Wolves forward Adama Traore has taken the Premier League by storm, setting matches alight with his brilliant pace, enormous strength and blistering speed.
He has also gained attention for his spectacular build, which has been compared to the physique of NFL footballers, professional wrestlers and bodybuilders.
Goal takes a look at his fitness plan, dietary regime and secrets.
How does Adama Traore train?
From Traore’s Hulk-like muscles, you would think that he spends every waking moment away from the football pitch in the gym, lifting weights.
In reality, though, Traore has admitted a surprising fact: he does not lift weights. In fact, he has never lifted a weight in his life.
“No, I haven’t lifted a single weight. I know people won’t believe it, but it’s true,” he told Marca.
According to his Wolves team-mate Romain Saiss, the winger was even approached by NFL teams to play for their side during his time at Barcelona due to his sheer muscular build.
Instead, Traore participates in strength and power training. In the below training video, he is seen using a flywheel-resistance device.
He might not lift weights, but he does spend a lot of time in the gym doing other activities – such as doing band-resisted jumps and weighted knee-raises.
But his intense agility and speed, despite his tank-like size, does not come from just doing intensive speed exercises. His coaching sessions with Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell found that a regime consisting of slowed-down exercises allows for better energy preservation and ball control.
Traore now racks up speeds of 22mph on average at Wolves. Usain Bolt’s record, in comparison, was 27.8mph.
“He used to tell me I didn’t have to go 100 per cent,” Traore told the Athletic. “Maybe at 70% you can still beat a player — and after that you’ll have more energy and also more control with the ball.
“It might look like I’m going full speed but I know I can give more. That gives more time to make decisions (with the ball).”
But even Traore admits that his lightning-quick speed is not something you can train for, revealing that he was naturally gifted with his tremendous agility.
“I’ve always been quick, ever since I was little,” he admits. “People are thinking I am running so fast on the pitch, but I think it’s slow.
“I want to get people on the edge of their seats, get past players, try to show my skills and pace.”
What does Adama Traore eat?
Like most professional footballers, Traore has a nutritionist who plans his meals in according to his training schedule.
“I work with a nutritionist, I have my personal trainer and another person who is like my physio,” said the Wolves winger.
“My personal trainer works with a nutritionist and we worked on reducing muscle because I was very strong. When I came to England I got injured and I had a lot of muscle mass because in England it’s normal to do physical work when you’re injured.”
While not specifying on the exact details of his diet, it is assumed that Traore eats plenty of vegetables as well as lean proteins such as chicken and fish.
Looking back on his first experience playing in England after leaving Barcelona to join Aston Villa in 2015, the winger expressed his initial difficulties in adjusting to the British mealtimes, as well as the completely different lifestyle in general.
“I was younger there and it was a totally different routine. For example, we used to eat at 10pm in Spain but here it was around 7pm,” he said.
A graduate of Barcelona academy La Masia, it is no surprise that some of Traore’s earliest memories came from watching the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
“Barcelona is the best education possible. Training with Messi is something I will never forget – he was always the last off the pitch and working incredibly hard in the gym,” he revealed.
“If he is the best player in the world and works so hard, who are we? You can have all the crazy talent but you need to work.”
Traore values hard, careful work, and is meticulous about falling into the trap of over-exertion.
To the winger, meticulous training regimes designed to prevent injury and to preserve muscle for the pitch is the most important.
Traore also makes a habit of observing and replicating the play of footballers he admires, and he made sure to highlight two individuals in particular.
“The player I look at is Sadio Mane. He does a lot of defensive work, he could play wing-back because he works so hard defensively,” he admitted.
“I also look at Virgil van Dijk, he’s very good in one vs one situations, the positioning, the distance and the anticipation.”