Getting in shape for soccer fast is entirely achievable. If you know what you are doing, take the right steps, and follow the proper routine along with a well-disciplined schedule, you will be fit in no time at all.
To make this as simple as possible, I’ve put together this article to show how it’s done. So, let’s take a look at how to get in shape for soccer fast.
To get in shape for soccer fast, you should implement a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) program. This type of exercise will get you fit for soccer fast because it utilizes the body’s anaerobic system in the same way playing soccer does. You should also eat a healthy diet to optimize your recovery time.
I designed this entire article to show you how to train your body to get into shape for soccer fast.
To help with this, I will cover four specific areas you should concentrate on to get fit fast. We will also look at how following a HIIT program helps is perfect for speeding up the time it takes to get fit.
So, whether you are a beginner who is just starting out or a soccer player getting ready for a new season, or tryouts, this article is perfect for you. (If you’re specifically looking to get fit after a period out of the game, check out my article: How to get BACK in Shape for Soccer)
Let’s start by looking at the main four things you should do to get fit for soccer in a short space of time.
4 Areas to Focus on to Get in Shape for Soccer Fast
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time staying fit for soccer. I know that focussing on these four areas can make all the difference when it comes to getting in shape and staying in shape.
Just remember, getting in shape is one thing, but when you need to speed up and accelerate that process, you need to stick to strict routines and schedules.
Let’s get into it.
1. Be aware of your diet
Getting in shape fast for soccer can be made a lot easier if you follow the right diet plan.
I know that this can be very different for everybody, depending on your current BMI (Body Mass Index). Whether you have a higher BMI or more of an average one, your diet will be more or less the same with some slight differences.
When you are trying to get in shape for soccer fast, you will be doing a lot of training. To properly recover from and supplement all the energy that you will be burning, you need to eat a good balance between proteins and carbs.
Let’s take a look at a professional soccer player’s nutritional intake to get a good idea of what the right balance is. [source]
The ideal nutritional intake for a soccer player should be:
- 65% Carbohydrates
- 25% fat
- 15% protein
You want to be taking in 4 meals a day, with one of those being mainly fruit snacks. Fruits are a great way of getting natural sugars.
If you have a higher BMI than average and you need to shed off excess weight, unfortunately, you will have to work harder on your diet.
You will want to decrease your carb intake slightly. For your carb intake, you want to eat clean carbs.
Here are a few examples of clean carbs.
- Brown Rice instead of White Rice.
- Whole wheat pasta.
- Sweet potato instead of regular potatoes.
- Fruits such as apples and bananas.
Water also plays a huge role in getting in shape fast for soccer.
It is recommended that we all drink at least half a gallon (1.9 liters) of water a day.
You want to consume slightly more than this, and you want to drink it specifically before, during, and after training.
2. Work on your strength
When it comes to strength training, we often underestimate how important it is for soccer players.
When you talk about getting in shape for soccer, you need to include strength training, but how do you accelerate strength training so that you can get in shape fast?
Let’s take a look.
Your first method would be to do intense circuit training with machine weights.
This is pretty simple.
Depending on your current fitness level, you could do 30 to 45 minutes 2 or 3 times a week.
Again, your fitness determines how long you should rest in between sets. In most cases, you do not need to rest.
If you prefer using free weights, then you want to superset your exercises.
A superset is where you do one set on one muscle, and without resting, you immediately go into the next one on a different muscle before taking your 30-second to 1-minute break.
Basically, one set becomes a combination of two sets.
This not only speeds up the entire process, but it also keeps your heart rate up, your body temperature up, and increases your lung capacity.
So, you are basically doing strength training with a little bit of cardio involved as well.
3. Improve your agility
It’s all good trying to get in shape fast for soccer, but the last thing you want to happen is getting an injury.
Obviously, this will slow down the process as you have to wait to recover before carrying on with your training. There is a way to avoid this as much as possible.
Stretching every day when you wake up, before your training, and again after your workout is one of the best ways to avoid picking up an injury.
This is especially true when you are pushing yourself to get in shape fast.
It also helps your agility, which is crucial for soccer players. You want to be as flexible as possible on the field.
I also recommend including stretching in your warm-up before a game. Find out more in my article – How to Warm Up for Soccer: Step-by-Step Process.
4. Focus on cardio
When it comes to cardio, any cardio is excellent for getting in shape.
Still, if you are trying to get in shape for soccer fast, then there are a few things that you can do to accelerate your fitness.
It is important to do cardio at least five days a week. If you struggle to do that, push yourself to do as many as you can. Just remember, you do need at least 1 or 2 days of rest per week.
The best type of cardio you can do when looking to get in shape fast, specifically for soccer, is high-intensity interval training.
HIIT is the fastest and most efficient way to increase your heart rate, increase your body temperature, and increase your lung capacity.
All of this contributes to your overall fitness, which will help you become fit fast and is crucial to playing soccer.
Because following a HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, based workout program is so essential to getting fit fast, let’s have a closer look at this now.
Why HIIT Is The Best Way To Get Fit For Soccer Fast
When training for soccer, I find it’s best to implement HIIT training because it enables the particular kind of energy system that the body uses while playing soccer.
Soccer primarily uses the anaerobic system to process energy.
Anaerobic exercise processes energy fast by breaking down glycogen instead of glucose in the blood.
You can find more out about anaerobic vs aerobic exercise in my article – How to get in shape for soccer – or – Why long-distance running is NOT good for soccer players.
The only way to exercise this way is by HIIT training.
To get fit for soccer fast, you need to exercise using this system.
I want you to think about how soccer is played on an individual level.
When you’re playing soccer you are not constantly running, but rather, you are frequently stopping and starting. That is why HIIT is so effective for soccer fitness.
High-intensity interval training is the closest exercise to what it’s like to play a match of soccer. In soccer, you are normally doing short bursts of intense running with a lot of walking and jogging in between. That is basically the same thing as high-intensity interval training.
One of the best things about high-intensity interval training is that you don’t need a lot of time to get the benefits of the exercises.
So, where most people go to the gym or do exercises for 45 minutes to 1 and 1/2 hours, you don’t need to take that much time with HIIT.
HIIT has always been perfect for people with busy schedules because you only need about 30 minutes of training a day to receive even more benefits than what regular exercise would have given you over a more extended period of time.
If you are trying to speed up the process of getting in shape, this is perfect for you.
To make this as easy as possible for you, I have put together a 30-day soccer fitness program.
This 30-day program takes you, step by step, through a soccer-focused fitness routine based around HIIT.
Can You Do HIIT Every Day?
Unfortunately, as with every exercise, you should not continue to do it every day.
This is because your body needs a rest, and even the professionals take days off. However, you can do high-intensity interval training every day over short periods of time.
For example, if you are doing a training course designed to be completed over a period of up to 2 months, you could give it your all of those months. The key here is to make sure that you take a rest for a few days afterward.
It is also essential to continue with your training once you are done with that.
However, if you look at it in the long run, if you have been training for a few months, you should definitely take at least one day a week to rest up.
If you want to get in shape for soccer fast, you need to exercise utilizing the anaerobic system, and the best form of exercise for that is HIIT training.
HIIT training is fast-paced, high-intensity interval training that you can do almost anywhere using just the body if no equipment is available.
Don’t forget to check out my soccer-focused HIIT training program here and discover a sure-fire way to get fit fast.
I just want to add that there is a vast misconception that getting in shape for soccer is impossible for certain body types.
This misconception plays a large factor in the number of people who give up before they even start.
With the right program, such as this one, you could get in shape really quickly. You can also get to the point where being in shape becomes natural to you, and you don’t have to work as hard for it anymore.
Check out one of my related articles on staying fit for soccer