Disclaimer: This article mentions some extreme fitness regimes that you should only do after consulting with a qualified medical professional.
What we see on the field is an athlete's performance, but only a handful of people know what it takes to win, or just to participate at the level the legends below are. Here are some crazy things these athletes have done in pursuit of getting or maintaining that perfect body for that perfect game. Read on.
1. Back in 2018, Mary Kom lost 2 kilograms in 4 hours to maintain her weight for the 48-kilo event of the Silesian Open Boxing Tournament. And how did she do it? She told The Free Press Journal:
I did skipping for an hour at a stretch and just like that, I was ready.
2. Before the Olympics, Michael Phelp's trainer Bob Bowman used to take him to Colorado Springs, a high altitude area, so that it was tougher to breathe while swimming, hence building the athlete's stamina.
And Phelps diet during this time used to consist of eggs, french toast, and coffee. All three meals. And he would only just "eat, sleep and train" for days before the competition.
3. To mix things up a bit, here is Usain Bolt's diet from the 2008 Olympics where he won 3 Olympic gold medals: 100 chicken nuggets, french fries, and apple pies.
As soon as this news broke out, it had nutritionists across the world scratch their heads, trying to understand why something like this would work. But then it's Usain, he is not a human anyway.
4. Some reports suggest that instead of sleeping for 7-8 hours in one go Ronaldo chooses to take 5 90-minute naps. This apparently helps him with time management and maintains his energy and concentration.
5. A few years ago, Lewis Hamilton switched to a plant-based diet, which according to him, has been doing wonders for his fitness. But a plant-based diet means he has to find a vegan alternative for everything he likes to eat. In one such instance, he found a vegan burger he liked in Hong Kong, but the guy was participating in Japan. So he made the restaurant deliver it because he strictly doesn't have cheat days.
I found a vegan burger in Hong Kong and had them send burgers to me in Japan, where I ate them every day.
Now that's something!
6. Mirabai Chanu ate "nothing" (which we hope is an expression) two days before the game. Even if it isn't literally true, she was on a very strict diet for almost two years and had homemade food for the first time in 24 months, after winning the medal for India.
7. Virat Kohli drinks (or at least used to) only imported water from France that used to cost him ₹600-per-bottle. This was in a bid to only put "completely natural" things in his body so his fitness would not get hampered.
Where does this self-control come from?