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24th Nov 2018

Javier Zanetti claims he could leg press 500kg

Simon Lloyd

“I could do 310kg with one leg.”

Javier Zanetti, quite rightly, is an Inter Milan legend.

Joining the club in 1995, he spent nearly 20 years as an Inter player, eventually hanging up his boots just short of his 41st birthday.

Now the club’s vice-president, the Argentine has been reflecting on the secrets of his longevity in an interview with Fox Sports.

“Strength has always been a fundamental aspect in my career,” he said, explaining that strength training is extremely important in terms of fending off injuries.

“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.”

All very interesting stuff so far, but nothing like as fascinating as the kind of weight he claims he could lift with his legs.

“I leg pressed 500kg and with one leg I managed to lift 310kg. I would naturally also alternate those with work on ‘explosions’ of pace.

“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.”