Javier Zanetti Claims He Used To Leg Press 500kg
Javier Zanetti managed to go through his entire career without ageing and still look fresh-faced as ever when he retired one month shy of his 41st birthday.
He made a total of 858 appearances for Inter, winning 16 trophies, including lifting five Serie A titles - and his longevity in the game is almost unparalleled.
And according to the man himself, the secret to his success was the physical shape and condition the Argentine kept himself. Zanetti actually claims in the peak of his powers he was able to leg press an insane 500kg - and 310kg alone on one leg such was the strength in his thigh, calf and hamstring muscles.
"Strength has always been a fundamental aspect in my career," he told Fox Sports Italia, via Football Italia.
"When I arrived in Italy in 1995, I started doing a lot of strength work, both with the team and on my own time. A player with strong muscles is more likely to prevent injuries and performs better.
"I always played twice a week, even from Sunday to Tuesday, but despite that would never miss my Monday strength training. Although usually after 48 hours you do feel tired, it made me feel better for the next game.
"I would bench press and had specific tests to work out which weight to lift during different periods of the season. I leg pressed 500kg and with one leg I managed to lift 310kg."
17 year-old Javier Zanetti. Look at the legs/thighs... pic.twitter.com/MqTamQGXqi
- FedeNerazzurra (@_FedeNerazzurra) March 1, 2013
Zanetti, who is now the vice-president of the Nerazzurri added that he didn't purely focus on strength and ensured he got the right level of recovery after games. He also believes the modern game requires more specialist fitness coaches.
"I would naturally also alternate those with work on 'explosions' of pace," he said.
"For example, Jose Mourinho really liked to work with the ball, with high intensity training based on hitting the brakes and changing direction.
"I believe that in modern football you need more than just a fitness coach, as there ought to be specialised figures who work on different areas, for example strength. There has to be collaboration and a wider vision of the situation.
"I did take time to rest too. After a game, I'd spend time in the pool, then a day later work on strength and posture."
Legs the size of tree trunks. Javier Zanetti is an absolute machine and he'd probably still do a job now, to be honest.