Cristiano Ronaldo revealed why he's one of the fittest men in the world by firing off 15 clap push-ups in rapid succession during a training session Aug. 9 with his Real Madrid teammates.
In the video (see above), Ronaldo decides to make his workout more challenging by doing clap push-ups instead of regular ones. He then finishes off with an acrobatic jump back to his feet. Cristiano, who is known for his legendary self-discipline and diligence, was recently named the "Fittest Man Alive" of 2014 by Men's Health magazine.
The ripped 6-foot-1 Portuguese international forward said having a strong mind is critical if you want to have a strong body and excel on the athletic field.
“To be the best you can be, you have to be focused," he said. "Training your mind is very important. Then distractions are no longer distractions. You can remain calm if you are confident. The harder you work and the more committed you are, the more confident you become.”
Named Fittest Man Alive By Men's Health and Second Fittest Athlete In the World
Cristiano was also recently named the second fittest male athlete in the world by Sports Illustrated. Ronaldo was edged out by NBA superstar LeBron James, who recently made headlines after debuting his shocking weight loss on a low carb ketogenic diet. James reportedly was inspired by the Paleo diet transformation of his former Miami Heat teammate, Ray Allen.
Coming in at No. 32 on the Sports Illustrated list was four-time CrossFit champion Rich Froning, who was crowned the "Fittest Man Alive" for the fourth year in a row by virtue of his CrossFit win.
Ronaldo, who won the 2014 Ballon d'Or, has natural athleticism, but works extremely hard to maintain his elite level of play. "Physically, Cristiano is the perfect specimen," Manchester United's former conditioning coach Mike Clegg, told the BBC. "From his height to his natural body type, muscular structure, how much fat he's got in his system, his endurance capacity, flexibility, power and strength. They are in perfect balance."
Ronaldo rarely eats junk food and isn't a big drinker. During the soccer season, his workout routine includes lots of running and weight training as well as practice matches with Real Madrid.
Cristiano typically works out five days a week, doing cardio circuits and exercising his legs, arms, core. "His training emphasizes explosion, endurance, speed, strength and functional movement alongside his many hours of footwork and team practices," said Clegg.
High-Protein Diet of Mostly Fish and Steak
Cristiano also follows a healthy diet of fish, meat, chicken, vegetables and fruit during the season. Cristiano has previously said his favorite meal is bacalhau à braz (cod with scrambled eggs and fried potatoes), a traditional Portuguese dish.
When he eats out in restaurants with pals, Ronaldo has said his favorite dish is a medium-rare steak, side salad and a few french fries. “Cristiano Ronaldo eats all sort of dishes as a responsible athlete, but the one he likes the most is fish, such as gilt-head bream, swordfish and sea bass," said Clegg.
Ronaldo, who has been playing soccer since age three, is a study in extreme physical fitness. At 6-foot-1 and 176 pounds, Cristiano is one of the leanest, fastest and fittest athletes to grace the world stage. During his six years at Manchester United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, an FA Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup, as well as the FIFA Player of the Year title.
In 2009, Cristiano made international headlines when United agreed to sell him to Real Madrid for a stunning $131 million transfer fee, making him the most expensive player in European football history.
Despite his success, Cristiano still has a burning ambition to constantly improve his game and has no intention of resting on his laurels. "I want to get better and better," he said. "My ambition is huge."