We begin this article by highlighting the need to maintain our physical condition in the most optimal state possible for soccer practice, as well as other sports and physical activities, in a context in which the resources and means to train are limited.
For this, we are going to relate different terms and concepts that are apparently unrelated to each other but with a much closer relationship than we imagine.
We list the following:
- Navy Seals
- HIIT – Tabata
- Calisthenics or bodyweight
Can these concepts be related to athletes? And with the soccer players? And even more specific, with goalkeepers? Surely, in some we see a direct relationship but in others it may not be so evident.
We start by talking about the Navy Seals whose acronym comes from SE (Sea), A (Air) and L (Land). As almost everyone knows, they are the United States Army special operations force and it is an elite unit founded in 1962 by the American President John F. Kennedy with the capacity to carry out military operations in the three environments, land, sea and air. But, their special ability that not many are aware of is that of working in water, something that differentiates them markedly from the rest of the world’s military units.
Let’s stick with this concept for now, the “special ability to work in water” with the physical requirements that this requires.
On the other hand we have the VUCA concept whose origin also comes from the military terrain. The acronym VUCA corresponds to V (Volatility), U (Uncertainty), C (Complexity) and A (Ambiguity).
These are the environments in which military activities take place since they are permanently changing environments, that is, with very high volatility. Likewise, these are environments full of uncertainty where the actions and movements of the adversaries that cause a high complexity in decision-making to react to them are be unknown. All of the above creates a climate of ambiguity in which any action taken can be interpreted in various ways.
That said, do we see any relationship between the VUCA concept and soccer? Let’s also temporarily park this concept.
Now let’s talk about the acronym HIIT. Its abbreviations correspond to H (High), I (Intensity), I (Interval), T (Training), that is, high intensity interval training.
It is a type of high intensity cardiovascular training whose duration ranges from 5 to 15 minutes. Work at maximum intensity for 20 seconds resting 10 seconds until completing a sequence of 8 series. The heart rate at which you work is above 75%, which is why it is considered high intensity training.
The benefits of this practice are multiple, since they promote the burning of body fat, muscle strengthening, increase physical endurance and cardiopulmonary capacity, improving anaerobic capacity.
This type of HIIT training is also known as the TABATA method in honor of its creator, Dr.Izumi Tabata, who developed it in Japan in 1996. This high-intensity interval training method is performed in a short time due to the high physical demands it requires.
Let’s move on to the next concept, calisthenics or bodyweight. It is about carrying out training exercises taking advantage of our own body weight. This fact allows training with little or no material, required in some exercises, depending on the difficulty that we want to incorporate, to modify the execution plane using any elevated element such as a chair, table or a simple wall. This will allow the execution angle to be varied, modifying the work on the different muscle groups to be trained. Calisthenic exercises improve agility, physical strength, and flexibility.
And finally there is TRX, whose acronym corresponds to T (Total), R (Resistance), E (Exercicse), that is, total resistance exercise for the body. It is a type of training carried out in suspension taking advantage of body weight to perform functional exercises, that is, as we have described before, based on calisthenics, but using straps to suspend ourselves. In TRX, one part of the body remains supported at one anchor point on the straps and the other is supported by the ground. Through exercises performed with TRX it is possible to improve mobility, coordination, flexibility and physical strength.
The TRX’s origins are attributed to Navy Seals due to the need to keep fit on missions of displaced troops.
Once all the concepts have been defined, it is time to relate them as the tittle of this article illustrate and that we define as BOOT CAMP or ground training, either indoors or outdoors:
The Navy Seals are the origin of the creation of physical training without means in VUCA environments, performing calisthenic exercise routines (with body weight) using HIIT / TABATA high intensity techniques. As an incremental element, exercises can be performed incorporating TRX to increase the work of the different muscle groups to train, thus reinforcing the exercise routines.
We mentioned before that this elite body is specially prepared to work in aquatic environments and therefore, its training routines especially work the core of the body. With this we mean an intense work of the abdomen, hip and lower back, the same areas that especially must be strengthened in the case of soccer goalkeepers. We do not mean that a goalkeeper is a Navy Seal but we do share common interests in physical areas that must be well trained to prevent injuries.
Training with HIIT / TABATA routines strengthen muscles, increase physical endurance and cardiopulmonary capacity, improving anaerobic capacity. Callisthenic exercises improve agility, physical strength and flexibility as performed with TRX, they also improve mobility and increase coordination.
Each and every one of these physical attributes are required in soccer players and therefore are capable of being trained even in limiting contexts such as the current one. If a soldier is capable of training in a hostile environment, how will he not be able to train an athlete in an isolated and limited but favorable environment?
There are endless callisthenic exercises and demonstration videos available on the internet that show what movements to do, to work each muscle group. Likewise, there are a considerable number of free Apps to do HIIT / TABATA exercises with a timer and many others to perform specific exercises with TRX. We suggest downloading to complete a suitable training session.
We have developed the following training routine that we wish to share with our readers. It is a weekly program divided by muscle groups.
You must choose a minimum of four exercises per muscle group, perform between 12-16 repetitions of each and all followed as a circuit. Rest 1.30 minutes and repeat each cycle at least 4 times. Once completed, carry out HIIT / TABATA training where indicated.
The leg workout days (squats or squats), the number of repetitions should not be less than 30 per series performed. Likewise, in the case of abs, only those that hurt count and therefore the indicated repetitions will start counting from that moment.
In total, it involves performing a daily training routine whose duration will be around 40-45 minutes according to the following schedule:
From HO SOCCER and our Club, we want to encourage you to maintain optimal health and fitness, which is why we have prepared this article to help you create your own BOOT CAMP.
Josemi Rodríguez | C.D. Leganés
First Team and Youth Squads Goalkeeper Coach