What Does Virgil Van Dijk’s Workout Plan Look Like?

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Anyone who watches football knows who Virgil Van Dijk is and what his game looks like. Over the last few years, the Dutchman has made a name for himself as one of the best defenders in world football, captaining both the Netherlands national team and Liverpool on occasion. He is known for being a defensive wall – tall, strong, and fast for his size; he is able to stop all kinds of attackers, from Erling Haaland even to Lionel Messi. 

His versatility and strength, along with his natural defensive ability, have inspired many young footballers to take up the center-back position and try to improve following his footsteps. That’s why, in this short article, we’re going to do a quick overview of Virgil Van Dijk’s training plan to see what kind of work he puts in the gym to be able to perform on the highest level, day in and day out, without risking injuries. 

So, if that sounds like something you’d love to learn more about, then keep on reading. 

Virgil Van Dijk’s Gym Workout: An Overview 

Any football player has to work both on his strength and his endurance, as football typically challenges both of those aspects. You need to be strong as a defender in order to perform tackles and have a presence in the box, but you also need to be able to run around for 90 minutes and sometimes more. Virgil Van Dijk’s workout routine takes both of those aspects into account, and Liverpool’s center back incorporates both cardio and strength training in his weekly sessions. Let’s take a look at them.

Strength Training 

Van Dijk does a lot of strength training – some of it using barbells and dumbbells and some using different gym machines such as the cable trainer. While his exact routine is more or less a secret, it essentially contains three days of lifting in the off-season and two intense days of core work and plyometrics. 

Perform 4-5 sets of each exercise for about 8-10 reps (explosive and heavyweight) 

Day 1 

  • Incline Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Cable Crossovers
  • Landmine Press
  • Barbell Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • Bulgarian Split Squas
  • Explosive Hack Squats

Day 2 & 4

  • Box Jumps
  • Hudrles Jump
  • Lateral Hurdle Jumps
  • Squat Pulse to Medicine Ball Slams
  • Vertical Jumps to quick steps
  • Crunches
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Medicine Ball Russian Twist
  • V-Ups
  • Plank Hold
  • Side Plank Hold 

Day 3

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Lateral Raises
  • Goblet Squats on a Stability Ball
  • Squat Variation
  • Landmine Shoulder Press
  • Leg Curls
  • Seated Calf Raises
  • Stiff-leg Dumbbell Deadlifts

Day 5 

  • Deadlift
  • Snatch
  • Lunges
  • Leg Press
  • Hammer Curls
  • Leg Extension
  • Bicep Curls to Tricep Extension
  • Medicine Ball Throws
  • Medicine Ball Slams 


For football players, doing even a light form of cardio is mandatory on a daily basis, as the legs have to get used to the idea of constantly moving. When you’re expected to play 90 minutes of football at the highest level three times a week, you have to make sure your conditioning can hold up, which is why Virgil Van Dijk’s workout routine includes many different cardi challenges. \

Treadmill Workout 

  • 5 minutes of treadmill warm-up
  • 20 minutes on the treadmill at an 8-10 kph speed at a 5% incline
  • 5 minutes cool-down 

Air Bike 

  • 5 minutes of slow movement to warm up
  • 20 minutes of air bike (30 seconds on; 30 seconds off)
  • 5 minutes of cool down 

Rowing Machine

  • 10 minutes of rowing
  • 5 minutes interval rowing sprints 

HIIT Sprints 

  • 15 sprints of 100 meters on flat ground (30 seconds of rest in between each sprint)
  • Rest for two minutes
  • 15 sets of one minute of jumping rope (30 seconds of rest after every minute) 

What Does Virgil Van Dijk’s Diet Look Like? 

Along with a good workout plan, any successful athlete needs to have a solid diet plan as well – Virgil Van Dijk is no different. As far as publicly available information shows, Van Dijk is not a vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian, and he fuels himself with a diet of healthy meats, fats, and good carbs. Considering the kind of workouts he does and how often he is on the move, his meals consist mostly of carbs with protein, with just a bit of extra fat to speed up the recovery process and keep the hormones in check. 

In Conclusion 

Hopefully, this short piece helped you learn everything you wanted to about the workout and nutrition of one of the best defenders in world football. As you can tell, much like most professional athletes, Virgil Van Dijk’s training routine is designed to keep him in the best shape possible, so he can last multiple football matches per week without getting fatigued or injured. To help on this journey, the Dutchman also follows an immaculate nutrition plan that helps him fuel his body for success. 

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