The fitness secrets behind Neeraj Chopra’s World Championship medal
What goes into keeping India’s greatest track and field athlete fighting fit? Protein-rich diet, contrast baths, deep tissue massage, high-intensity training, ankle strength and hip mobility to match the great Jan Zelezny are some of the factors. A goodnight’s sleep is high on his long-time physio’s list
Watching a supremely athletic Neeraj Chopra add a World Championship silver medal to the Olympic gold , it is hard to believe he huffed and puffed on a 400 metre track in Chula Vista a few months ago.
In December a slightly podgy Chopra began getting back in shape after what seemed like never-ending felicitations. His cheat day extended to a few weeks as the who’s who were waiting to host him for a meal. One chief minister cooked ‘rich’ food for the Olympic heroes. Soon after his proposal for an off-season training in the USA was cleared, Chopra, his coach Klaus Bartonietz and long-time physio Ishaan Marwaha landed in California
Team Chopra’s key objectives to begin with were to lose weight and at the same time improve flexibility and strengthen joints. Though crucial time had been lost, Chopra is known to move mountains.
Low body fat percentage
The body fat percentage, a key reading for top athletes, needed correction. Chopra’s was around 16 percent in December. Currently it reads 10. “For a javelin thrower, around 10 and 10.5 is good. Below that you are going down way too much,” Marwaha says.