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.
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, with 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 oil, 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“.
Beckham’s Career – Very Brief Overview
David Beckham has announced today that he will retire from football.
He has has been an inspiration to millions all over the world, and has had one of the most successful football careers of any player.
David Beckham has played for Manchester United, AC Milan and Real Madrid, as well as Los Angeles Galaxy in the USA and Preston North End (in 1994).
Beckham was discovered by a Man U talent scout was soon making a difference at Manchester United when he and a collection of other young players won the FA Youth Cup in 1992. Later in 1992 he joined the first team and started playing top professional football.
Beckham had a mixed career really, suffering from some long lasting injuries as well as famous run-ins with Sir Alex Ferguson.
In 2003 he left Man U to join Real Madrid where he stayed for 4 years. In 2007 he went to America to join Los Angeles Galaxy and he settled in California with his wife, Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, and their children, in a $18.2 million home on San Ysidro Drive in Beverly Hills.
However, after some issues at Galaxy he went on loan to Milan in 2009. He did return to Galaxy though, a surprise to some, but many LA fans disapproved of his return.
By 2013 Beckham had left LA for good and was training with Arsenel. There was talk of a deal to move to Paris Saint-Germain, playing his first match with them on 24 February 2013, when he came on for the last 12 minutes.
He played with England many times too, and rose to the ranks of captain. When he finally stepped down as Captain of England he said;
“It has been an honour and privilege to captain my country”
Beckham was named in the provisional squad to represent the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics. However, manager Stuart Pearce did not select him to play. The rumoured concerns were that he was starting to show his age and was not up to the task of international football.
David Backham announced his retirement on 16th May 2013.