Despite being 33 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to dominate the marathon season with a strong finish, entering his sixth Champions League final in exceptional form and incredible physical condition that defies his age, astonishing both fans and rivals.
He recently claimed to have a “biological age” of 23 and confidently stated, “I can keep playing until I’m 41.” Those close to him attribute his success to dedication, but there is also a clear plan he follows to stay ahead of the competition.
Ronaldo’s superhuman fitness is built on three pillars: Pilates-based gym workouts, rest and recovery, and a carefully curated diet with proper hydration.
Ronaldo’s pursuit of excellence is supervised by Zinedine Zidane, one of the key individuals in his fitness regime. He trains diligently under Zidane’s watchful eye, as seen in his gym sessions this week where he showcases his strength and leg muscles.
While Ronaldo’s commitment to fitness has always been evident, there were concerns earlier in his career about his gym routine and lack of rest affecting his overall fitness. Although he remains dedicated, he has learned the importance of recharging and recuperating.
Water plays a significant role in his recovery process. After every game, Ronaldo goes for a swim, using it as a mental and physical relaxation method. Swimming also engages his upper body muscles, providing a comprehensive workout for his triceps, biceps, pectorals, deltoids, and latissimus dorsi, which contribute to his superhero-like silhouette.
Post-match recovery for Ronaldo involves additional water therapy, including hot and cold baths to stimulate muscle regeneration, a high-pressure water jet for muscle massages, and a state-of-the-art cryotherapy chamber worth £50,000. This cryotherapy treatment, also favored by Franck Ribery, helps accelerate recovery.
Ronaldo had a cryotherapy chamber installed in 2013 after hearing about its benefits from a Bayern Munich winger. The emitted liquid nitrogen reaches temperatures between minus 160 and minus 200 degrees Celsius, providing significant regenerative effects in just a few minutes.
Paul Clement, former Real Madrid coach and current Reading manager, has spoken about the incredible level of commitment Ronaldo displays towards his cold-water recovery program. He recalls a situation after a Champions League game in Turkey when the squad returned to the Valdebebas training ground near the airport at 3 a.m. While most players wanted to pick up their cars and go home, Ronaldo opted for an ice bath instead.
Rest and recovery should not be underestimated in Ronaldo’s fitness regimen. During a gym chain launch last year, he refuted claims that he does 3,000 sit-ups a day, stating that he may not even reach 1,000 in a week. He understands that overexertion could lead to muscle injuries or exhaustion. His sculpted physique is not solely the result of intense workouts but also the strategic incorporation of rest.
Ronaldo ensures he gets at least eight hours of sleep per day, and his commitment to rest and recovery allows him to engage in daily workout routines that keep him physically superior to other players. He dedicates three hours, five days a week to workouts at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training complex or his extensive home gym.
While leg curls develop his prominent rectus femoris muscles in his thighs, his exceptional core strength, which enables him to leap and excel in aerial play, stems from his devotion to Pilates. He is an ardent follower of Joseph Pilates’s method, with the Pilates Reformer being a crucial apparatus in his routine.
By utilizing straps, springs, a sliding seat, and loops, the Reformer offers resistance that surpasses the effects of bodyweight exercises on a mat. The focus is on strengthening the entire core and muscles that are often neglected in.