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Blog: Staying in shape over the summer

As another football year comes to an end, off-season training becomes a challenge that even the best athletes struggle with.

Once the routine of training-matches-training is finished for a few months, it is easy for the motivation to drain away.

At professional level, players are given personalised fitness schedules to work on throughout the summer.

And pre-season training camps are key to this year-round strategy.

But how can players at all standards maintain their fitness and grab a head-start when summer finally turns to autumn?

First of all, maintain healthy choices. The level of training you do will inevitably go down, so make sure your food levels follow a similar path.

But be sure to avoid extreme dieting, as without sufficient nutrition your body won’t have enough energy to complete even the simplest of tasks or exercises.

To keep your body ready for the resumption of full training, try to do both cardiovascular and muscle strength activities every week.

Cardiovascular can be a combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic exercise. A 90-minute session of both, once or twice a week, will help to keep you in shape.

Muscle strength activities (all the major muscle groups) should be carried out on two or more days every week.

Motivation is key during the summer months. Finding the right combination of sessions will give keep your mind stimulated and above all, mean you enjoy it!

The removal of a regular training structure can massively affect motivation, but don’t forget to enjoy a breather. You’re not a machine.

Keeping your mental health in good condition is just as important as keeping your fitness levels up. So why not take up another sport during the summer months?

You could even set yourself personal challenges, such as climbing a local peak or enter a cycle race. Do it with a friend and share the challenge.

Or how about helping a less sporty friend to get fit? Both parties get a boost of self-esteem in an environment that is less formal than using a personal trainer.

And finally, try to develop a schedule. Have something to look forward to and perhaps plan your social activities for that time of day when your energy levels are at their lowest.

Choose the right location – it doesn’t always have to be a gym. Like exercising in your local park? That’s your gym!

We can’t give you every solution when it comes to off-season training, but this will hopefully help you find a way that fits your circumstances.

A key part of being a professional athlete is looking after yourself throughout the year – but most importantly, enjoy your summer!


James Shaw