Who doesn’t know Cristiano Ronaldo? The biggest football star of Real Madrid C.F. and a multiple FIFA Best World Player awardee whose accolades and constant presence in main stream media have cemented him in modern pop culture, and would arguably even place him as one of the greatest athletes of all time. I’d even go so far as to say that if the quintessential super-athlete were to be built from the ground up, he would look exactly like Cristiano Ronaldo. And who wouldn’t want to look like that, right?
Well, looking like an elite athlete, much less like Cristiano Ronaldo, isn’t exactly an easy task. I mean, not everyone has the time and opportunity to train and dedicate as much time to training as they do. But fortunately for us normal folk, there still is a glimmer of hope. We had the chance to meet with an actual former training partner of Cristiano Ronaldo, and a trainer/consultant for other professional sports organizations such as the LA Galaxy, Atletico Madrid, the MLB, and the NFL—former Olympian and Senior Director for Sports Performance and Fitness for Herbalife Nutrition, Samantha Clayton, to give us some tips on how we can eat, train, and live just like our sports idols.
1. Set a goal and dedicate yourself to it.
“Athletes are especially dedicated people. They train in a very dedicated way. They train with a lot of passion and a lot of purpose, and that’s one thing in general people can benefit from, is to go in each session with a purpose for your training. Athletes don’t just go and figure it out. They’re prepared.”
2. Be consistent with training
“It’s all about routine. It’s how they improve, by doing the same things over and over until they get to the point of mastery. And so for general people who just need to become a little more active, the same can be true. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in at least 3-5 days to kick start a healthy active habit”.
3. Focus on functional exercises
“For a regular person, especially for those who are beginners and have never exercised before, I’d encourage them to do functional exercises like running, jogging, jumping—whether its jumping jacks or skipping rope, and running stairs and doing lunges—the types of exercises that people can just do in a small space at home. There’s just so many fun and practical things that you can do at home that can make a difference with your body.”
4. Always give importance to diet and nutrition
“Make sure to always start your day correctly, with something healthy. Never skip breakfast, as you need to start your day with some fuel. Learning what kind of foods are healthy for you is a great nutrition step. Educate yourself on the types of food you should be having. Portion control is key. Rather than just instantly taking away all the food you’re used to eating, you can eat your same diet, just reduce the portion sizes that you’re having because chances are, if you’re overweight, you may just be eating too much of those food. The size of your palm is the serving size for most things that you can have, except for vegetables where you’d want to go for a full hand size.”
Moreover, Samantha reinforces that living an overall healthy lifestyle is key, which can be guided by having balanced nutrition, daily activity, relief from stress, and having a support system. Of course, following these tips won't make you an athletic superstar overnight, but by following her wisdom and by taking these tips to habit, slowly but surely, to the guys out there, you may just become a Cristiano Ronaldo in your own right.
Samantha Clayton is a fitness expert, former Olympic runner for Great Britain, professional sports trainer and consultant, and senior director for sports performance and fitness for Herbalife Nutrition. You can watch her free workout videos “Herbalife Fit Tips” on YouTube, or you can follow her on Instagram @samanthaclaytonfitness
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Banner image taken from Ronaldo's Instagram account: http://instagram.com/cristiano