Have you ever seen a shirtless soccer player celebrating a goal?
If not, then let me tell you something. Some of them look ripped. In fact, there are many soccer players that take their shirts off just to show off their muscles and their upper body.
With that said, the answer to whether soccer players lift weights or not is a simple yes.
Soccer players do lift weights. Professional soccer clubs require the players to go to gym practice sessions around 2 ~ 3 times a week throughout the whole season. Soccer players also lift weights during their off season to stay in shape and to prepare themselves for the upcoming season.
Usually, the professional soccer clubs have their own gyms inside their stadiums. These gyms are for the players to use during their training sessions with the club, and supervised weight lifting is among the exercises that the players do.
In general, the players go to the gym to do some warm up exercises before their intense practice session on the soccer field.
And then they might go back to the gym after their field practice session for some final practice.
If soccer players lift weights, then why don’t they all look big?
In order for a bodybuilder to look big and full of muscles, they will have to train several hours a day, eat certain amounts of food, get certain amounts of rest and so much more.
However when it comes to soccer players, some of these requirements might just not be doable for them. Soccer players do not have a lot of time to dedicate to intense weight lifting.
They also do not have the luxury to get enough rest as they sometimes are required to literally play 3 games in less than 8 days.
On top of all this, soccer players do not intend to look large because that will affect their speed and their agility on the field, which are 2 of the most important skills when it comes to soccer.
In other words, when we say that soccer players lift weights, it doesn’t mean that they do it like the bodybuilders do it.
They usually have to find a balance between gaining some strength and keeping their speed, agility, and other skills in good shape.
But before we move on to the next question, I would like to point out that there are some players that put in a lot of effort when it comes to lifting weights and these players do look like bodybuilders on the field.
However, there aren’t many players that prefer to take this route just to make sure that they don’t lose some of the needed skills when it comes to soccer.
Why do soccer players lift weights?
Soccer players rely heavily on speed, agility, high jumps and so on, so why do the players lift weight?
As mentioned before, with supervised weight lifting, the players can gain the benefits of weight lifting without losing their needed skills.
In general, The players start with light weights, and then they increase the weights progressively. But they don’t go too far.
But what are the benefits that are making the players want to lift weights?
Well, there are a lot of benefits for lifting weights for soccer players, here are some of them:
- Stronger legs means stronger kicks
- Muscular bodies for goalkeepers yields a better performance during 1v1 encounters with an opponent player.
- Stronger neck muscles means better headers
- Stronger shoulders means better shoulder tackles
And so on. Remember that soccer requires a lot of physical effort, and this physical effort isn’t constant.
In soccer, players are required to perform instant physical activities very often throughout the 90 minutes of a soccer match, and for the players to maintain their muscle endurance during these long games, they must have some muscle training and supervised weight lifting.
The gym practice and the other practice sessions help the players gain and maintain the explosive power needed during a professional soccer game.
How often do soccer players lift weights?
In general, soccer players have some intense gym sessions 2 ~ 3 times a week throughout the whole season.
During these gym sessions, the players of a soccer team practice together at the gym under the supervision of an expert, and some of their exercises include weight lifting.
However, there are some players that decide to take it further and practice for more than just the required sessions. Many wealthy players have their own gyms at their houses and they use these to push themselves to perform better on the field.
But what about weight lifting during the off season? Do soccer players lift weight and go to the gym during their off season?
Yes they do. In fact, many players go to the gym more often during their off season than they do during the season itself.
They do that because they have more time during the off season.
They also do it to remain in shape while not playing any soccer games, and to prepare themselves physically for the upcoming season.
While weight lifting is part of the training that soccer players do, it’s done with full care in order to keep the balance between physical strength, agility and speed.
The physical strength gained by supervised weight lifting is extremely important for the soccer players in general. It improves their kicking strength, their headers, their tackles and so much more.