April 8, 2020

COVID-19: How EPL stars are keeping fit

March 18, 2020

Premier League stars are being asked to complete You Tube workouts as clubs desperately try to keep their players fit during the Coronavirus delay.

But there is an emerging concern within top-flight sides that the imbalance in training schedules across playing personnel will serious damage the integrity of the competition once it starts up again.

One backroom members at top-flight club has described the home fitness regimes given to players during the Coronavirus training restrictions as ‘pointless’.

A number of clubs have drawn up off-site training programmes for players who are homebound because of Covid-19.

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But each programme varies according to what equipment each player has access to at home.

Many Premier League players have fully-equipped gyms at their homes meaning they can maintain their fitness levels with strength and cardiovascular work.

The likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Recce James and Tammy Abraham have all posted videos of themselves having completed interval sessions on an exercise bike, while other players with treadmills at home are competing high-intensity sprint sessions.

But players who do not have the appropriate training equipment face a far more difficult task of staying fit ahead of the restart.

Clubs have supplied those without access to home gyms with bodyweight programmes – which include exercises such as squats and press ups – to give players the best possible opportunity to maintain strength.

And Sportsmail can reveal that some players are completing high-intensity workouts available on You Tube to maintain their cardiovascular fitness.

Players have also been provided with mobility and stretching plans to ensure they do not get injured and a clear message to ‘stay hydrated’ at all times.

But a member of one Premier League club’s backroom team said: ‘The training programmes are pointless. The players are elite athletes, they need to be pushed everyday. It’ll be a problem when the games start back up because players will have lost fitness and sharpness.’

Indeed, there is a widespread acknowledgement that the training schedules are no substitute for the day-to-day rigours of real-life training, with club backroom team fully expecting players to return having lost fitness.

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The fact players will be undergoing undulating intensity training levels means players will return with differing stages of fitness.

Likewise, the fact some clubs are still training at their respective bases could also lead to varying fitness levels of across the league, which has raised concern that it will not be a level playing field once matches recommenced.



Training is due to recommence next Tuesday. Around 100 staff, including playing and technical staff, are self-isolating after manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus.


Villa trained normally on Monday but were then given two days off while the hierarchy considers their next steps in terms of player fitness.


Players are keeping fit away from the training ground using tailor-made programmes ahead of their return to duty – mooted for next Monday. While training at home, players have been offered equipment to use if needed, but not a food plan.

Club doctor Craig Roberts gave a presentation to players on Friday, encouraging them to keep a low profile and to stay only within a tight, small group of people, such as their families.


Brighton’s players have been given a few days off and will return to the training ground on Friday when their training schedule will be reviewed.


The players are training as normal but only essential staff are working with them at the club’s Barnfield base. Any visitors are subject to increased checks and hygiene requirements. Burnley will review the situation on a daily basis.


Players will return to training on Sunday once their period of self-isolation ends following Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive test.

While they have been in isolation, Chelsea have made provisions to ensure their players stay in shape, giving them nutrition and fitness plans and the required kit such as bikes to ensure they can complete their tasks.

The men’s building was closed for a deep clean last Thursday before Hudson-Odoi’s positive test and then shut down afterwards on Friday as players and coaches went into isolation. But it has been reopened since Saturday to players doing rehab and unaffected staff members.


The club’s training ground has been closed since Monday with players now training on their own.


Finch Farm is out of bounds for a fortnight, so individual programmes are the way forward. The club’s conditioning team know what each player is doing and how hard they are working as they have to wear smart watches that are linked to a database.


Players continue to work away from the club’s Belvoir Drive training ground and each has been given an individual training and nutrition programme to follow.


The players are away from Melwood for at least two weeks so are working on specialised individual programmes. Andreas Kornmayer, the club’s head of fitness and conditioning, is held in the highest regard by Jurgen Klopp and has worked closely with the squad for four years so knows the players’ needs.


Players have been given individual training plans to complete remotely. Some hire personal chefs, while others follow recipes devised by club nutritionist Silvia Tremoleda.

Pep Guardiola’s squad have been told to remain at home for the entire week and City will review the situation in the coming days. City have not trained as a group since last Thursday, when a relative of Benjamin Mendy was tested for coronavirus.


United have made ‘appropriate plans for players to maintain their wellbeing in all aspects’ while away from the club, including individual training programmes and nutrition. They have also been told to refrain from travelling.


Players have been given home training schedules which medical staff can keep track of via individual GPS devices while the training ground – or ‘rabbit warren’ given its cramped nature – is closed. Many of the exercises are static – such as weights. None of the squad or staff have symptoms of the virus but there will be no quick return to the training ground.


Norwich’s players are at home working to programmes similar to that of a summer break. Staff can monitor their progress from afar. Manager Daniel Farke said: ‘We have to act carefully and responsibly during what is a stormy and crazy time for society.’


The Blades are approaching the situation on a day-to-day basis, with conversations between first-team staff happening hourly as to whether the next training session is on. Chris Wilder’s side have trained over the last few days but have also postponed some sessions.


Players trained as normal on Monday but are now following personalised fitness programmes from home. Medical and sports science staff will be in regular contact with the squad, ensuring they are well-equipped to stay in shape.


Tottenham have trained as normal this week and will take a day off on Thursday. The first-team squad are operating strictly within their own area and with no interaction with the rest of the building.

Mourinho’s plans at the moment are to try to stay as closely as possible to the normal regime with some days off. Clubs shops have been closed until further notice and stadium tours have been suspended.


Boss Nigel Pearson has been in contact with his players with advice to keep their fitness levels up during the hiatus. Keeper Ben Foster has said he is spending more time out on his bike to keep in shape.


The squad are currently following a modified training programme and meal plans from home with their Rush Green base closed. Manager David Moyes and his assistants are no longer self-isolating and no staff or players have shown symptoms. Players have been told medical staff are available 24/7.


All but the first-team squad were absent from Compton on Monday, but coach Nuno Espirito Santo and his players went through a regular training session. The squad were then given Tuesday and Wednesday off and could resume training on Thursday.

Culled from dailymail.co.uk

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