How do professional players workout?
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When you hear the regular "you must work out and eat healthily!" — maybe you're taking a bottle of soda from the fridge, grabbing chips, settling comfortably in front of your favorite place in the world and let yourself melting in your lazyness. Well, we will convince you that training and proper nutrition isn't only for super-productive and always active people.
We continue our series of useful articles that will help you not only to understand the work of your body and become healthier, but also help to achieve better results in any game by increasing the reaction rate, high-quality work of the brain and muscles.
In past articles, we looked at how brain aging impacts your ability to play games; what to eat, so that the brain stays younger, and the reaction in games stays clear and fast. We even gave you the real menu of the proper healthy food. Today we'll tell you about the professional player workouts (with examples and comments).
Do professional players workout?
In April 2019, the NY Times published an interesting article about the training of professional players from two Danish teams Astralis (CS:GO) and Origen (League of Legends). We wrote a separate article about it. The owners of these teams hired physical training coaches, a nutritionist, a massage therapist, a doctor, and a sports psychologist, who served in Special Forces for twenty years. Now their gaming sessions alternate with intense workouts in the gym.
The boxing exercise to strengthen the neck from the trainer Mikkel Hüler. Source: The New York Times
The players need to train every day for several hours to succeed, and not only in front of the computer. All players have signed contracts that spell out employer's requirements for sports training and nutrition.
Astralis participates in international Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions. The guys couldn't win a single tournament for almost a year until Kasper Hvidt (retired handball goalkeeper, who lastly played for KIF Kolding and former Danish national team) came to the team in mid-2017. Since then Astralis earned $ 3.7 million in prize money in a year: this is one of the best achievements for any team in any computer game in the entire esports history.
The Origen players train as well as their colleagues from Astralis, alternating physical exertion with protein shakes, yoga classes and breathing exercises. Instead of fast food, the nutritionist makes athletes a menu with an optimal protein and vitamin content.
The CS:GO compLexity Gaming management also takes sports in players' lives seriously. Watch this short but interesting video with the comments from team's CEO Jason Lake:
The big companies understand the importance of physical activity for their employees and building up a gym right in their offices.
Can I do the same myself?
Sure, and we'll show you how. It is no secret that sports, training and physical activity are beneficial for a person’s mental health. There is an opinion that several years of severe intellectual work at the computer without physical exertion and high-quality rest are likely to lead to deviations in the psyche, including depression. You need to include some physical activity in your everyday life. It's better to consult with the specialists, but the simple exercises can be done at home. For example, Matthew Hwu (Physical Therapist, OCS, CSCS) has a useful YouTube channel with a lot of different exercises, especially for gamers. He is training the Overwatch's Dallas Fuel team.
A longtime player and personal trainer Tim Spencer, together with his wife launched Heroes of Fitness, a Twitch livestream that combines gaming and workouts and encourages gamers to adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle.
We also had a guide of useful scout workout right in front of your computer (or near it) - go check it out!
Not all the teams have an opportunity or any need to include workouts in the training process of the players. We collect several opinions on this subject from famous teams and players.
"Since we have infrequent bootcamps, there's no point in training. We have to walk twice a day for 30 minutes. We also punish any offense: 20 push-ups or 30 squats, depending on whether there are any games. Sometimes players take dumbbells, but this is not an obligation."
Sergey Voronovich, Nemiga Gaming СЕО
"Physical activity within the team is currently a personal choice. Some players benefit from it as a form of stress relief, while others use it to disconnect themselves from dota. Schedule set allows for them to be able to do physical activities in the day. But nothing is scheduled to force them to do it. Again, personal choice."
Robson "TeaGuvnor" Merritt, Chaos Esports Club coach
"I'm the only one [from my team - ed. note] who workout a bit (sort of push-ups and leg raise before sleep or after wake up or set of push ups between the matches). I feel happy to train physically. Since I was growing older by time goes, I just got the motivation to do this physical training for keeping dota mechanical skills."
Lee "Forev" Sang-don, playing for Team Jinesbrus.
A dose of the motivation
If we haven't convinced you in the importance of healthy lifestyle yet, here are few examples of professional players in excellent physical shape.
Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham is a jungler for League of Legends Team SoloMid.
Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko is the captain of the Ukrainian Counter-Strike team Natus Vincere. He can be called not only an in-game team leader but also a leader in terms of fitness among his teammates. He even has gym equipment in his apartment.
Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski is well-known for every CS:GO player.
Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir is a former CS:GO player for Ghost Gaming and Cloud9.
Every year the concept of esports training is getting closer to the usual sport. Previously, gamers trained for 10-11 hours a day, snacking on pizza with energy drinks while remaining in front of the computer. This was considered a model of successful gaming and the path to esports success. In recent years, some clubs have wisely transferred their teams to the professional training methodology, which includes not only the training mode in the game but also proper nutrition and workouts.
If you, our reader, want to achieve high results - eat and train like true professional players.
Bonus: Snoop Dogg is a sporty professional player, too.