Soccer players are some of the best-conditioned athletes in the world—Each match is like a million mini HIIT workouts rolled into one. Just check out these 11 fittest MLS players and these fit Premier League players for proof!
But here, we’re talking about La Liga players—and one forward in particular: Álvaro Negredo, who plays for Valencia CF. The New Balance-sponsored striker is known as the “Beast,” and he certainly instills fear in players of opposing teams with his speed and—yes—strength. Strikers in particular must be able to sprint—but also have great leg strength, particularly in their calves. During a recent New Balance media event where they unveiled upgrades to their Visaro boot and evolved the Furon boot (which Negredo wears), we talked to him about getting geared up on and off the field, how he maintains those calves—and more.
Check out our Q&A with him on the next page >>>
Men’s Fitness: Calf strength is so important for what strikers do—what do you do to strengthen your legs, particularly your calves?
Negredo: To build up my calves and legs I use machines in the gym. Also I do box jumps and that also strengthens your glutes and quads as well.
MF: What do you do to build core strength and speed?
Negredo: On a day-to-day basis I do a lot of speed work. I wear a vest with weights and do runs and jumps. For core, I use machines for abs and I’ll do that daily unless there’s a game the following day.
MF: I know you had a shoulder injury. What did you do to recover while you still had to play the game?
Negredo: I still feel the effects and because, as you say, I carried on playing it was very, very painful. So, it was basically work in conjunction with our physio to try and recover it—and massage. I used weights but controlled weights so as not to effect it too much. It was a case of working it but in a limited way but always with a physio to help with recuperation.
MF: What about the mental side of that? Did you do anything to stay positive? Mediation? Sports psych?
Negredo: I’m very much aware that there are teammates and players in the game that use psychological help to get this positivity but I’m fairly single minded and I’ve got a cool head on my shoulders. I know when I need to push myself to work twice as hard in order to get fit, in order to play. So again it’s just a case of relying on the people around me—fitness coaches, physios, in order to get the help I need.
MF: What product or gear is essential for your workouts?
Negredo: Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Good comfortable shoes for jumping. I’m fortunate that I’m with New Balance—not only are they great for football gear but also for things like gym work and running outside.
Alvaro Negredo wears the New Balance Football Bright Cherry / Firefly Furon boot. To find out more about New Balance Football go to newbalance.com/football or follow @NBFootball on Twitter and Instagram.