Cristiano Ronaldo has the body of a Greek God statue.
Can you achieve a similar physique with a specific training system?
How could he achieve this physique?
Was he always like this or he trained very hard?
How can he keep his decent muscle size after all those extreme cardio sessions?
We will be covering these questions and much more in this article. After explaining everything, I will give you clear directions about what to do.
Before everything, let’s point out the most important fact that Cristiano Ronaldo often mentioned in his interviews.
Hard Work Comes First
Ronaldo was not born with that body. He used to be very skinny in the early years of his career.
Picture: Cristiano Ronaldo Transformation
From his words (Click here to listen):
“You have to work. I try to do it almost every day. I always do extra outside the pitch. People always told me ‘Cristiano, you are a good talented player but you are very skinny and slim.’ I put in my mind that the body can improve. You go to the gym with dedication and hard work. So, I improved myself.”
He was extremely talented as a football player in terms of ball technique, but nobody gave him his current physique as a gift.
To achieve his great physique there was one main rule he implemented every single day which is: “Working your ass off until you get it.”
Can you achieve the same physique of Cristiano?
We are all different from all aspects such as height, weight, bone structure, muscle sculpture, etc. And this is perfectly fine, why would you want to be a copycat?
Cristiano Ronaldo would never achieve your best physique potential as well. You can only be you.
Your purpose should be discovering your best potential physique during your journey.
Just think, no one is born equal. Equality is a fairytale and it has no place in real life.
Some are born in the middle of a war as a Palestine kid where your all family has been murdered in front of their eyes, some are born in a luxury.
I am not telling you this to rebel against God or something. I am telling this because this is the truth.
Instead of comparing ourselves with others, we have to focus on our own development and become the best we can be just as Cristiano did.
Can you achieve a similar aesthetic physique?
Yes. With hard work, dedication, and consistency you obviously can. Just make sure you are ready to pay the price.
CR7 BODY ANALYSIS
Let’s make a general analysis of his body and understand what gives him this aesthetic statue look.
Cr7 is extremely lean
His body fat percentage is around 6 to 8 percent. You can see all definitions in every part of his body. His abs are visible and his veins are popping up even in his legs. The question is… What makes him very lean?
1) An Active Lifestyle
The football seasons are too damn long.
When you consider the local league, champions league, national cups, local cups, etc. he is on the pitch for around 50 matches a year.
The guy plays 50 intense professional football game that lasts 90+ minutes. We did not even include his hardcore training sessions.
A professional football player trains at least 4 times a week with the team, too. He also mentioned that he does extra stuff on the pitch like specific shoot, freekick, and athleticism training.
His life is beyond being active, Cristiano Ronaldo never stops.
It’s amazing that he is always willing to do the extra work and hit the gym regularly. That’s one of the reasons he is at the top of the game.
Apart from the pitch; he swims, he runs and does a lot of HIIT training.
2) A Balanced Strict Diet
Even he is very active, he does not eat junk food obviously.
He has a balanced diet structure which mostly consists of lean meat, fresh vegetables, and fruits.
Patrice Evra mentions that once he was invited to Cristiano’s house. When they sit to eat something, there was no bread, no juice on the table. Just lean meat, vegetables, and plain water.
No alcohol, no cigarette, no drugs for obvious reasons. Also, there is no food or drink includes artificial sugar.
P.S: He actually lost his father because of his alcohol addiction. This is why he never used any kind of alcohol in his life.
Picture: Cristiano Ronaldo Meal Examples
He Has Decent Muscle Size
He has a decent muscle size for a football player. His stats are:
Height: 186 cm / 6′ 1”
Weight: 81 kg /179 lbs
Consider that he has a very low body fat percentage, this ratio is pretty high. Let’s analyze his body parts by each.
CORE / ABS
His visible abs are not a coincidence. He trains the core every day.
In all competitional sports, you have to have a strong core. It is key to maintain balance and produce more power.
In his workout footages, there is always some sort of abs training.
Abs has the ability to recover fast, so he takes advantage of this and hit them every day regularly.
He has extremely strong legs.
These legs can generate 130 km/hour shoots, fast and quick runs almost like a professional sprinter, and higher vertical jumps than average NBA players.
You can’t have these legs by only strength training.
What makes him give such power is that he’s very athletic.
He does not train for only muscle size, he trains for athleticism as well.
Lots of hill sprints, sprints with a sled, sled pushes, a lot of jumps and quick change of direction drills take place in his routine.
I believe he mostly trains with his body weight, but of course, he uses the weight room as well.
SHOULDERS, BACK & TRAPS
He has very wide shoulders and very well developed traps for a football player.
You don’t see this very often in a typical football player’s body.
That requires being very strong at pull-ups and push-ups. Also, this shows that he utilizes barbell and dumbbells. Because it is very hard to build those traps without using additional weight
He has decent arms but they are not as impressive as the rest of his body.
I don’t think that he gives extra attention to them. They don’t look very bulky and that makes sense. He does not need very bulky arms in football.
They probably get their buckets from the compound movements.
His chest is the most under-developed body part. That gives me the clue that he does not train it specifically.
All his training is based on athleticism and strength.
He probably does not do classical bodybuilding chest exercises such as flyes, bench press, etc.
Even if he does, it is not so heavy to cause hypertrophy.
How Come He Does Not Overtrain?
How can anybody endure such heavy training sessions while playing a lot of matches? How can he maintain his muscle size with those extreme cardio sessions?
The worth of Cristiano Ronaldo is more than 100 million euros. I am sure he has his own secret methods. Of course, he is backed up by high-class trainers, nutrition specialists, physical therapists, etc.
Still, let’s make the best guess on the subject. His movie Ronaldo(2015) tells us a lot of things about Ronaldo and why he could succeed.
He also has many interviews where he speaks of his mindset and approach. Let’s dig in.
He created a MACHINE
He made his body a machine. That did not happen right away. He made his job #1 priority in his life.
Wherever he is, he is always doing some type of training. That’s a by-product of his very active lifestyle.
For example, even if he is at home, he swims and plays football in the garden.
This guy has never stopped. The training is not something he does, it is part of his character.
By working hard consistently for a long time, he taught his body how to be effective as a machine.
THE RECOVERY METHODS
He definitely uses specific recovery methods, because he must be ready to give 100% in every game.
Here’s a list of highly effective recovery methods he uses.
# Sleep Like A Champion
He is very consistent with his sleep schedule. I remember he says: “You go to bed early to rise early, that’s how it goes.”
He probably goes to bed and wakes up at the same time every day.
6-8 hours of good night sleep is a must for a good recovery.
I read he utilizes different sleeping patterns with the help of sleeping coaches. It was like 5 sleep cycles consist of 90 minutes each, a total of 7.5 hours sleep.
# Cold Water Immersion
He speeds up the recovery process by exposing his body to cold every day.
It helps the body to get rid of lactic acid by increasing blood circulation.
The famous strongmen Brian Shaw and Hafthor Bjornsson show how to use a similar shock method. You get into hot water first a certain period of time, then you immediately switch it to cold for another period of time. And you repeat the cycle many times. (Watch it here)
Also, Footballers often get their legs in ice baths to make them recover fast.
I also saw Cristiano cycling under the water. After some research, I found out that this is called “aqua cycling” and it has very beneficial effects on reducing stress and pain on the body.
Although it is not easy to access such a device in a swimming pool, this is still a great indicator that the water-resistance fastens the recovery time.
Picture: Ronaldo Uses Aqua Cycling To Maximize Muscle Recovery
# Mobility Work
Flexibility and mobility work is a must to endure such heavy training sessions.
For longevity and overall health, Cristiano probably does yoga type of stretches and mobility work daily.
He has lots of pictures where he is on Yoga math. Also, it is well known that he does Pilates.
# Low-Stress Levels
Exercising is all about putting stress on the body. You put the stress on training and your body rebuilds everything stronger for the future.
The stress you experienced in real life and you did in training are directly correlated. That means if you have too much stress in your life, you can’t put your maximum effort into the training.
Cr7 lives a very stress-free lifestyle. There is no financial difficulty, he already earned more than enough.
He can give all of his focus to progress in his game and personal development.
All opportunities and resources are wide open to him. Great gyms, the best pieces of equipment are ready to serve to make him the best.
But he did not always have these before, he started from the bottom in a small town from Portuguese. He earned his place by giving his blood, sweat, and tears.
Instead of complaining, one has to give his hundred percent effort every single day.
The more you stay away from stress, the better you will recover. You should not let bullshit stuff create excessive stress in your life.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Training Regimen In The Gym
He hits the gym 3 days a week as he said in one of his interviews.
His training style focuses on power, explosion, and endurance. The performance is what he is chasing for rather than muscle hypertrophy.
That is why he does not train like a typical bodybuilder. His sessions include a wide range of exercise selections.
His aesthetic physique is a by-product of this training style.
3 DAYS OF TRAINING EXAMPLE
Cleans 5 Sets 3 Reps
Lateral Bounds 3 Sets 10 Reps
Battle Ropes 3 Sets Max Reps
Shoulder Press 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Push-Ups 3 Sets Max Reps
Core Work 15 Minutes
Bulgarian Split Squat 3 Sets 5 Reps
Tuck Jumps 3 Sets 6 Reps
Agility Feet Drills 10 Sets
Pull-Ups 3 Sets Max Reps
Seated Cable Row 2 Sets 8-12 Reps
Core Work 15 Minutes
Sled Pulls and Pushes 3 Sets Each
Single Leg Deadlifts 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Leg Extension 3 Sets 12-15 Reps
Broad Jumps 3 Sets 6-8 Reps
Squat Wall Holds 2 Sets 1 Minute
Back Extensions 2 Sets 10 Reps
Core Work 15 Minutes
Some Extra Notes
- The cardio is implemented as a HIIT style. It could be swimming, cycling, running or bodyweight exercise mixtures.
- The core work consists of 5-10 exercises done in one cycle which is repeated at least 3 sets. For example; plank, knee/leg raises, toe touches, scissor kicks, crunch variations, etc.
- There is at least 1 day between these training sessions. On those days, he gets on the pitch for technical stuff with his team. He does a lot of ball drills with the ball and he runs a lot on the pitch.
A Typical Full Day Of Eating
4 whole eggs, 80 gr oatmeal, cottage cheese, 2 scoops of honey
Fish, whole wheat bread and lots of veggies
Seasonal fruits and a handful of nuts
Grass-Fed Steak, lentils, and rice
WARNING: Cristiano Ronaldo or his trainers never exposed his training regimen online. He may not train exactly the same way or eat the same food. This article is written by analyzing online material mixing with a training experiment to make a solid prediction of his lifestyle.
P.S: For more information, recommended documentary: Ronaldo (2015)