Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer, 2008 French Open Men’s final, was the first full length match I saw in TV. That was the time when I discovered how ruthless Rafa was in clay. He was, indeed, the King of Clay and devoured Federer in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.
Rafa’s Daily Diet
Standing at 6 ft. 1 and weighs 85 kg., Rafa stays healthy because of the food he chooses to eat. He’s perceived as the Mr. Perfectionist in tour, therefore, it’s expected of him to control his diet routine outside the court.
He follows a strict diet plan every day, especially when a tournament gets near. It’s no secret that he prefers to eat nutritious and light food before, during and after a match.
- His favorite food: Pasta
- His favorite fruit: Banana
- Vegetables are part of his daily diet.
- His favorite meal: Chicken and grilled fish
- His typical breakfast: Croissant, Toasted bread, Hot Chocolate
- Favorite cheat food: Chocolate, Nutella, French fries, cake
Rafa’s workout routine focuses on improving his footwork and strokes. Optimum Tennis confirms his training program is designed for top athletes with supreme level of endurance.
His training program is divided into three seasons. During pre-season, Rafa spends more time on extensive strength training. He’s found inside the gym with his instructor.
He loves to use a vibrating platform, which improves his blood circulation, flexibility, muscle strength and motion range. This platform is his favorite part. He experiments with various poses such as standing, sitting, one-leg standing, hands-free standing to relax his muscles.
To give a clear visual what this platform looks like, play the video below. You’ll see how a young Rafa trains to keep himself healthy for the competition.
Stretching plays a vital role in Rafa’s workout program considering tennis requires a lot of rotating, bending and running. He hires a physical therapist to stretch his leg and arm muscles whenever it’s needed.
Once a new season starts, Rafa gives less time in the gym and prioritizes playing tennis. He’s found outside with his Uncle Toni. He’s busy with his elastic bands (an ideal exercise for his shoulder and rotator cuff), with his stretching routines and with his regular drills.
In fact, during a grass court season, Rafa trains his lower body more than anything else. The low bounces in grass court require him to hunch and bend to reach the ball.
Rafa finds it funny when flexing his bulging biceps get much attention. In his interview for Men’s Fitness, he reveals that there’s nothing special about his workout for his biceps and triceps. It basically involves free weights, nothing more.
Even in off-season, Rafa still observes healthy lifestyle. His normal day will consist of waking up early, brief workout, cooking with his family and friends and going out to attend parties.
Rafa: An Inspiration?
Yes. Rafael Nadal is an inspiration to all men out there, myself included. First, he regularly improves his aggressive counter-punching game despite of tendinitis in both knees. This is a medical condition in which he feels pain and soreness around the joint (NLM, 2014).
Second, Rafa aims for more. He completed his career golden slam when he won his first US Open title in 2010. Yet, he chose not to rest on his laurels. He won four consecutive French Open after that (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).
Third, Rafa is a bankable athlete with a substance. With a list of sponsors and endorsements namely Nike, Babolat, Quely, Kia Motors, Richard Mille watch, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger – Rafa continues to inspire his fans all over the world since he began his professional career in 2001.
“Be prepared to suffer and keep going.” Those were Uncle Toni’s words to his nephew when he was still young and was climbing the ladder of fame. Will Rafa convert these words into action to win more grand slams?
Photos Courtesy of: Zimbio, US Open