12 Amazing Facts About Cristiano Ronaldo’s Workout

Written By Becky Gillespie

Cristiano Ronaldo, born on the island of Madeira, and now considered Portugal’s most famous son, is a global football superstar known for his extraordinary athleticism and dedication to fitness. Rising from humble beginnings, Ronaldo’s journey to football stardom is marked by relentless hard work and an unparalleled work ethic. His workout routine is rigorous and diverse, incorporating cardio, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, technical drills, and health hacks. Let’s learn more about Ronaldo’s incredible workout regimen to help him maintain his peak fitness.

Book Private Cristiano Ronaldo Tour with CR7 Museum

1. Ronaldo works out for up to four hours daily.

Incorporating a challenging mix of high-intensity sprints, targeted weights, cardio, pilates, and swimming, CR7 works out five days a week. According to MenofMany, Ronaldo works out for 3-4 hours at a time and targets different muscle groups and different days of the week. When Ronaldo shared his weekend workout, he encouraged everyone to write down their daily exercise plan so they can train without stopping. He also stresses the importance of training your mind as well as your body, so make sure to leave time for this as well.

2. Strength training is a key part of Ronaldo’s fitness routine.

Ronaldo’s remarkable speed and strength are the results of rigorous strength training. His workout regimen integrates bodyweight and resistance exercises along with weightlifting to forge a powerful physique. Key elements of his strength program include compound movements like bench presses, deadlifts, and squats, deadlifts, which are essential for muscle growth and enhanced strength. This disciplined approach to fitness underpins his ability to perform at the highest levels in football, which highlights the importance of strength training in his workout.

Ronaldo working out, Cora Harris, Flickr

3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet emphasizes diversity and high-protein, low-fat foods.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet is a masterclass in balance and discipline that incorporates a rich variety of foods such as eggs, steak, bread, and what Ronaldo calls “magical chicken,” for being high in protein and still low in fat. Like any good Portuguese, he also eats a lot of fish. His favorite dish is Bacalhau à Brás, a Portuguese dish that consists of salted cod, onions, potatoes, olives, and eggs. If you’re trying to follow Ronald’s diet, you will be pleased to hear that he also occasionally indulges in sweet treats such as chocolate cake.

4. He eats six meals a day!

Ronaldo’s chosen profession requires a huge amount of energy, let alone the work it takes to maintain his chiseled physique. To help with this, Cristiano divides his food intake into six smaller meals spaced 2-4 hours apart, optimizing metabolism and preventing hunger. A personal nutritionist has been helping Ronaldo with his diet since his Real Madrid days, undoubtedly providing a lot of input on his meals and their timing.

5. Ronaldo drinks up to six liters of water a day.

A huge part of staying active and alert, for all of us, is making sure that we drink enough water. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average man should drink about 3.7 liters per day while a woman should consume 2.7 liters. Ronaldo reportedly drinks up to 6 liters per day! Drinking enough water not only helps get rid of waste but also lubricates and cushions joints, just what a world-famous footballer needs.  

6. Ronaldo avoids sugary drinks, famously advocating for water over soft drinks.

Given how much water that Ronaldo drinks in a day, you would probably not be surprised to hear that he avoids sugary drinks. While the sugar in these drinks may give you a brief boost of energy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who regularly drink sugary drinks are more likely to have health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

7. Ronaldo invested €45,000 in a cryotherapy chamber for at-home recovery.

Cristiano Ronaldo once spent €45,000 to have a cryotherapy chamber installed in his home to improve his conditioning, undergoing two three-minute sessions weekly. This method uses temperatures of around -160 degrees °C to help muscles recover and build strength. Operating this cryotherapy chamber requires the delivery of liquid nitrogen canisters to keep the system topped up. Ronaldo discovered this technology at his local gym and is not the first footballer to try this technology. Former Real Madrid hero Raul also reportedly used cryotherapy.   

8. He follows a polyphasic sleep pattern, taking five 90-minute naps instead of one long sleep.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s unique sleep routine involves five 90-minute naps throughout the day instead of one long overnight sleep, following advice from sleep advisor Nick Littlehales. After a 10 pm swim, he sleeps until midnight. He then relaxes until 3 am, takes another nap until 5.30 am, and then goes about his day. He also always sleeps in the fetal position to avoid back issues and improve posture. Littlehales emphasizes the importance of avoiding screens before sleep, always sleeping on the same mattress, and sleeping alone to optimize rest and performance.

9. Ronaldo places an emphasis on cardio training.

Ronaldo prioritizes cardiovascular training to sustain optimal fitness and endurance for football. His regimen features high-intensity interval training (HIIT), along with running, sprinting exercises, and cycling. These activities are central to improving his stamina and energy levels on the field, ensuring he remains in peak physical condition.

This focus on cardio is a key aspect of his training, aimed at maximizing his performance and longevity in the demanding world of professional football. While Ronaldo naturally gets a lot of cardio training during his games, we can replicate his exercise training by making sure we add running or cycling into our workout routines.  

10. Ronaldo paints his toenails black!

When fans first spotted Cristiano’s black toenails, they thought it was quite a curious fashion statement to make. But Ronaldo actually paints his toenails black as a protective measure against bacteria and fungi, according to the German outlet Bild. This practice, common among athletes, involves using nail polish to create a protective layer over the nails, which are often confined in sweaty shoes for extended periods. The polish not only prevents the toenails from cracking by hardening them but also reduces the risk of damage.

11. Ronaldo has the body of an athlete 14 years his junior.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hard work has paid off over the years. Although he is now one of the older players in the league, he has the body of an athlete 14 years his junior. His remarkable physical condition is characterized by a mere seven percent body fat with lean muscle and minimal excess weight. Additionally, his muscle mass comprises 50 percent of his body weight, which demonstrates his exceptional physical strength and endurance. This combination not only highlights his dedication to fitness but also contributes to his sustained performance and agility on the soccer field.

12. He doesn’t drink alcohol.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s choice to abstain from alcohol is deeply personal, rooted in his father’s struggles with alcoholism. His father actually died at the age of 52 due to alcohol-related issues. This decision is both a tribute to his father and also a strategic move for his health and football career, considering the adverse effects of alcohol on physical performance and heart health. Ronaldo was actually diagnosed with a heart condition at the age of 15 that required surgery, which amplifies his cautious approach toward maintaining optimal health by avoiding alcohol.

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