Pre Season With Minnesota United FC

Greetings From Florida,
In case you haven't noticed, I have been out of the studio this week.  As part of our partnership with Minnesota United Football Club, I am helping them prepare for the opening game of the season in Tampa, Florida by running a 1 week camp.  The opener is this Saturday 6:30pm CST on ESPN3. Tune in!

The weather here has been beautiful, sunny and 85 degrees every day.  An occasional sprinkle around 4pm to cool things off and then a nice breezy 75 degrees to bring in the evening!! Even with the perfect weather....I still miss you guys!

My purpose writing this is simple.  Training, recovery, stress, and taking care of your body.  Everybody needs it, not just professional athletes.

Stressors come in all forms...a hard training session is extreme external stress, lack of sleep is internal stress, and we have to deal with everything in between on a daily basis.  
Stress can be managed and can impact not only performance, but weight loss, hormone stabilization, and cellular health.
To show you how I help the United soccer team manage all these stressors including training intensity, recovery, nutrition, and more, I am going to share with you what we do for a typical training day.

1. Wake Up at 8am

  •  It's best to let the sun wake us up naturally so we don't disturb our natural sleep patterns.  
  •  7:30am Melatonin secretion stops (melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep) so we want the guys to wake up after melatonin stops. Melatonin is responsible for the release of growth hormone, which keeps us young and helps with recovery.  

2. 9am - Core Training and Mobility Outdoors

  • Highest level of testosterone during the day at this hour so we take advantage of it and do a training session.  We do this outside with the exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning as it helps get our cortisol rising (stress hormone that give us adrenaline).   *If you get up before the sun, its good to have a little caffeine or green tea to help stimulate the cortisol.

3. 10am - quick breakfast (high protein and low fat)  

  • Protein will help with recovery and is easily digstable in an isolate whey powder that we put into a green smoothie. (you guys know my green smoothie recipe right?)
  • Low Fat because any fat would inhibit the uptake of protein and slow digestion.

4. 11:15am - Training on the field.

  • We are at our highest level of alertness at this point during the day.  Reaction time is best at this point.

5. 12:45pm - Cold Thermogenesis.

  • Training ends and the team heads to a cold pool of about 50 degree, this cold therapy aids in recovery, helps keep the metabolism up, and it burns white fat cells, and brings the body back to a state of homeostasis.  We do a 5 minute full body submersion with only the head above water.  (They hate it going in but feel amazing after)
  • The guys are given a drink with Vitamin C to aid in recovery as well as Fish oil to help with any soreness.

6. 1pm- Lunch

  •  65% fat/ 20% protein/ 30% carbohydrate.....this helps us burn fat. Fat is more efficient and burns much cleaner that carbohydrate, so we feed them more fat (of the healthy sorts....cocunut oil, avocado, kalamata olives.....).  Which helds guys to stay lean as well as get into a temporary ketongenic state, which helps guys with cognitive awareness and alertness.

7. 2pm -1 hour Nap

  • What Can I say, these guys are professional athletes.  We use blackout shades and turn the room temp down to 63 degrees.  Optimal sleeping temp to get into the deepest sleep possible as quickly as possible.

8. 5pm Heavy lifting-

  • At this point in the day we have our greatest cardio vascular strength and muscle efficiency.  
  • We know this because we see a minor spike at this time in body temp and blood pressure is at it's highest here than any other point throughout the day.

9. 6:30pm - Dinner -

  • Same as Lunch

10. 8pm -Deep Tissue  and mobility work-

  • Everyone gets 30-40 minutes of deep tissue message therapy and mobility.  What more can I say about normal folks have a Lacrosse ball and foam roller.

11. 10 pm - Bed Time

  • We try and get most guys to get lights out at this point as this is when Melatonin starts to be released and we can't afford to interrupt it with cell phone, t.v, or blue light, as that will stop the production on Melatonin, and inhibit sleep.  We encourage guys to read and relax.

 There are 25 guys on the team and every single one of them dislpays a shocking amount of lean, quick, athletic, intelligent, well humored, happiness each day!
They train hard when they train, but they recovery 22 hours of the day and destress in every sense of the word. The schedule is set up precisely to get max work and max recovery.  Therefore they get max benefit.

A quick version of a Fit'ers day:

  • Show up right on time (maybe a few minutes late)
  • warm up
  • prep for the workout
  • do the workout,
  • then within 2-5 minutes of a blaring music, deadly kettlebell swings,  fast burpees, crushing pull up workout (all very high stressors).....get up and walk out of the studio into car and drive off.

I know we can't all have lives like professional athletes.  We are working real jobs, weekend warriors, mom's, parents, students,  and anything other than a Minnesota United Pro Soccer player.  I just can't help but think how much more our bodies would adapt, how much more weight loss, more performance, more adaptation, more better everything we might see, if we spent a little more time working on things like sleep, nutrition, schedule, organization, and mobility, during the other 23 hours when we aren't training. 

Key factors in making these changes:
1. Nutrition
2. Mobility
3. Sleep

Looking forward to getting home to you guys!