World Cup Soccer Workout: Jonathan Bornstein

by Nate

in Athlete Workouts

Post image for World Cup Soccer Workout: Jonathan Bornstein

USA defender Jonathan Bornstein stepped up the intensity of his training to prepare for the 2010 World Cup tournament.  “I pride myself on being one of the fittest guys on the team, so when a chance to score in the 95th minute comes along, I’m still able to push through.”

Bornstein recently shared some of his World Cup workout and training secrets in the June/July 2010 issue of Men’s Fitness.

Building Endurance

To build a base in his off-season soccer training, Jonathan Bornstein runs 2 miles, trying to keep his time under 11 minutes.

A 5:30 mile is clearly for those who are in incredible shape, but you can still train like Jonathan even if you can’t maintain that pace.  The key to getting results and seeing improvement in your running is to record your progress.  Start by running two miles at what is a challenging pace for you to establish a base line.  Then work on varying the lengths and intensity of your runs.  Doing some shorter intervals at your goal pace will help you reach your desired result faster than if you just continuously tried to go out and pound out the 2 miles.  Write everything you do down in a log, and continue to challenge yourself to improve.


To practice a quick change of direction Bornstein does what he calls “doggies,” but what you may know as a shuttle run.  Run from the end line on the soccer field to the six-yard line and back, to the 18 yard-line and back, and to the midline and back and you have completed one “doggie.”  “During a match I have to run forward, stop on a dime, then come right back and defend,” says Bornstein.

Upper Body

“At 5’9″, 150 pounds, I’ve always had to defend against bigger guys, so I need strong arms to hold them off,” says Jonathan.

Bornstein does 2 sets of 10 reps of biceps curls and 3 sets of 10 reps of bench press during his upper body workout.  Soccer is a sport where you don’t want to build a lot of bulk so Bornstein keeps the weight fairly light.  “Its not grueling, but it’s enough to give you a good burn,” says the soccer star.

Lower Body

Jonathan also keeps the weight light during his leg lifts, so he doesn’t get tight and stiff during matches.  He mainly focuses on squats, lunges and calf raises.  He also is a fan of beach runs, saying, “Man, do my hamstrings burn when I do ‘em.  The sand slows you down a bit, so you’ve really got to push yourself.”


“A strong core gives you a good center of balance, which is important in soccer because your always changing directions,” says Jonathan.

Bornstein ends every workout with this ab routine:

40 situps with legs at 90 degrees
40 alternating knee touches
40 jackknife situps
1 minute bridge
3 sets of side planks, holding for 25 seconds.

The much anticipated 2010 World Cup, and the first ever on African soil, is set to kick off Friday morning.  You can catch Jonathan Bornstein and the Unites States team on Saturday at 2:30 EST against England.

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