Cristiano Ronaldo’s Guide To A Champion’s Six-Pack
As if being one of the most talented soccer players in the world weren’t enough, Cristiano Ronaldo also boasts one of the game’s most chiselled six-packs. Want to emulate his abs? Think global, not local, says certified strength and conditioning coach Eric Cressey, who created this training plan. “Washboard abs don’t come from countless sit-ups –they’re sculpted with athletic, high-intensity exercises that rev your metabolism and work your entire body.” Follow his programme for 28 days and you’ll not only sculpt a more muscled middle but also develop the kind of explosive speed and strength that keeps Ronaldo ahead of the competition.
Complete the three workouts (below) once a week, with 48 hours of rest between them. (So you might do Workout 1 on Monday, Workout 2 on Wednesday, and Workout 3 on Friday, for example.) Perform the first 2 exercises in each workout (the A exercises) as a superset – that is, back-to-back. Do 4 supersets in all, resting 2 minutes between them. Then do the same with the B exercises, but this time do just 3 supersets.
Workout 1: The Group Stage
A1 – Band Resisted Skater Hop
Attach a resistance band to a pole and, with the pole on your left, loop the band around your waist. Push your hips back as you prepare to bound to the right [A]; then do so [B]. Do 5 reps, turn around, and repeat, this time bounding left.
A2 – Ab Wheel Rollout
Kneel on the floor and grab the handles of an ab wheel [A]. Roll it forwards as far as you can, keeping your back straight and glutes tight [B]. Use your core to pull it back. Do 6 reps. No ab wheel? Use a barbell loaded with 5kg weights.
B1 – Dumbbell Walking Lunge
Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your sides [A]. Step forwards into a lunge with your left foot [B]. Stand up, stepping forwards with your right foot. That’s 1 rep. Do 16, alternating feet.
B2 – Chin Up
Grab the bar using a shoulder-width, underhand grip, and hang at arm’s length, your ankles crossed [A]. Pull your chest to the bar [B]. Pause; slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of a dead hang. Do 6 reps.
Workout 2: The Knockouts
A1 – Sumo Deadlift
Stand with your feet one and a half times hip-width apart, toes angled slightly out. Grab a barbell [A]. Keeping your back flat, stand up as you thrust your hips forwards, keeping the bar as close to your body as possible [B]. Do 3 reps.
Grab a dumbbell in your left hand and lie on your back on a flat bench. Hold the dumbbell above your chest, palm turned slightly in [A], and then lower the dumbbell to the side of your chest [B]. Do 8 reps, switch sides, and repeat.
Barbell Supine Bridge
Lie on your back on the floor with a barbell above your hips, your knees bent and feet flat [A]. Raise your hips until they’re aligned with your knees and shoulders [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 12 reps.
B2 – Dumbbell Single-Arm Row
With a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you. Let the weight hang at arm’s length, palm in [A]. Row the dumbbell to your side [B]. Do 8 reps, switch sides, and repeat.
Workout 3: The Final
A1 – Reverse Lunge (Front Squat Grip)
Hold a barbell so that it rests on the front of your shoulders and your fingertips [A]. Step backwards with your right leg into a lunge [B]. Pause, and push back to the starting position. Do 6 reps. Repeat, stepping back with your left leg.
A2 – Inverted Row
Secure a bar at waist height; then grab it, using an overhand grip, and hang with your hands above your shoulders [A]. Pull your chest to the bar [B]. Slowly lower your body back to the starting position. Do 10 reps.
B1 – Single-Leg Hip Thrust
Place two benches about 1m apart. Position your upper back on one and your left foot on the other, and then hug your right knee to your chest [A]. Raise your hips as high as you can [B]. Do 10 reps, switch legs, and repeat.
B2 – Yoga Push-up
Assume a push-up position, keeping your body straight [A]. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor [B]. Push up, raising your hips as high as you can [C]. Return to the starting position. Aim for 10 reps.
You’ve done it! But your journey doesn’t end there. You have to keep at it and make sure in your best form to keep the stop spot. Also, you deserve a reward for all your hard work, here’s how you can eat like a champion.
Ronaldo’s Six-Pack Meal Plan
It’s simple, but not easy. Steer clear of fried food and alcohol and keep everything else in
moderation, says Luis Lavrador, chef for the Portuguese national soccer team.
Cereal, fruit, bread, fresh fruit juice and tea
Yoghurt, fruit, dried fruit, honey and tea (mid-morning and afternoon)
Vegetable soup, colourful salad and pasta with a protein, like grilled chicken
Wholegrains and boiled vegetables with a protein, like grilled fish
Why It Works
- Prebiotics (wholegrains) and probiotics (yoghurt) boost your digestive tract and optimise your metabolism.
- Protein hits at lunch, dinner and snack breaks nourish your muscle.
- Finding healthy foods you like and eating them ensures diet adherence. — professor Michael Roussell, nutrition advisor.