Monday, June 17, 2024

The secrets of Silva’s fitness regime aged 39, like using £17k oxygen chamber

Must read

WHEN Chelsea signed Thiago Silva on a free transfer in 2020, many had written the Brazilian off.

There was a belief he would be a Premier League flop, and would struggle with the fast pace and intensity of the unforgiving league.

Thiago Silva is leaving Chelsea at the end of the season
Brazil star Silva has managed to maintain his fitness and play at the top level at 39Credit: Instagram

Over 150 appearances later, Silva is still going strong at the age of 39.

While he is surplus to requirements with the Blues, Fluminense in his homeland are willing to give him a final swansong.

And you can’t say he doesn’t deserve it, being in peak condition.

He cites Paolo Maldini as the biggest influence in his life for showing him how a professional athlete needs to train and behave.

While he also splashed the cash on a £17,000 oxygen chamber to aid his recovery time.

This is the secret fitness regime of Thiago Silva.

His inspiration

In 2009, Silva joined Italian giants AC Milan.

They were coached by Carlo Ancelotti, and Maldini soon took him under his wing.

He was taught new defending techniques by the Italian legend, and he was keen to learn.

At this point in time, Maldini was in his final years as a pro. And at the age of 41 was still as fit as a fiddle.

Emotional moment Thiago Silva breaks down in tears on stage and has to be consoled at Chelsea awards ceremony

In awe of the captain, Silva understood he was the benchmark.

“Meeting Maldini sparked something in me,” he told the Guardian.

“I was 24 when I arrived and looking at him made me think: ‘The way I look after myself – I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t miss my sleep – means I can reach Maldini’s level.’”

Silva continued: “Age level I mean of course, not performance level. There is only one Maldini.

“He certainly changed my mentality. Not just him, but Alessandro Nesta as well. Nesta was a teacher for me in training.

“He had just come back from an operation, which made it a bit difficult for him, but he had me who could run around and help him.

“He told me where to go and I’d go. I did it with great pleasure because I always liked his way of being, his way of training and especially his quality.

“I realised that by playing with him I was going to learn a lot.”

Legendary AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini was an inspiration for Thiago SilvaCredit: PA:Press Association
Silva revealed he understood what was needed for longevity in the game by working alongside Maldini

Investing in your body

Maintaining and conditioning are both crucial to Silva’s preparations.

He works with several staff every day who help him achieve his optimum levels.

A doctor, a nutritionist, a physiotherapist, an agent, a lawyer, a press manager and a personal coach all aid Silva’s goals.

He believes his staff are an investment worth paying for, and they are the reason he has been able to play as long as he has.

“But nowadays, young people, many of them, see it as an expense, a waste of money to have someone on their side,” he revealed.

“They think they’re throwing money away by having a professional helping them. I think it’s quite the opposite: it’s an investment.”

Silva also uses NormaTec pulse massage trousers that help ease muscle soreness after games.

Silva is a firm believer in using hi-tech oxygen machinesCredit: Instagram
After games, Silva uses NormaTec’s pulse massaging trousers to ease his aching muscles

Tough regime

Silva has joked in the past that there aren’t enough hours in the day to fit in his training regime.

Explaining his tightly-packed schedule, he said: “Twenty-four hours a day does not seem enough.

“Here’s my day from morning until night: I wake up at about 8am and I have to be here [at Cobham] by 8.45am. I arrive, have a coffee, I do what I have to do pre-training, I train.

“I do the post-training recovery here at the club, then I come home, and rest in the hyperbaric chamber for two hours. I wake up and then my team of professionals are ready to continue my recovery. There’s food, an afternoon snack, dinner, supplements. I do my boots at home and I try to be with my family.

“Sometimes, I bring my children [who are in Chelsea’s academy] to training and I watch a bit of the training. Anyway, the next day it’s the same. And the next. So it’s much more recovery than actual work these days. Less is more.”

The science bit

Silva mentioned his oxygen chamber being crucial to his method.

When it comes to working out, Silva is as fit as a fiddleCredit: Instagram
Regularly, Silva hits the gym at Chelsea’s Cobham training groundCredit: Instagram

In 2021, he paid £17,000 for the machine and vowed to play until 40.

It has helped him overcome injuries, as well as aided recovery.

Silva told Four Four Two magazine: “I do a daily two-hour session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to speed up my recovery.

“I have a special chamber set up at home, where I breathe pure oxygen at high pressure – that helps to increase levels in the blood.

“I started doing it seven years ago in Paris, when I was struggling to fully recover from an injury.”

Centre-half Silva was inspired by basketball stars in the US who have been gulping down lungfuls of O2 to help cope with their punishing regime.

Silva said: “The physiotherapist I used to work with at Fluminense and Milan began to research recovery measures and looked at what NBA players do. 

“Given they play loads of matches in a really short time period, their recovery must be spot on, so we felt it would be an excellent benchmark.

Ex-PSG star Silva will do anything it takes to gain that extra yardCredit: Instagram
Silva is bidding farewell to Stamford Bridge after over 150 games for the clubCredit: Reuters

“As it was for the benefit of my career in the long term, I saw it as an investment rather than an expense – it cost $23,000 (£16,700) to get one from the US!”

It has been money well spent, as Silva has continued to thrive at the top. Maybe it will keep him going until he’s 50.

Latest article