Mahendra Singh Dhoni – not just a name but a quality, a personality we all want to emulate. He celebrated his 39th birthday on 7th July 2020. He is our ‘Captain Cool’ and is known for his noteworthy contribution to our Indian Cricket team. But not much is said about Dhoni’s healthy lifestyle and athleticism. His name always finds a mention in the list of fittest players in the world He is a living example of how dedication and commitment aids you in stepping up the stairs of success. Health, strength and vitality are essential for any sportsperson and this has been Dhoni’s key to ace his game, besides his calm and composed behavior. In his fitness, Dhoni easily surpasses youngsters in the field.
“Well-directed force and power are his forte, combined with lightning-quick reflexes which are comparable to any Formula One driver or fighter pilots. He also has an analytical mind which is very difficult to decipher, even, I think, to the most revered psychologist! He is an enigma.” says Ramji Srinivasan, high performance coach, the Founder-Director of Sports Dynamix. Mr. Srinivasan was the strength and conditioning (S&C) coach of the 2011 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team.
The former Indian captain has been in great physical shape throughout his career which has crossed 16 years. Here’s a quick look into MSD’s fitness routine:
Diet plan of Dhoni…
“You have to change. You can’t keep doing the same thing expecting different results. My food habits have changed from the time I made my debut [in 2004]. Then, it used to be butter chicken, naan, milkshakes, a lot of chocolates and soft drinks. But once I touched 28, the chocolates and milkshakes were off, and after a few years, soft drinks were off too. Then after [retirement from] Test cricket in 2015 only healthy ingredients and kebabs came in,” Former Captain’s diet plays a major role in his overall fitness.
He gave up some of his desired foodstuff to remain fit for his game. Since that day his diet has been particularly light and healthy. Breakfast is nutritious and wholesome with porridge or cereal with eggs, fresh fruits, nuts and a glass of milk or juice. For lunch, he takes a protein rich diet: chapattis with daal, chicken, curd. A mixed vegetable salad on the side helps add in the required nutrients. A chicken sandwich is his preferred snacks and he takes juice or protein shakes prior or post workout.
Sports keeps Dhoni fit…
Dhoni has been playing Football, badminton and table tennis from adolescence. He believes, playing football and badminton facilitate better concentration levels, footwork, and eyesight. Badminton helps out build your reflex action and eye work, both of which are crucial for a wicket-keeper. The footwork and stamina that is build up in football are greatly helpful when it comes to running between the wickets.
Workout in the field…
Mahi’s workout includes 4 hours of practice sessions with the team. The entire team comes together for practice sessions and exercise for about four hours. Their warm up include running laps on the ground and other activities. Being the wicket-keeper of the team, Dhoni also needs to do squats during the exercises. And then they all follow up with bowling, batting and fielding practices.
Alongside Dhoni also carries out strength training which helps to ease exhaustion, avert any injuries, boosting his running and improves batting speed. MSD’s threshold for his tolerance of pain are a result of his training and dedication. He has shown incredible pain tolerance under his stiff back or ham injuries, and executed the desired goal without bringing a shade on his face.
Gym Sessions are important…
Our Captain is a naturally fit person and not very fond of hectic gym sessions, but nevertheless, he made sure to do the necessary for his profession. Beside his regular practices he invests his time in gym for approx 2 hours. His fitness requirements are very particular and however weary he may be, he completes his gym routine without complaining. The following are his gym exercises that he generally does:
- Dumbbell chest press
- Machine chest press
- Lateral pull-down
- V –grip Lateral Pull-down
- Reverse lunges on bench
- Walking lunges with dumbbell
- Prone dumbbell rowing
- Alternate dumbbell curl
- Single leg dead lift
It is Dhoni’s disciplined routine and active lifestyle that has earned him the title of being one of the greatest captains ever. He is that person who inspires you at so many levels, his perseverance, commitment towards the game, and ability to handle difficult situations calmly. And this was all about how Captian Cool stays fit and active.