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  1. #1
    Registered User Fringe3's Avatar
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    Cant get fit (soccer)

    I'm a soccer player who has been struggling with fitness for my whole life. I have training 3 times a week as well as a match. The training usually consists of lots of running such as laps of the oval and shuttle runs and all that. I really struggle to complete this running and usually finish at the back of the pack or have to run slower than everyone else. As much running as I do, I cannot get more than 8 on the beep test. I push myself to the absolute limit during training and matches yet have had no increase in fitness throughout the season. My diet is usually pretty good, I rarely eat fast food and eat fresh homecooked meals every day. I have a BMI of 25.2 but I have quite a bit of muscle on me and am not fat.

    Are my genetics just bad? Is fitness predetermined through genetics? Is there more to fitness than just running? What am I doing wrong?

    Also recently, when I push myself too hard, I have been getting a sharp pain in the center to the right of my chest. Is this dangerous?

    This is my first post so I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask this or not.
    Last edited by Fringe3; 12-06-2019 at 05:25 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fringe3 View Post
    I have a BMI of 25.2
    Post pictures to your bodyspace. If you're not lifting weights on a regular basis, you likely have more fat and less muscle than you think.
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  3. #3
    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    First, I would get a physical from your medical provider. Some of what you describe sounds like overtraining. Do you have an offseason? If not, you really need one. Significant strength training should be done outside of your "in season" sport. Assuming you have an offseason I would implement a good beginning strength program; your goal is to build a solid base level of strength, something that all athletes regardless of sport need to do. Towards the end of your offseason most athletes transition to developing themselves for the rigors of their sport; typically power development and/or general physical preparedness (GPP - look it up). There is a lot of good information out there for soccer that you can look up. My guess is that you have some strength deficiencies that need to be remedied next offseason and then you need to work on GPP. For this season you may be able to start implementing a couple of strength (full body) workouts per week and you may need to eat more.

    As an aside, my son plays American Football, which combines strength and power training. I was always under the impression that soccer players needed a lot of aerobic training. When my son was recovering from an injury his PT (DPT), who was a high level college soccer player and treats many professional soccer players (as well as other professional athletes), told me that except for a few soccer players most soccer players have a similar energy usage profile to American Football players (and Rugby) and that a lot of their non-skill offseason training can be the same. So, you can look at the strength training programs and summer programs (which is more power development focused) for American Football (and offseason track and field sprint programs) for ideas on how to structure your training.
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    Registered User samdencom's Avatar
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    Consult a doctor first, then start a training regime as per prescribed by a professional or your coach
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    Registered User bicepliberator's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    Post pictures to your bodyspace. If you're not lifting weights on a regular basis, you likely have more fat and less muscle than you think.
    Agree here. As someone around that BMI who runs quite a bit and is _relatively_ lean, I am dramatically overweight compared to a professional soccer player.

    The contrast is usually in upper body strength and having lots of upper body strength is the opposite of a typical soccer physique. Virgil Van Dijk is a tank of a soccer player at 6'4" 205 lbs and his BMI is roughly less than yours. Also, BMI is probably not the best tool as implied above. Depends on lean mass and how that mass is distributed.

    Of course, there are exceptions and it depends on your position but there is only 1 Adama Traore...
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  6. #6
    Registered User cardiolgyscribe's Avatar
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    When I joined rowing (which is practice FIVE days per week from 5;30AM-8AM) I found some days we go hard yes but it is not as much as it sounds like. So much of the time is wasted doing stretches, getting everyone together, deciding line-ups, getting boats out, etc etc etc. When I ran Xc and track - same ****. You are not actually exerting yourself all of practice or even half of it usually. So for soccer I imagine the same.

    From what I read you are doing, you are not overtraining like others have suggested. You are probably not doing as much as you think you are.

    When I was just working out on my own I looked and felt a lot better because I went very hard. Now that it is an organized team practice I am finding that after a semester I do not look much different and my weight is really similar. My erg times have come down a lot though. I think it is easy to be on a team and think if you are doing the assigned work then you must be doing 'enough' when you actually are not.

    I have been going to pratice every day and now doing something on my own - usually lifting (since rwoing practice is more CV oriented) 3x per week if possible.
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  7. #7
    Registered User nemLifts's Avatar
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    It would be a good idea to seek medical advice from your doctor in regards to the sharp pain in the chest. It's near impossible to guess the issue among a myriad of potential issues.

    As for the rest of the post..

    I come from a generally athletic background as well (played div 1 competitive soccer) and actually suffered a pretty similar issue in regards to endurance. Based on what you said, I dont think overtraining would be an issue for 3-4 days of training per week (unless you're really giving every session max effort for an overly extended period of time). Having said that, ineffective training could be a cause.

    Genetics may or may not be a factor but its important to remember that everyone reacts differently to training. I used to push myself very hard during laps and long endurance (aerobic) fitness and rarely seemed to get results I expected come game time. This was because my style of endurance training was more focused on long distances and low intensity. To adjust, I threw in a healthy dose of anaerobic training (in the form of hill sprints and other HIIT training). This helped hugely.

    Its generally suggested that if you want to achieve a high level of competitiveness, train like you play. Meaning that if you want to excel in soccer, try to train based on soccer related movement patterns and endurance developing activities. A beep test can help as a marker for improvement, but running wall to wall at a predetermined pace is nothing like soccer. Hope this helps
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