EPL : Jamie Vardy’s secret
Jamie Vardy appears wiry but his legs are packed with power… how Leicester’s lean, mean goal-scoring machine muscles up
Jamie Vardy, according to those who know him, has a unique physiology among footballers. His genetics, and fast-working metabolism, mean his frame remains extremely lean at six per cent body fat, lower than the average footballer.
As a result his legs may look wiry, but they are powerful. He can jump almost 70cm off the ground, so his aerial performance on the pitch should be no surprise.
The squad at Leicester don’t focus on Olympic lifting, instead on pushing heavy loads on the club’s customised leg press. Matt Reeves, Head of Fitness and Conditioning, explains: ‘Jamie pushes in excess of 400kg for three reps. Having said this, he has always possessed electric pace and so he does not tend to focus on improving strength or building muscle quite as much as others.’
Vardy is the quickest player in a squad full of nimble runners at Leicester, registering a peak speed in training of 9.6m/s.
Much of Vardy’s work in training is done to build a robustness that will last throughout the season. Reeves adds: ‘We construct a tailored programme for all players and key to Jamie’s is a prolonged recovery time because of the explosive power he expends in matches.’
Vardy will, like others, use CherryActive shots post-game, an antioxidant of natural source to help the body remove waste products.
Reeves continues: ‘Other supplements will be given too, with Vitamin D important throughout the winter months when the sun is not shining to ensure bone and muscles stay healthy. Individual doses are calculated based on blood samples in order to maximise performance benefits.’
Leicester are pleased that Vardy has featured in every single Premier League game this season, and often scores goals late in games – showing he can last when defenders tire.
Indeed, 11 out of his 18 Premier League goals have come in the final 30 minutes. That suggests the work done in this season and past campaigns will see the squad keep fit during the run-in.