David Beckhams Football Fitness Workout

David Beckham is probably the most famous footballer (soccer) of the current day. He has risen through the ranks from a schoolboy hopeful, to team captain, to win caps for England, play in two World Cups, and now helping to increase soccer awareness in the USA, playing for LA Galaxy. But in addition to this, he has become something of an icon, a style guru, and a model for male health and fitness. So, the big question is, how does he do it? How do you get a body like David Beckham? How does he train, what does he eat?

Many years ago professional footballers moved on from relying on a few Sunday morning training sessions to get themselves in shape for a game. Superior fitness is now essential in the modern football game.

David Beckham’s well toned physique is due to three essential components to a perfect body: strength training, cardio/endurance training, and diet/sports nutrition. In some ways David Beckham’s body is similar to that of the greatest fitness icon of all time, Bruce Lee. David Beckham has minimal body fat, well toned, but not overly bulky muscles, and a lean and lithe appearance. The three parts to David Beckham’s body can be summarized as follows:

David Beckham’s Diet

To ensure fat is kept to an absolute minimum, but muscle can still grow, it is essential to ensure that you have a fast metabolism that burns fat (body fat and dietary fat). To do so requires a well balanced and healthy diet - plenty of green leafy salads, low GI vegetables, lean meats, fish and poultry. Avoiding sugar, high GI carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, flours, sugars, cakes, and general junk food) is essential to keeping the fat off and the metabolism fired up.

David Beckham’s Strength Training

The key to athletic and functional strength is compound weight training. Bodybuilding exercises which focus on individual muscles are only for show. To build functional strength for sports and athletics, compound training is essential. Compound exercises include the dead-lift, squats, bench press, bent-over/cable rows, shoulder presses and standing barbell curls.

The picture on the right shows him performing a free weight inclined bench press. As there is no safety cage and no sign of spotters, David is likely to be lifting a lighter weight, with higher reps. This provides more muscular endurance. Most athletes train with heavier weights for increased upper body functional strength, but for footballers, the main strengths are skill with the ball and speed. However, by bench pressing the upper body is kept in muscular balance with the lower body, and overall athleticism is increased.

David Beckham’s Endurance Training

For David Beckham, the bulk of his cardio fitness training probably comes from football training sessions, but supplemented with some running and cycling. The main training routine for footballers is a specific circuit training routine. Footballers include in their arsenal speed work and plyometric training routines, as well as classic old school circuit training, such as shuttle runs, squat thrusts, jumping jacks, skipping, jogging forwards and backwards, plus abs/core workouts and upper-body conditional with crunches, leg raises and press-ups (push ups). Take a look at our circuit training section for more in this type of training.

Soccer players require excellent strength and conditioning not only to perform well on the pitch, but also to help prevent injury during a game. Keeping the joints strong and flexible is essential. Here diet plays an important role, and supplementing a diet with cod liver, lucosamine and chondroitin, and other vitamins and minerals is essential to ensure supple but strong joints. Flexibility training is a vital area of physical training, with stretches both before and after workouts.

Combine these three elements of training and you can get a body like David Beckham, and strive to perform as well on the pitch as he does. We cannot help you with looks and style, but for fitness, endurance and strength, this should get you on track to have a “Beckham Body“.