Anthony Rizzo is the rock of the Chicago Cubs franchise.
The 27-year-old first baseman has played in at least 140 games for the Cubs in each of the last four seasons. Over that same time frame, he's averaged 30 home runs, 35 doubles and 92 RBIs per season. Rizzo's a three-time All-Star whose seven years of MLB experience make him a veteran leader on a roster loaded with young talent.
How has Rizzo managed to remain so consistently excellent?
He treats his body like a temple. Rizzo's offseason workout routine features a combination of swimming, yoga, pilates, weight training and field work. That varied approach allows him to enter each season stronger than the one before, but never at the cost of his functional movement.
"Every offseason, I go in and try to get strong—but functionally strong. We lift a lot of weights, but at the same time, we move around a lot to keep flexibility. I've been doing pretty much the same workouts for the last 10 years. Every year, I say, 'why change what's working?' The workout intensity picks up each year, but we pretty much stay the course," Rizzo says. "I really get my body prepared for a long season and for an extra month hopefully."
Here's what a typical offseason training week looks like for Rizzo, who resides in Florida during the winter months.
On Monday mornings, he swims about 1,500 meters. That's equivalent to 30 laps in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. He then goes to the gym and trains with free weights. Depending on his schedule, he'll try to squeeze in a yoga session at night. "The Monday workout, for some reason, always gets me the worst. But it sets the tone for the whole week. So I gut through that workout," Rizzo says.
On Tuesdays, Rizzo starts the day with pilates, which uses a series of controlled movements to enhance strength and flexibility throughout the body. Many of these movements make use of a pulley-based machine called a reformer. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta found the discipline "life-changing," crediting it with turning his MLB career around. After Rizzo's pilates session, he hits the gym for an additional workout.
On Wednesdays, Rizzo heads to a field to perform agility drills and sprints.
On Thursdays, he's back in the gym for a free-weight workout. He follows that up with either a light run or a yoga session.
On Fridays, he's back in the pool. "I love swimming," Rizzo says. "I swim once or twice a week. It's good for my joints, good to keep me loose while I'm really tightening up my muscles." After swimming, Rizzo's back in the gym.
On Saturdays, Rizzo hits the beach for a workout in the sand. Sand-based training is a great tool for athletes. The soft sand provides a low impact surface, which is easier on the joints. However, the instability of the sand requires the lower body—especially the feet and ankles—to become stronger since you need to produce a greater amount of ground force to move than you would on a firmer surface.
Rizzo's obsession with preparation is on display in a new commercial from BODYARMOR. Kobe Bryant served as creative director and narrator for the spot, which includes athletes like Rizzo, Mike Trout, James Harden, Skyler Diggins and Richard Sherman. Take a look at the new spot in the video player above.
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