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Roger Federer’s Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 28, 2021

When it comes to tennis, there are few names more famous than Roger Federer, and he’s one tennis player that has advanced the skills and fitness level of the game to whole new heights.

While it’s a dedication from a young age that got him to where he is today, anybody can gain some significant benefits from his training routine.

So, we spent a few months going through interviews and social media posts to see how this tennis star achieves a level of physical fitness that is the envy of any athlete.

His Body Stats

roger federer during a tennis game
  • Born: August 8, 1981
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 160 lbs

With 20 grand slam titles [1], Roger Federer is one hell of an accomplished tennis champion.

And while a lot of that is down to natural talent and skill, his fitness routine is what sets him apart from many other players.

Even in his late 30s, he’s still in exceptionally good physical shape and impresses fans with his skills and stamina.

And that all comes down to a workout routine that is perfect for tennis players but also ideal for anyone who wants to look as toned as Roger Federer.

 

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A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer)

Training Principles

roger federer doing push ups

The difficulty for tennis players is striking the balance of building enough power for maximum ball speed without bulking up too much to slow you down.

And that’s where Roger has extensively worked with coach Pierre Paganini to tailor his daily workout session.

The main principle behind his workout routine is to mix it up a lot and focus on strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance in every single session.

Here’s what you’d need to go through on a daily basis to come even remotely close to Roger as a tennis player.

Roger Federer Workout Routine

close up image of a man using a jump rope

Roger obviously spends a lot of his time each day on the tennis court practicing forehand and backhand strokes. But we’re more interested in how he stays in shape through strength and cardio exercises.

Here’s what’s involved in Roger’s daily workout that he goes through at least five days a week.

Warm-Up

Every workout session starts with a good old-fashioned warm-up routine that includes everything from ellipticals to jogging steps and jump rope to sideline sprints or butt kicks.

After his blood is pumping and muscles are warm, he goes through a full-body stretching routine to maintain his agility and flexibility.

This should take about 20 minutes.

Strength Workout Routine

man practicing a medicine ball lunge

The first order of the day after warming up properly is to work on maintaining his strength levels.

Because he doesn’t want to carry any more muscle than he has to, it’s a careful approach of avoiding low reps.

These are three types of exercises Roger Federer would do.

Medicine Ball Lunges

These are great for the core and leg muscles, and I suggest doing them while holding the ball above your head.

Just don’t take the lazy option of resting the ball on your head.

Aim for 5 sets of 15 reps.

Medicine Ball Shuffle Steps

The medicine ball shuffle is quite easy and gives a good upper body and core workout. It’s like a medicine ball toss to a partner while shuffling a few steps in between each toss.

And by adjusting the distance, it can really turn into a solid strength workout.

Aim for 5 sets of 60 seconds.

Resistance Band Workouts

This is where your imagination is your limit. Pretty much anything you would usually do with free weights can be done with resistance bands.

Roger Federer will do a lot of chest and shoulder flys with bands as those focus on the muscles he uses most for swinging the racket.

  • Chest flys: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Chest flys: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lat pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps

Speed Workout Routine

feet view of a man doing cone grills

You don’t win that many singles titles without having some great speed on the court.

And there are two ways he pushes his speed to the limit.

Cone Drills

These are great for footwork and to gain control of your balance during high-speed moves and changes in direction.

With about 5 to 10 cones set up only a few feet apart, it’s all about zig-zagging between the cones forward and backward. It’s also great for training more coordination between your upper and lower body.

Aim for 5 sets of 90 seconds.

Racket Drills

A typical racket drill could be serving three balls within a few seconds, and then Roger Federer would have to hit them all back before any of them hit a second bounce.

That might sound easy if the balls all go to the same place, but imagine doing that for opposite ends of the singles line.

It’s also great training to improve reaction times for a tennis match.

This should take at least 20 minutes.

High-Intensity Interval Training

shirtless in a push up position

Before he jumps into regular tennis practice sessions to work on techniques, Roger Federer will often top things up with some hard-core cardio through a HIIT session.

The way Roger Federer approaches HIIT is by choosing a set of 5 exercises, and he does them as intensely as possible for 15 seconds.

Then he takes a 10 to 15-second break before he moves on to the next one.

How many he does depends on whether he’s in preparation for a tournament, but it often takes up another 20 minutes of time.

Here are some sample exercises:

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Squat jumping jacks
  • Leg raises
  • Ab crunches
  • Jump rope
  • Lateral raises
  • Chin-ups

Roger Federer’s Diet Plan

stack of fresh bananas and a bowl of vegetables

Roger Federer’s diet is all about eating smaller meals but many times a day.

For athletes that spend most of the day training, that’s an important thing to keep in mind, as it’s difficult and uncomfortable to perform at professional levels with a full stomach.

Now, what we found most surprising is that Roger doesn’t take a religious approach to carefully calculated macros and portion sizes.

He also doesn’t shy away from having pizza or a cheesy pasta bake for dinner.

And it seems like his approach of listening to his body and keeping his portion sizes relatively small works exceptionally well to support his exercise routine.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast:

  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Coffee
  • Waffles or pancakes with fruit compote
  • Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Snack:

  • Protein bars
  • Cup of unsalted nuts

Lunch: 

  • Bowl of pasta with chicken strips
  • Fresh leafy green salad
Snack:

  • Bananas and fresh berries
  • Protein shake

Dinner:

  • Any kind of meat or fish main course
  • Large portion of green vegetables
  • Ice cream

It’s certainly not the typical diet plan, but this tennis star has made it work for 20 years of a professional career.

“What I think I’ve been able to do well over the years is play with pain, play with problems, play in all sorts of conditions.” - Roger Federer.

What Supplements Does He Take?

shirtless man working on his protein shake , stack of medicine pills

There are three supplements that will support a Roger Federer diet plan and workout routine.

1. Protein Shake

While Roger isn’t trying to gain muscle mass, the amount of physical activity will still take its toll on muscles and cause a lot of fatigue at the end of the day. Taking several protein shakes a day will help speed up the recovery process and make sure that he can perform at the highest level every day.

2. Pre-Workout

These are not some sort of illegal performance-enhancing drugs but perfectly natural and legal supplements that aim to boost your metabolism.

When you train as much as Roger Federer, then even a 5% boost in performance and endurance can make a big difference over a few weeks and months.

3. Multivitamin and Mineral

Roger Federer will also rely on a multivitamin and mineral supplement to make sure his immune and digestive systems work as best as they can. But these supplements may also help with muscle performance and repair, which can reduce the necessary recovery times [2].

Are You Ready To Work As Hard As Roger Federer?

You don’t have to be aiming to be the next star of the US or Australian Open to gain some huge benefits from this workout routine. And even if you never pick up any tennis balls, you’ll get in serious shape.

You might need to be a bit more careful with your diet plan, but if you keep to a calorie-neutral or deficit plan and skip the ice cream, then this workout plan should get you in amazing shape like Roger Federer.


References:

  1. https://www.sportscasting.com/roger-federer-tennis-grand-slam-record/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323061/

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