Cristiano Ronaldo: The fitness freak no one can beat!

Cristiano Ronaldo
Photo: LS

There is one thing Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for other than being one of the best players in the world and winning several titles to his name – being a fitness freak! Who else would make headlines for removing Coca-Cola bottles with international spectators watching?

Cristiano Ronaldo's journey in football is well-known, but in the process, he has also garnered a lot of attention for being a fitness enthusiast. Albeit he has been training for football since a young age, has he always pushed himself to reach peak fitness? How did he get here?

Fighting against all odds the CR7 way

If you are 15 and diagnosed with a disease that causes your heart to beat irregularly, chances are, you'd want to be anything but an athlete. But not Cristiano Ronaldo, who had only one goal in his mind – to play football and be the very best. This was the case when he was diagnosed with tachycardia, after which he underwent surgery, recovered, and was back on the field kicking a ball again.

As he transformed from a young talented player to an icon over the years, he suffered a severe knee injury in 2014 that threatened to degrade his knees and make them worse over time. But this time around as well, Ronaldo came back stronger through sheer will power and adapting his playing style, using less flare and more decisiveness in front of the goal.

The result? He went on to win the Champions League and Ballon d'Or multiple times, and to top it off, won the Euro 2016 with Portugal National Football Team! 

CR7 may not be the best host

Patrice Evra, former Manchester United teammate of Ronaldo, once said, "If Cristiano Ronaldo ever invites you over for lunch, just say no!" Knowing how Ronaldo treats his guests, you wouldn't blame Evra either. As he mentioned, Ronaldo offered him only salads and plain chicken. Evra kept on expecting more food to come, but they never arrived!

Ronaldo also has influence over the eating habits of his teammates, as Lee Grant once revealed, his Manchester United teammates would abstain from eating apple crumble, custard, and other desserts that were part of the usual Friday night menu with Ronaldo around. With Ronaldo nearby, you have to conform to his eating habits, whether you like it or not!

An athlete like Ronaldo treats his body like a temple and ensures only the finest produce are going into it. His former personal chef, Giorgio Barone, credits fresh organic and natural food along with his disciplined eating habits behind his rippling physique. Ronaldo has six small protein-packed meals a day in 3–4-hour intervals.   

Investing with the best in himself

Ronaldo leaves no stone unturned when it comes to maintaining and building his physique. As per his former teammate Rio Ferdinand, catering to Ronaldo's obsession of achieving peak fitness, it was common to see his personal masseur, nutritionist, doctor, physiotherapist, and chef strutting about in his house.  

Well worth it in the end; Ronaldo seems to defy time, still functioning like he did a decade ago. The secret lies behind perfectly being able to understand his body's needs, in terms of nutrition, performance, and recovery. Moreover, his body fat percentage is at an astonishing level of only 7 per cent, whereas the average professional footballer of his age has 10 per cent.  

Ronaldo trains five days a week for 3-4 hours, alternating between extensive weight training and heavy cardio. His lean body, coupled with attuned techniques makes his ability to head the ball second to none. He can leap to heights as high as 78 cm — for comparison, an average NBA player manages a measly 71 cm.

For athletes, non-athletes, health-conscious and not so healthy ones alike, Cristiano Ronaldo is truly a source of inspiration when it comes to giving our body the best treatment it deserves.