With help from fitness coach Pierre Paganini, Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has stayed on top of his game for an impressively long period of time. Currently holding the No. 3 position, he comes preceded by two decade’s worth of glorious benchmarks, including a record-breaking 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Ask most fans or experts and they’ll tell you that this tennis star is quite simply the best to ever play the sport, and they wouldn’t be wrong.
As one might suspect, Roger Federer’s training routine plays a huge role in his ongoing success, as do his eating habits. That said, the tennis star’s diet is considerably less disciplined than the diets of other celebrities and athletes. On the other hand, no type of calorie or carbohydrate in the world can withstand the brutal demands of an exhaustive tennis match.
Behind the scenes, Pierre Paganini and others keep Federer in top shape by way of various regimens. Depending on everything from the tennis star’s physical condition to his mental state of mind, Paganini implements a rotating door of tennis-related training exercises. During the off-season, meanwhile, Federer hits the weight room on a regular basis.
Pair all that with the athlete’s natural sharpness, technique, and adaptability, and you end up with a truly spontaneous and dynamic playing style. All the while, Federer has mostly avoided excessive injury throughout his career. And when he does undergo the occasional back inflammation or knee surgery, he’s back on his feet in surprisingly little time.
Given Federer’s incredible longevity, hardcore fans and fitness freaks alike might wonder: what’s the ongoing secret to his success? Enter the Roger Federer tennis diet and workout plan, which loads up on calories and then burns them off on the court. Should you want to eat like the champ, prepare to work as hard as he does. Here are the details.
Roger Federer’s Diet Plan
We’ve written about a lot of celebrity and athlete diets, and Federer’s might be the most liberal of them all. Put simply, the dude kind of eats whatever he wants. Yes, that entails plenty of healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, lean meats, and veggies, but it also makes room for waffles, pasta, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, and decadent dishes from around the world. Pretty much the opposite of vegan, Federer’s diet thrives on variety.
Of course, there is method to all this dietary madness. Whereas shredded stars like The Rock or Arnold Schwarzenegger consume lots of proteins and good fats in order to build mass and aid with muscle recovery, tennis players rely on complex carbs for prolonged energy storage and spontaneous power boosts. When that’s joined by vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, natural proteins, healthy fats, and snacks, you arrive upon a well-rounded bounty of benefits.
Being that Federer kind of eats whatever he wants, one might naturally want to know what dishes he likes the most. According to one source, Roger Federer’s favorite food is actually pizza, but not just any pizza. Crafted by Chef Yan Dilie of Player’s Restaurant, Federer’s custom pizza consists of fresh fig, Parma ham, arugula, and white truffle cheese cream. It’s also been reported that chocolate is one of Roger Federer’s favorite foods. Like we said: the man knows how to eat.
To prove as much, here’s an intensive look at Roger Federer’s diet on the day of a match:
- Waffles – The tennis star gets his important day off to a sweet start with homemade waffles, topped with a fruit compote.
- Fresh orange juice – It might be high in sugar, but it’s high in Vitamin C as well. Plus, it’s quite tasty.
- Coffee – Waffles and coffee make for a combination too delicious to refuse.
- Shot of vinegar – If you haven’t read about the reported benefits of apple cider vinegar, it’s time you started.
- Energy bar – When you expel as much energy as Roger Federer, you need the occasional protein bar.
- Pasta – For the past 20 years, Federer has eaten pasta with a light sauce two hours before every match. Consider it one tradition that literally no one would argue with.
- Banana – During match play, Federer munches down on the occasional banana. A great source of carbs and potassium, it helps him maintain energy and ward off cramps.
- Energy drink – Another way Federer sustains his energy during matches? With an energy drink, which gets absorbed by the body faster than solid food.
- Italian cuisine – After a hard day’s work (which usually results in victory), the Swiss legend rewards himself by hitting up a quality restaurant. Italian staples like pasta and pizza are known to be some of Federer’s favorite foods.
- Japanese cuisine – When he’s not feeling like Italian, the tennis star gets down with the sushi and izakaya.
- Indian cuisine – A true man of the world, Federer is also a big fan of Indian food. There’s even a picture of him posing with a giant slab of naan bread floating around the Internet.
- Swiss cuisine – When he’s in the mood for some hometown cooking, Federer consumes creamy Swiss dishes like fonduta and raclette, both of which involve melted cheese. Yum.
- Any type of cuisine – You name it, odds are Federer’s tried it. And for that, we love him.
- Wine or champagne – Federer is a veritable wine and champagne enthusiast, who goes extra hard on the alcohol when celebrating.
- Chocolate – As previously mentioned, chocolate is another one of Roger Federer’s favorite foods.
- Ice Cream – Most people find ice cream impossible to resist and Federer is no exception. To quote him directly: “I like my treats.”
Roger Federer‘s Workout Plan
For the past 20 years, Federer and fitness coach Pierre Paganini have essentially perfected the art of tennis training. Being that tennis players need to retain top levels of strength, speed, balance, agility, and endurance, Paganini employs a multi-tiered regimen that leaves no skill set or muscle behind. That includes everything from racket drills to medicine ball tosses to everything and anything in between.
While Federer is no stranger to the weight room, he reportedly saves most lifting exercises for the off-season. Once there, he engages in leg presses, bench presses, the fly, leg squats, bicep curls, tricep curls, and other strength-building routines. It’s also been reported that he hates push-ups, but performs them anyway at Paganini’s behest.
During the season, Federer sticks to a diverse training program, which includes cardio, plyometrics, static stretches, and moderate weight training. In turn, he’s able to maintain or improve his considerable reflexes and skills on the court, which were second to none in his prime. What’s more, Federer’s training has allowed him to ward off (or quickly recover from) the kind of injuries that traditionally plague other athletes of his caliber. Plus, how else is he going to burn off all those calories?
As with Federer’s diet, variety remains crucial to his workout routine. For that reason, we’ll list out a number of exercises he’s known to perform and let you decide which ones you want to do and when. Here we go:
- Warm-up exercises – Federer gets the blood flowing by way of various warm-up exercises, including stretches, jump rope, butt kicks, and sideline sprints.
- Side lunge with medicine ball – Abdominal strength and a strong core are both integral to tennis, whereas they enable blasts of power and an overall sense of balance. Performing side lunges with a medicine ball is one way that Federer builds strength in his abs and improves his core.
- Medicine ball shuffle – This exercise involves passing the medicine ball back and forth with a training partner whilst shuffling across the court. It works on the upper body and core alike.
- Resistance band exercises – By placing bands around his legs, Federer cranks up the resistance during training. This creates an increased level of buoyancy, endurance, and flexibility during match play.
- Cone drills – No tennis workout is complete without cone drills, which involve zig-zagging around cones whilst simultaneously practicing your swing.
- Volley on the trampoline – To achieve maximum balance during matches, Federer goes to extremes when he trains. In this case, that means standing on one leg atop a trampoline as he volleys with a partner.
- Racket drills – When it comes to non-playing racket drills, Pierre Paganini and his team manage to mix things up. For one exercise, someone throws three balls at a time and Federer has to hit them all back before the second bounce. Another drill involves having Federer catch the ball and then hit it back over the net, increasing speed as he goes. Collectively, these exercises improve reaction times as well as things like hand/eye coordination.
- High-Intensity Interval Training – This popular cardiovascular workout alternates between 15-second intervals of intense anaerobic exercise and 15-second recovery periods for anywhere from 7 to 12 sets at a time. The parallels to tennis basically speak for themselves, and the regimen accordingly cultivates explosive bursts of energy.
Here are some questions (and their answers) that people commonly ask about Roger Federer and other athletes as well.
What is Roger Federer's diet?
Federer enjoys a diverse and mostly healthy diet, which consists of complex carbs, vitamins, minerals, protein bars, and good fats. No stranger to indulgence, he also eats pizza, chocolate, ice cream, and decadent dishes from around the world.
How many hours a day do professional tennis players train?
Most professional tennis players spend about four hours training per day.
Does Federer lift weights?
Federer's workout routine consists of both strength-building and cardiovascular exercises. That said, he saves most of the heavy weightlifting for the off-season.
Is Roger Federer a vegetarian?
While Roger Federer was a vegetarian until the age of 16, he now consumes meat as part of his diet.
Does Roger Federer drink alcohol?
Federer is a noted wine and champagne enthusiast, who most often drinks when celebrating a victory.
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