Beef up like Bale

Earn a body worthy of lining up next to Real Madrid’s Welsh superstar with these lunchtime workouts – they’ll turn you from scrawny to brawny in just four weeks

This programme is designed for the amateur player to increase skeletal muscle through their working week, with a view to building muscle without hampering pace,” says Alan Pearson of movement training experts SAQ International. With both muscle sessions, perform 3 sets of 12 reps at the start of the week. Use dumbbells only and increase the weight, but reduce reps – to 10, then 8 – through the week. Begin Week 2 at 12 reps of the highest weight from Week 1.


 
MUSCLE SESSION 1
 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY WARM-UP

Movements: Work through ankle flicks, small skips, wide skips, hurdle walks, high skips and hamstring buttock flicks to loosen muscles.
Time: 5 mins


 
LOWER BODY WEIGHT PROGRAMME

Exercises: Lunges, leg press, single-leg dumbbell row, single-leg squat, single-leg glute bridge, plank, Swiss ball plank.
Time: 20 mins

Muscle Session 1: Lunge




DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY


Cool down, rehydrate, perform light stretches before walking back to work.


 
RECOMMENDED STRETCH: FRONT TO BACK LEG SWING 

Support yourself with one arm while swinging your opposite leg forward then backward. Keep your leg straight as it moves forward and as it comes back try to kick yourself in the backside. Do 20 reps on each leg.
Time: 5-10 mins
 
 
MUSCLE SESSION 2
 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY WARM-UP

Time: 5 mins
 


LOWER BODY WEIGHT PROGRAMME

Exercises: Dumbbell dead lift, angled flys, weighted pull-ups, standing push press, bench dips in weighted vest.
Time: 20 mins


 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY

Cool down, rehydrate, perform a few light stretches before walking back to work.


 
RECOMMENDED STRETCH: SIDEWAYS LEG SWING

Face a wall and place both hands against it for support. Swing one leg at a time from side to side in front of your other leg. Stretch both legs, 20 reps each.
Time: 5-10 mins

More after the break

Muscle Session 2: Recommended stretch: Sideways leg swing

 
RUN SESSION 1
 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY WARM-UP

Time: 5 mins


 
PLYOMETRIC CIRCUIT
Perform high-knees, two-footed lateral jumps, single leg hops (both sides), 180-degree twist jumps, forward and backward jumps. Complete 3 sets, performing 5-8 reps of each exercise, with a 2-minute recovery between each set.
Time: 10 mins


 
CHAIR GET-UPS

Sit on a bench and identify a series of targets to run to at different distances. From your seated position, sprint to targets until 20 metres is covered. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Time: 10 mins



Run Session 1: Chair get-ups

 
RESISTED RUNS

Tie a tyre to a belt and fasten that around your waist. Perform 20-metre sprints – 2-3 sets of 5 reps – with 3 minutes’ recovery between sets.
Time: 15 mins


 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY

Cool down, rehydrate, perform light stretches and walk back to work.


 
RECOMMENDED STRETCH: HANDWALKS

Stand up straight with your feet together. Slowly bend forward until your hands reach the ground. Walk hands forward until your body is almost parallel with the ground, then slowly walk feet back up to your hands. Repeat 6 times.
Time: 5-10 mins
 
 
RUN SESSION 2
 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY WARM-UP

Time: 5 mins
 


INTERVAL RUNS

Start with a light jog for 3 minutes on the treadmill and then max sprint for 20 seconds. Perform this 10 times, with 40 seconds’ recovery (light jog) in between reps followed by a 2-3 minute walk to cool down.
Time: 15-20 mins



Run Session 2: Interval runs

 
DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY

Cool down, rehydrate, perform light stretches and walk back to work.


 
RECOMMENDED STRETCH: LUNGE WITH ROTATION

Lunge forward with either foot, ensuring you keep your knee over your toes, and rotate your body toward the forward leg. Now stand back up and repeat this stretch with the other leg. Compete 10 reps on each side.
Time: 5-10 mins
 
ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY
Swimming: 5-minute warm-up in the water with dynamic kicks and 100m easy pace. Then perform 50m sprints with 60-second rest – aim for 600-700m total – mixing strokes, followed by slower pace 200m freestyle to warm down.

Ice bath: Use plunge pool if available or alternatively switch the shower to cold to encourage the dispersal of lactic acid.



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