What are Cristiano Ronaldo's diet, workout and fitness secrets?

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The Real Madrid star is renowned for being one of the most athletic players in football history, but how did he attain his top condition?

There is no player in world football that has drawn more plaudits for his physical qualities and dedication to his craft than Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid and Portugal star boasts an extraordinary set of athletic skills, combining rapid pace and agility with elite aerial ability and power.

Ronaldo was not born with those traits, though; the rippling physique we see today is a marked transformation from the skinny teenager that arrived at Manchester United from Sporting back in 2003.

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So how was the incredible athlete and five-time Ballon d'Or winner created?

With the help of 15 fitness tips Ronaldo revealed himself, Goal takes a look at the secrets behind his strength and speed.


How does Ronaldo train?


First thing's first: start with a warm-up to decrease the risk of injury. "In training we do a few laps of the pitch, stretching and cardio warm-up exercises," Ronaldo explains.

"Make sure you do something similar in your training, even if it is jogging to the gym or a warm up on the treadmill or bicycle."

When in the gym, Ronaldo's main workout is split between cardiovascular training - such as running and rowing - and weights. "Mix it up," Ronaldo advises - as well as keeping things interesting, it's important to ensure all areas of the body are targeted and exercises improve both strength and stamina.

On the pitch, the focus is on high-intensity drills that reflect match situations. "We do a lot of sprinting drills in training and they can be incorporated into your workout whether you are in the gym or outdoors," Ronaldo says. "Try and add it to every workout you do."

Workouts are not restricted to the time Ronaldo spends at the facilities at Real Madrid, though. "Fit in exercise wherever you can," he adds.

"You can do an abs workout in your bedroom when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed. If you get into a routine then it makes it easier as it will become a habit."


What does Ronaldo eat?


Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup training session 2018

There's no point having the nicest car if you're not going to put the right fuel in it.

Ronaldo, unsurprisingly, takes his diet very seriously. "A good workout must be combined with a good diet," he states. "I eat a high protein diet, with lots of wholegrain carbs, fruit and vegetables, and avoid sugary foods."

He particularly likes fish and his favourite dish is bacalhau a braz, which is a mixture of cod, onions, thinly sliced potatoes and scrambled eggs. At restaurants, Ronaldo says he often orders steak and a salad.

"Eat regularly," Ronaldo continues. "If you train regularly it’s important to keep energy levels high to fuel your body for better performance. I sometimes eat up to six smaller meals a day to make sure I have enough energy to perform each session at top level."

Hydration is vital, too - "drinking water is so important," Ronaldo affirms - but one of the sacrifices he makes to keep his body in top condition is avoiding alcohol.


What other secrets does Ronaldo have?


Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus Real Madrid Champions League 2017-18

Healthy living is not something that Ronaldo dedicates a few hours to each day - it's a way of life he adheres to at all times.

That is not only a physical challenge but a mental one, too. "Learn to train your mind as well as your body," Ronaldo says. "Mental strength is just as important as physical strength and will help you achieve your goals.

"Be disciplined. Keeping yourself motivated and sticking to your routine is key. For me, there is no room for easing off so I have to be strict."

You can help yourself by setting goals and working with a training partner, adding competitiveness and company to your routine.

When he is not exercising Ronaldo tries to maintain a relaxed, restful lifestyle despite his massive fame and the attention he commands.

"Training and physical sessions are most important, but living a relaxed lifestyle helps you to be the best you can be, physically and mentally," Ronaldo explains. "I spend my free time with family and friends, which keeps me relaxed and in a positive mindset."

To that end, there is nothing more important than a good night's sleep.

"Proper sleep is really important for getting the most out of training," Ronaldo says. "I go to bed early and get up early, especially before matches. Sleep helps muscles recover which is really important."

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