Friday, March 1, 2024

Wilshere talks ‘absurd’ fitness and training methods

Jack Wilshere’s name and the word injury are, sadly, inextricably linked. The midfielder missed an entire season with an ankle problem, and even his last campaign was ruined by a shocking Paddy McNair challenge in November.

Although he returned late in the season, scoring that fabulous goal against West Brom and coming on in the FA Cup final, he missed a lot of football.

Criticised in some quarters for incidents involving smoking, the England international has given some behind the scenes insight into his, and Arsenal’s, training and fitness regime.

Speaking to this month’s edition of Men’s Fitness, Wilshere said the requirements for top level football are ‘absurd’, but also touched on his his fitness training has developed over the years.

“When I first got injured my core strength was terrible,” he said. “I was 18, playing three times
a week and didn’t really do any gym work.

“All of a sudden when you’re injured you realise everything revolves around your core. It’s crucial for balance and absorbing impact. The first thing my physios got me to work on was my balance.

“I had to stand on one leg and close my eyes. I couldn’t do it.”

In the modern era, players can’t allow their base fitness to be an issue, such are the demands of the game.

“The intensity of the Premier League is incredible,” he continued. “The levels of fitness you have to reach just to survive in it is absurd.

“When you’re out for a few months it’s tough to come back. It takes a lot of work in the gym with the physios, the specialists, you’re willing to try anything that will help you get fit.

“We get weighed every week,” [Wilshere is 76kg and 7.8% body fat]. “We get regular DEXA scans to check our muscle mass and body fat levels. There’s no hiding place.”

He also touches on the training regimes at the club which have changed over the years.

“Training used to be long, hard double sessions for the whole team … now it’s more positional-based. Midfielders do one drill, defenders and attackers another. Training is more intelligent.”

It’s a very interesting piece which you can read in full in the latest edition of Men’s Fitness. Out today for subscribers and available everywhere from July 15th.

For more please visit the Men’s Fitness website or follow @mensfitnessmag – and thanks to @PedMillichamp for the heads-up.

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I’m probably missing something, but if training was long hard double sessions, weren’t they just really long hard sessions?I’m a bit surprised.

The stuff about his fitness as a youth is pretty amazing though. I would have thought they’d be totally buffed, even that long ago.


You are missing something. Double sessions means 2 seperate training sessions a day.


Fuck me, jack is bloody fit, but if thats his body fat %, Alexis must be close to 3%….thats crazy

Sideshow Fellaini

anything below 10% is insane…. 3% is like hey thanks for releasing me from concentration camp friend!

My brother is pregnant

I just tried standing on one leg and closing my eyes. I lost my balance in 2 seconds.

chippy's chip



I’m always thought our players get injured because they aren’t strong enough. Looks like the club is starting to to take this more seriously with players gyming more.

Master Bates

From his comments it looks like the clubs is just getting to know the basics

Chris O.

Right, because this is all well known to an old pro like you.

Master Bates

I am not a professional , I am just comparing it to other team’s fitness.

the comment “I was 18, playing three times ,a week and didn’t really do any gym work.”

it’s like they had eureka moment for basic shit.

We can’t criticize the physios/fitness coaches too


It’s boiled down that for many years, Wenger didn’t believe in resistance training, believing it would make them too bulky (that’s bodybuilding, very different from how athletes should train). Thankfully as we’ve seen in the past few seasons, Arsene has obviously relented on that idea. A body that can absorb force, it’s is a structure not easily broken. Also, it was amazing that arsenal were quite late (for a top club) to adopt gps monitoring unlike the likes of Chelsea and United (they got it 3 years after the others and are only making sense of it now). Pity I… Read more »

Andy Mack

I also think that not only have resistance training methods developed quite a lot recently, but the medical/physio staff can measure the result better than before. As you say, the issue previously was that the players could easily ‘over bulk’ which did effect their athleticism.

Dial Square Charity XI

Was that the company they bought for a couple of mill?


Resistence training isnt bodybuilding as such. But i mean any exercise i moderation is good fof he body. IMO changing up training and having variation helps keep the body fit, strong and supple.


I would love to know Alexis’ body fat percentage

Arsene's zip

I feel like all those Chuck Norris memes should be changed to Alexis now.


0% – but 7.8% titanium.


Human skin on the outside, Underneath, it’s a hyper-alloy combat chassis, microprocessor-controlled.

Rectum Spectrum

like how normal everyday things like velcro were first conceived by nasa for space missions, Alexis is the reason we have ipads, cillet bang, the hadron collider and laser teeth whitening.


You mean adamantium con?


With all the partying he has done after the Copa, it has rocketed to 2.1%. But at least he has some fat now.


0.01% Arshavin


Hahaha … cracked me up!!! 🙂


I don’t get it 🙁


Sigh. Fat Joke. It’s a fat joke.

Ramsey's Spirit

to be honest mate its probably around the same, too low a body fat starts to get seriously risky in a sport like this, plus theres a substance called intramuscular fat, used for energy and such, Alexis has quite a bit of muscle so stands to reason he’s going to be around 8% give or take 1 or 2.


This is hilarious


Alexis is looking like around 4 to 5% body fat, he is ripped.


No. Do a Google search of what 4% body fat looks like.

Alexis is probably not much lower than Jack. Any lower than that and you’re getting to on-stage Bodybuilder levels, which are pretty much impossible and unhealthy to maintain for anyone, let alone someone playing 180 minutes of football a week.


If the second half of last season is anything to go by, the changes made to the backroom staff re fitness seems to be paying off! Oh for a season of only minor injuries or slight niggles – fingers/toes & everything else crossed!!


Wilshere will share anything, his mouth just runs like water.

Juan Cornetto

You’re right, this entire interview should have consisted of ‘no comment’ responses.


That is still too much.


Lucky they didn’t ask him ‘what do you think of Shad?’.


Fucking hilarious! My boss is giving me the evil eye again for laughing out loud.

gooner 44

its a long way from hackney marshes and throwing up at (b)arff time.
those were the days


Just rejoice that the interviewer didn’t ask him what he thinks of Tottenham!

Getso gunner

Make sure you stay fit this season Mr. Wilshere because we seriously want to win any of EPL, UCL or both


FA to fine Wilshere for bringing modern training regimes into disrepute.


Sounds legit.


Jack should put all his fitness problems behind him this season with Shad in the helm of affair I believe that is achievable. Let go and win everything…COYG

Me So Hornsey

The way he and Theo ended the season in such superb form bodes well for our new training/fitness regime.


Bulked up would be the key for the players not to get bully


76 kgs!!!!! really doesn’t show size. So what do Giroud or Petr Cech weigh?


I thought that!? he can’t be 76kg surely!

Mboya Vanda Fat

He really has to be, guy stands on pillars!


I just googled Jack´s weight. The internet tells me it´s only 65kg. This would actually fit his size. But what do I know.

Saffa Gooner

Wilshere’s chest hair grows in the shape of an eagle, wings spread, head profile looking to the right.


I was wondering if had shaved it like that, or of it were natural


I was thinking more like a tree, but I like your perception much better.


I hate to think what my body fat is.


Fatgooner, can you give us an upper limit please?


Back in the day Tony Adams used to be 7.8% alcohol.


Too many sportsmen are waxing or shaving their chests, I love that Wilshere has kept his, great for getting your teeth caught in. Sexy beast.




Boring article: you can tell it’s mid-summer.

Where the fracking striker we need to sign to win the league?


Name one that’s available AND better than Giroud


Benteke: not great yet but can be.

BTW: have you heard the story that we are looking to sign Di Maria? Please, God, no!


Fats what is your bodyflab ratio?


About the same as Alexis Sanchez


Lol BENTEKE are u having a bubble bath ??




Yeah the papers say he’s great. So do other people who have never seen him play and wouldn’t recognise him if he came up and introduced himself….

La Grande Saucisse

Have to say it’s pretty poor from the club physios that they didn’t make sure a huge young prospect like Jack got the right training regime at the time he broke through. I hope lessons have been learned


Them thighs alone weight that 76kg whaf is Wilshere talking about 76?


theres no doubt AW strives to get the best technical people in for fitness, dietry and training. having spent over 30 million on the training ground facilities getting the people in who can get the most out of them to keep the players fit is hopefullly going to benefit us. they have travelled the world visiting all different sports to get the best equipment to achieve this. no one can plan for contact injuries but if we keep the muscular ones down to minor ones due to better core fitness then we my see players missing games instead of months.… Read more »


core training has been around for decades. I find it hard to believe Wilshere didn’t do any until his injury


I wouldn’t be.

RoyKeane's Beard

Now,the physio team needs to bulk up Crowley and Zelalem ASAP!


I’ve read they have simplified the training down to gathering the team and telling them they all need to ” look like that geezer” (Points to a poster of Alexis)


Well, it’s a start.


Bit of a clickbait headline there Blogs? I thought better of you.


Ah sorry, I misunderstood the headline. I obviously incorrectly assumed that it meant “Jack Wilshere talks about ‘absurd’ (fitness&training) methods”,(which the article does not) , instead of ” Jack talks about absurd fitness required for the Premier League, and changes in Arsenal’s fitness regimen. Apologies and no offence meant.


” Jack talks about absurd fitness required for the Premier League, and changes in Arsenal’s fitness regimen.”


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