With football suspended across the land, social media is now being bombarded with footage of footballers keeping up their insane levels of fitness during this impromptu late season break. And no, we’re not talking about your 5-a-side midfield engine posting ludicrously inane selfies captioned “#StillAtIt” from the gym treadmill.
Countless Premier League footballers are at it – Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng, Tammy Abraham, Nicolas Otamendi, Theo Walcott and David Luiz to name just a few – but one individual is conspicuous by his absence, however. A certain Luke Shaw.
Man United’s 2018/19 player of the season has often come under heavy fire in the past over his apparent lack of fitness and how his commitment to training at a Premier League standard is badly lacking. Shaw himself admits that such criticism, most of which came from his former boss Jose Mourinho, has been “fair” and acknowledges the fact he needs to work harder to maintain his peak physical condition. And that renewed commitment doesn’t stop just because the football itself has.
However, with some United fans being left concerned by the lack of personal updates from the England left-back, we are here to allay those worries. In a Paddy Power exclusive, we’ve ensnared a copy of Luke Shaw’s personal home workout regime which he is religiously sticking to to maintain his physique during football’s shutdown. And it’s every bit as rigorous as you thought it would be…
Benefit: Incline sprints are a fantastic method to simultaneously enhance your training for maximum power, muscle building, pace and stamina.
Shaw’s workout: Luke, doing the best you can with your innate muscle power is a key part of your regime. Remember, you yourself admitted you have a “Wayne Rooney type of body”, so make it count. Given you are not allowed out of the house, please ensure you sprint up and down your stairs every single time you go to the kitchen to get something to snack on. On an average day that should total some 30–40 “hill” sprints, which should just about work off those Doritos share bags.
Benefit: Weightlifting is vital to maintain your personal physical condition, with a particular focus on increasing strength and losing that all-important belly fat.
Shaw’s workout: We can’t understate the importance of focusing on this aspect of your home training regime, Luke. With that in mind please ensure that when all of your evening takeaway orders arrive you both curl and deadlift them to get the desired workout. Given they usually weigh around 20kg, five sets of 20 reps should be a comfortable target.
Benefit: Endurance training enhances your body’s ability to withstand extended periods of activity, keeping your footballing fitness levels as high as possible without playing.
Shaw’s workout: Maintaining your stamina is absolutely vital, so pay close attention to this part of the regime. For all your daily meals, completely focus on chewing. Chew, chew, and chew some more. The workout you’ll get from relentlessly masticating your daily diet would easily cover the same amount of effort required for 90 minutes of Premier League football. Don’t skip this one whatever you do.
Benefit: Working on your balance improves coordination and the ability to react to sudden changes of direction, key traits in particular for a top-level defender.
Shaw’s workout: Improving your balance can be achieved simply using equipment you already have at home. This means we don’t have to deliver anything and risk possible contamination. So once you’ve washed down your takeaway(s) with a full box of beer, haul yourself up off the sofa and stand on one leg for at least 10 seconds. Then switch legs. Repeat until you get ever so slightly tired.
Benefit: Combining cardio and strength training, bodyweight training is a highly effective, efficient way of maintaining fitness.
Shaw’s workout: There are countless exercises you can focus on for this, including lunges, squats, burpees, planks and push-ups. We’ll let you decide to do whatever you fancy out of these. After all, anything you do is going to take a fair chunk of effort. And before you even get tempted, remember that using your thumbs whilst playing on a games console does NOT count.
Benefit: Resting allows your body to repair damaged tissues and fully recover from a strenuous workout.
Shaw’s workout: Nobody needs to tell you what to do here, Luke. You’re already an expert at sitting around doing absolutely nothing outside of the football pitch when given the chance. So rest up!