking forward to the World Cup. As my season finished a week ago, I˘€žËm going to show you what I do to keep fit over the break.
My last game of the season was May 8th, most clubs are back in training around July 1st. This is over 6 weeks of rest, it˘ a time for players to relax, unwind and recharge for next season. There are some players that are playing over 40 games in a season and they need their rest otherwise they˘€žËll cause injury.
Of the 6 weeks, I like to spend the first 2 weeks doing nothing but relax. I use this time to go away on holiday, after this time it˘ back to getting fit again. It˘ a gradual process, I like to take 3rd week easy by running long distance but at low intensity.
Say a 30 minute run at a steady pace, if you were running with a friend and can˘€žËt talk whilst running then you˘€žËre going too quick. I˘€žËll do these runs every 2/3 days. In-between these days I like to play other sports like tennis, squash, table tennis and also have a kick around with my mates.
Weeks 4 and 5 I like to up the intensity of running and mix it up by doing interval runs (run fast for 4 minutes, jog for 2 minutes, 4 times). I also do what we call doggies, this is where you can set 5 cones out in a line 5 yards apart, then run to first cone back, second cone and back and so on. I cut the longer run down to 20 minutes but increase the intensity.
Week 6 is all that I said before but at around 85% of my maximum heart rate. You can do this by Subtracting your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate (HRmax). For example, the HRmax for a 24-year-old would be 220 – 24 = 196.
As fitness goes this is some of the routines I like to use. I also go to the gym 2/3 times a week and work on my strength, I do this to decrease my chances of injury and to be able to hold my own on the pitch.
One day I˘€žËll do say chest, arms and legs, then another day I˘€žËll do back, shoulders, legs and I always put abs exercises in every session. Players always get injuries, to prevent these we work on where our weaknesses are and build muscle there to stop injury occurring.
On top of this is eating. If you don˘€žËt eat right then the training is pointless. During the season I tend to eat carbohydrates and protein, we burn so many calories a day, we have to make sure we recover and replenish. In the 6 week holidays I tend to cut down on my portions and on carbohydrates in the evening.
If I go to the gym after I˘€žËll have a jacket potato or sweet potato with tuna or chicken and a protein milkshake. When our season finishes we get given a target weight and body fat to come back to, if you don˘€žËt meet that target then you can find yourself paying a steep fine. Players have to enjoy their time off but be reasonable at the same time as our bodies are our tools of the trade.
Try and start your day with porridge, then have mixed lunch with veg, salad, carbs and protein, for dinner keep it varied but keep the calorie intake down. Between these meals you can snack on fruit and maybe some rice or oat cakes.
When we get back to training at beginning of July, it˘ a very tough time and one that I˘€žËm sure most players dread. On the plus most clubs take their players to training camps for a week of tough traing but also team bonding. I˘€žËve had the luck to go to Spain and Austria in my career for pre-season.
So this is what I tend to do to keep fit and healthy over the off season. Don˘€žËt get me wrong, I love chocolate and sweets, I do treat myself especially during the season but in the break period I try to limit my Sunday as a naughty day'¦but sometimes Saturday can add to that!!!
Everyone˘ different but this is what works best for me, have a try and see what suits you. Remember, NO PAIN, NO GAIN!
Until next time,
More from David Hunt
You can also catch Hunty on his own blog “Life of Another League” or at his Twitter.
If you’ve got a question for Hunty, or want to thank him for answering one of your questions before – just leave us a comment below!