A VIP table for players to get fitter

A VIP table for players to get fitter

Apart from his belief in science and technology, Lions coach Bernd Stange is also known for his "war against flab", constantly preaching the importance of fitness among the national footballers.

SEA Games coach Aide Iskandar is also following suit by introducing a VIP table at Amara Hotel, where the team have been staying since Monday for centralised training for next month's Games.

Membership to these exclusive seats is strictly by gauging the players' body-fat percentage.

Every morning before breakfast, they have their measurements taken by a body composition analyser.

Anyone registering more than 10 per cent of body fat will have to sit at the VIP table and have all three meals of the day monitored by fitness coach Aleksandar Bozenko.

Aide told The Sunday Times: "It's actually a collective idea from the team as a way to encourage each other to stay fit and healthy.

"The boys are motivated to eat right and proper diet definitely helps them to perform better on the pitch."

Midfielder Izzdin Shafiq is one such success story, having lost 8kg in one month.

The LionsXII man, who stands at 1.76m, now weighs 79kg and has 18 per cent of body fat.

The 22-year-old still wants to go down to 75kg, adding: "Coach Bernd told me that it is hard for me to play international football in this shape.

"That motivated me to go for extra gym sessions with Sasha (Bozenko) twice a day apart from the usual training. "I have to be careful with my diet as well.

"I am eating in smaller portions now, cutting out the servings of rice and eating more salads and fruits."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.