There is no doubt that footballers are amongst the most finely tuned athletes in the world.
They must look after their bodies with the utmost dedication to survive the rigours of the modern game. There is also little argument that there are few current players who have been able to feature in as many matches over the last seven or eight years as Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill.
Yet the defender in speaking to coachmag.co.uk about the training he does in preparation for games revealed the players who are the strongest in most team gyms.
Now when asked to think about the strongest players around today, you would be forgiven if a bulky target man forward or a fierce, hard as a rock, centre-back instantly comes to mind.
But Cahill insists it is actually the shot-stoppers between the posts who impress him the most.
"The keepers dominate the gym. They’re powerhouses. Massive!" Cahill told Coach magazine.
While it is perhaps not surprising that the giant hulking frames of most goalkeepers can lift the heaviest weights, Cahill was very enlightening on the extent of the gym work he puts in before matches.
"In the gym I’m usually doing a lot of core work and upper-body work. They’re the main things for my position. I do some leg work but not as much because of the workload we do in training.
"For my core I do sit-ups and planks and I use the weighted cable machine that helps to work your trunk. For upper-body work I do bench presses, overhead presses, biceps curls and a lot of dips."
This is clearly a man who believes in the motto 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail' as the agility and strength he displays on match days are due to the hours of hard work put in behind the scenes. The England defender also spoke about the importance of nutrition in the life of an elite athlete.
He continued: "The main thing is understanding your diet. We’re lucky in that respect because we have food made for us and we’re trained to understand it.
"You get to educate yourself about your food. That is the key. If you have a heavy [training] day, eat more. If it’s a light day, eat different foods. So it is really about educating yourself about food."
Most of us admire and certainly envy the lifestyle of the highly paid modern footballer. However, a lot of hard work and sacrifices go into producing the on-field performances that enthrall fans around the world.
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