Clint Dempsey's training regime

In the build up to a game what is your approach to training?
I work as hard as I can during the week, and always listen to the manager, whether he is talking about our shape, tactics, going over set-pieces or reviewing tapes of your opponents.

How do you work on your own personal fitness?
We do so much more work on our fitness in July and August, and the early months compared to the climax of the season. You have to be careful not to burn yourself out. It is all about pacing yourself, especially for those of us lucky enough to go on and play in the World Cup finals. You always have to focus on your body, you take ice baths, and make sure you get enough rest as all those games take their toll.

What work do you towards the end of the season?
By the turn of the year and in to the Spring just the work you do in training and the games themselves are enough to keep you fit, and you don’t really have to do anything extra. Do the basics and the fitness takes care of itself.

What is the balance between weights and cardiovascular work?
You do a lot of weights, especially at the beginning of the season, it is seen as a means to prevent injury, but as the season progresses you get tired and it is difficult to maintain a weights programme. You can actually lift weights, and make it cardiovascular too, by doing quick reps to get your heart rate up. But overall when you’re playing so many games, you just stretch, there is no time to hit the weights hard.

How do you train just enough to be in peak condition for a game?
You need to know your body and how far you can push it, you need to eat right, have ice baths, do your stretches, the little things to give you that edge. I know there have definitely been times when I’ve not been able to give my best in games because I trained too hard in the week, and took too much out of myself.

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