U.S. men's national team midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and his girlfriend and professional athletic trainer Beatrice Hilland are a unique couple with unique life experiences and a strong sense of humor. Between Bedoya's exploits on the field for the U.S., Nantes and a few prior clubs, and Hilland's work training top athletes in Europe and Scandinavia, they each have interesting insight to share.
In an effort to lift the lid on some of their experiences–and laughs–and give a glimpse of their lives off the field, they have combined to tell some of their tales and tips with SI.com. The following is what happened when they encountered Cristiano Ronaldo on vacation in Miami–not too long after Ronaldo had some fun at Bedoya's expense at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
How does one of the best soccer players in the world train? And can physical exercises help Ale from getting dribbled around in circles again the next time he meets Cristiano Ronaldo on the field? This is a tale of our up close and personal encounter with Ronaldo, including a peek into his training secrets.
So, how did the whole family get to meet Cristiano? We were spending a mini vacation poolside in Miami, and it just so happened that he was staying at the same hotel. He recognized Ale when he was passing us on the way to the pool, and they started talking and catching up.
They started to talk about the summer schedule, and he mentioned how hard it was to get a proper vacation. Preseason tours and sponsor events were about to start up again just after only a couple weeks. He commented on how important it is for him to stay in shape even if he is on vacation. And he added smiling, “I’m never completely off with this kind of job.”
He confirmed that when we where out walking in the insane Miami humidity early next morning and we saw him heading for a run on the beach. He later began doing some ab work with his son in the grass area of the hotel and swam back and forth in the pool. I guess that’s the key to his success: he is never off when it comes to the role as the world's best-trained soccer player.
It was a nice encounter. Only one of us was a bit annoyed and not as impressed. That was Bedoya Junior; as you can see from the picture, he’s a true Messi fan.
But back to Ronaldo's methods. Anyone who has seen Cristiano play knows how quick, strong and fast he is. However, it’s hard to realize the true skills and qualities of a player until you're up close on the pitch. As Ale learned the hard way. That’s when you really get a feel for the pace and speed, as you can see on this clip from the 2014 World Cup game between USA and Portugal.
Obviously, not many players in the world can do this. So, why is Cristiano only rivaled by Messi as the best player on a pitch, and how did he get there? Because he trains better than everyone else.
After years of speculation among journalists, fans and opponents, Cristiano finally revealed his training secrets last year. It is obvious, when looking at his training and nutrition programs, that he follows a strict regimen. As one of the best players in the world, he also has the best team of fitness coaches and nutritionists. Although he works magic on the pitch, his training regimen is nothing but a lot of hard work, determination and discipline.
Last spring, Ronaldo, as told to the Daily Mail, publicized a list of 15 factors that have taken him from a skinny young boy at Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United to a muscular, chiseled man at Real Madrid and one of best to have ever played the game. They included maintaining a proper diet; having a partner to work out with to add a competitive nature to off-field exercises; steering clear of alcohol and staying hydrated and keeping self discipline, among others.
Most soccer players–and all soccer fans–can subscribe to training lesson No. 15, which is living a relaxed lifestyle. But what about the rest? Can his kind of workout and diet benefit all of us?
Not everyone will get a butt that jiggles and is well rounded, no matter how many squats you do. Not everyone will get six- or eight-pack abs, however much you follow his program. As you can see there’s nothing revolutionary when it comes to exercises and intensity, but you need determination and discipline to follow this week after week. And those two skills are what Cristiano is all about.
So what about Ale being dribbled around like a cone? Well, I initially rubbed it in his face a few times, and then added a couple of exercises to his normal workout trying to be a nice girlfriend. Research shows that working out with a partner increases the training outcome by 50%, so it's a good thing to have somebody there to push you. Even if you find the person utterly annoying, as Mr. Bedoya often does when we work out together.
For example–The rubber band jump:
Being shoved around:
We are both extremely competitive, so we of course had to put it all to the test afterwards, for real.
I’m still looking for my teeth.