Adama Traore started out as a thin winger, but has become a footballing powerhouse, blitzing past defenders at 23.5mph and weighing 13.5 stone… and he claims he never lifts weights – here’s a look at his transformation
- Adama Traore’s switch from skinny teen to muscle mountain is staggering
- He claims that he does not do weights and credits his mother for helping him
- Traore has called on former Olympians to improve his speed during his career
Ask a football fan to describe Adama Traore and they will will probably tell tales of an explosive, fearsome winger with bruising strength and superhuman speed – albeit one who has never reached his potential.
Ask a defender to talk about unplayable forwards and some will name the Spaniard. Jan Vertonghen called him the toughest opponent of his career, while Jetro Willems said he was trickier to shackle than Cristiano Ronaldo.
He has the third-highest top speed in Premier League history, coming in at a whopping 23.5mph, and on the Barcelona website is listed at 13.5 stone, which would make him a cruiserweight in boxing.
Understandably, across a career in the stripes of Barcelona, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Wolves, and soon Fulham, Traore has tyrannised many a backline just by standing near them.
But it wasn’t always like that.
In his first spell at Barcelona, traore was a skinny teenager, blessed with talent but no absurd physical attributes. How, then, did he become one of football’s titans?
Adama Traore was not a particularly powerful winger when he began his career at Barcelona
Over the years, he has turned into one of the formidable and explosive players in the game
Traore said his mother, Fatoumata, makes all his meals, and called her ‘the best cook’
It had something to do with his mother. La madre de Adama. Fatoumata Traore, the doting parent key to his rise as a footballer.
After his first Spain cap in 2020, Traore declared to much surprise that he did not lift weights in the gym, saying his genetics make his muscles grow very fast to the point where he does not need to do them.
‘I have gained in muscles with training, rest and food. Food is essential and I consider it a very important part of training,’ he said.
The genius behind what he eats rests in the mind of his mum, who he called ‘the best cook in the world’.
‘I try to vary the amount of dishes and have a varied, healthy and balanced diet.
‘I can eat a little paella as well as a typical Malian dish with peanut sauce and brown rice. I also throw in a lot of Italian pasta.
‘Everything is done by my mother.’
Alongside the food, he credited core exercises and drinking lots of water.
‘I do other exercises,’ he said. ‘I do a lot of core. The secret is to know your body and adapt the training to your physical condition.
‘But I don’t do weights. My genetics are like that and it makes my muscles grow very fast.’
Despite his increase in size, Traore insists that he does not do weights in his workout routine
After moving to Wolves, he revealed that he wore oil on his arms to help him beat players
Traore worked with Team GB Olympic medallist Darren Campbell to help him improve his pace
His speed is blistering. He once clocked almost 23.5 mph in a Premier League match
The lack of weight-lifting is related to injury prevention, as he realised when he was young that he needed ‘to do more specific work to avoid injuries’.
As a 15-year-old winger at Barcelona, Traore suffered from tendinitis in his knees which affected his speed – but ever since, his pace and power has been clear to see.
There have been other influences on him.
While at Middlesbrough, he took part in individual training sessions with Olympic medallist Darren Campbell, a former Team GB sprinter and friend of ex-Boro boss Tony Pulis, who helped him with his rapid pace.
It’s crazy to see the impact his dedication had on him. Traore did not score in his first 37 Premier League outings, but he developed into a force that fans and players alike recognised as simmering with danger.
He would even put baby oil on his arms to slip past defenders without them being able to grip him. His physical transformation remains one of the most astonishing in football.
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