Want to train like an England star? Join our 12-week schedule tailored by our coaches

As we launch our 12-week fitness and exercise plan, showing you how to train like an England player, hear from England women's lead physical performance coach Martin Evans who oversees the delivery of the physical training plans for all England Women's teams about what's in store and how it can benefit anyone...

Tuesday 07 Apr 2020
The Lionesses warm-up for a training session, tailored to them by their physical performance coaches

So Martin, tell us about the series and who it’s aimed at…

It’s aimed at anybody who might want to take on the challenge…there’s people who don’t currently do anything so this could be the start of them being active and how they can maintain that for general health moving forward. So they could start at the lower levels and then move forward from that over the course of the 12 weeks and that’s an amazing change.

Then there’s the people who are already active and training at some level, so this can help them perform better when they go back to playing once we get out of the lockdown.

And maybe there’s some higher level footballers and this can help them think about training and how they can individualise that.

More broadly, there’s also the community that I’m part of from a physical performance perspective and how this might be a different way of approaching training in terms of testing and understanding what an individual needs and how to make adjustments in order to optimise performance.

 

So what have you got in store for us?

The programme is based on the profiling and training system that we use with our national teams, to make sure they’re prepared to cope with demands of international football.

The first session is about profiling yourself, so there will be three assessments that you can do at home to look at your strengths and weaknesses, which then allows an individualised programme to be built across the 12-week schedule we’ve put together.

England's Harry Winks takes a stretch before training

From the national team’s perspective, there are three physical components that we talk about: braking strength, which is the capability to change your body's momentum, for example when you're running to press an opponent and they move the ball on, you must then react to this and change your direction to press the player that has received the ball. Then there’s sprinting strength, which is the ability to absorb the forces from sprinting and high speed running. The final component is to repeat and recover which is whether you can you do those things repeatedly throughout a game and across a series of games with short turnarounds at international level.

The programme is designed to make sure players are conditioned to perform well physically in all of those areas.

What kind of work will it involve? How much space do you need?

There will be resistance-based work, but also body-weight based exercises as the majority of people won’t have access to equipment at home.

There will also be running, because that’s a key aspect of the sport, but if we go into no physical exercise outside of homes, then it will be more of a circuit training idea but that depends on what happens naturally.

All of thr England players work to an individual training routine when preparing for games

If this is what the England players do, can anyone do this?

 Yes, that’s the purpose of the programme and why there’s three assessments to start with and basically, if you are above or below the levels set out then you can develop that area more to redress that balance.

So if you’re really fit already, but perhaps weak in your breaking and sprinting, you could do more of the resistance-based work and less of the running, to optimise your profile.

That’s how we approach it with national teams – not every player follows the same thing as we try to individualise it and tweak it to the person's profile

We want this to cater for individuals, it’s not just one class for everyone to follow, which is challenging because we’re obviously not seeing you one-to-one so we’ve worked out a way of doing it.

Three Lions Harry Maguire and Michael Keane have a tailored plan when on international duty with England

It might not fit for everyone but hopefully you can customise your programme to see a difference and then you can re-test across the 12-week programme to see how you’re progressing.

At six weeks, you might need to re-adjust if you’ve made changes in a certain area that’s now no longer a weakness and that’s what training is about, that constant adjustment.

Is this a similar programme to what the players will be working to?

The best example of it from our perspective with the teams, is the lead into major tournaments when we can assess the players in a longer period leading into a competition. So the women’s team would have followed these principles last year leading into their World Cup, as would the men’s team in Russia in 2018.

You can join the sessions from Wednesday 8 April 2020 and every following Wednesday via the official England pages on both Twitter and Facebook. 

By Nicholas Veevers