Day in the Life:
Rafael Nadal is known for being the ‘Clay Court master’ with 19 Grand Slams to his name, as he triumphantly achieved this milestone of winning the US Open against Daniil Medvedev this past Sunday in New York. At age 33, he continues to set outstanding records for being at the top of his game time and time again.
“I have no sense of humor about losing”
His endurance, strength, power, and dedication to the sport make him a hard contender to beat in tennis as he focuses on perfecting his training, exploring his passions, and looking for ways to improve his mindset.
Despite his recent injuries, he continues to practice at an elite level, even though his training has been modified. Rafael’s training program and daily routine are to be noted, as he remains in peak condition and has achieved numerous victories during his career.
Hits the Ground Playing Tennis at 6 AM
Rafael begins his day with breakfast to fuel his body before hitting the tennis court. Practicing four hours a day on the court with strength training keeps him in tip-top shape.
Rafael starts off his workouts on a vibrating platform, which is a must for elite athletes such as him. His secret to reducing pain and soreness is by using this platform. This equipment also helps to contract muscles to promote flexibility and blood circulation. Additionally, it works to strengthen and improve range of motion. In his first half of the workout, he uses this machine to strengthen various parts of his leg muscles as well. Along with this, resistant bands are incorporated to strengthen his shoulders and rotator cuffs.
Workout Anywhere and Anytime
Rafael likes utilizing resistance bands because they are easier to use on-the-go and they effectively strengthen muscles in comparison to using free weights. His large biceps, triceps, and forearms can thank his resistance bands as these are the most important muscles a tennis player can have. Not to mention, Rafael is ultimately grateful for his natural strength as he comes from a family of athletes, which contributes to his athletic physique and endurance that he holds over many players that face him on the court.
Here is the inside peek to his workout regime:
He works on other muscles by doing a variety of exercises. Front bends are essential to his workouts because it fires up the muscles in his back, legs, and hamstrings. To further strengthen his upper body, push-ups, pull-ups, and parallel-bar dips are incorporated to target these muscle groups. He focuses on his core by doing a variety of plank exercises and utilizes the medicine and exercise ball to strengthen not only the muscles of his abdomen but the muscles of his lower back as well.
He rallies a medicine ball with his trainer and uncle, Toni, to engage various muscles as he twists with every catch.
To wrap up his workout routine, he ends with stretching. Stretching is important to every workout because it promotes recovery and helps reduce soreness as well.
1:30 PM – Free Time to Shares his Passion with Others
In his free time, this athlete dives deeper into his passion for sports and shares his talent, skills, and knowledge through charity. He is the co-founder of a charity called Fundacion Rafa Nadal, where his mission is to give children with disabilities empowerment and confidence through sport and community.
4:30 PM – Second Practice of the Day
Rafael makes it a priority to perfect his skills and endurance, so he heads to the gym for a second time. You can find him on a treadmill or swimming in his pool. He loves doing aerobic exercise as he says, “Sometimes when I have pain in my knees, I do aerobic work by running in water up to my waist.”
Always Room For Improvement
His dedication has a lot to do with this uncle and trainer, Toni, who is constantly pushing him to improve his skills.
“All that tension in every single coaching session, right from the start, has allowed me today to face up to the difficult moments in a match with more self-control than might otherwise have been the case. Toni did a lot to build that fighting character people say they see in me on the court.”
Rain or shine he never misses a chance to practice. Check out this video of him practicing with Toni:
7 PM – Friends, Family, and FOOD
Once he is all done at the gym, he spends time in the kitchen with family and friends. He tells GQ Magazine about his eating habits as he says, “I’ve never had a special diet. I’m not careful about that. It’s just that before a match I won’t eat a steak.” However, he does implement eating fresh fruit and greens daily and bananas during matches to fuel his energy. Rafael says, “Seafood is my favorite – I love gambas a la plancha from Majorca.”
He is not shy in the kitchen because his family owns a restaurant called Sa Panta. It is his favorite place for food as he says. “The combination of the ocean view, the service, and the food- I always order the catch of the day, grilled-make it a perfect spot.”
Rafael is no superhuman, and he does love his indulgences when it comes to food. He is a sucker for chocolate cookies, Nutella, and French Fries.
12 AM – Anything But Bedtime Please
He keeps himself busy with his hobbies, passions, friends, and family until around midnight. He feels that he loses time when he sleeps. “I never like to sleep a lot, no,” Rafa admits. “It is obvious when I am on competition and when I am practicing a lot I always sleep that eight hours that I need. But, no, I am not a big fan of being relaxed on the sofa, watching TV.”
Soccer is the exception.
He’ll stay up late or even get up early to watch a game, but he’ll prioritize sleep, of course, to say hello to a new day of training, practice, and what he loves the most – tennis.
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Owaves 101 is a blog series showcasing tips for work-life balance from fitness experts and successful professionals. Olympians, Ironmen, inspiring yoga teachers, physicians and clinical dietitians, among others, collaborate and share ideas in a common mission of leading healthier, fuller and more balanced lives.
Learn how uber athletes and hard-working professionals manage work-life balance and plan their days. Gain insight and tips on how to elevate your “O.” To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow our Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter feeds.
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