Winners Bars - Daniel Hannebery on Building an AFL Player's Body

Daniel Hannebery – Building an AFL player’s body

Daniel Hannebery worked hard to build his body in his first year at the Sydney Swans. Hannebery’s commitment to his nutrition and training paid off, and he was awarded the 2010 AFL Rising Star Award.

Adding that extra muscle to your body isn’t easy, and it’s an ongoing process. Once you get the knowledge about what you need to be eating and have your training program in place, it just takes a lot of discipline….and patience!

What I ate…

Good nutrition is as important as training everyday. I didn’t realise how important it was until I got drafted. My diet consists of lots of complex carbs and plenty of protein. I eat Weet-Bix with fruit and low fat milk; wholegrain pasta with a tomato based sauce; chicken or lean beef and vegies; vegetable stir-fry with lean chicken breast; chicken burrito in a wholemeal wrap; Winners Protein shakes and bars to snack on; and yoghurt and berries.

How I trained…

The first pre-season I did was very intense. It’s a shock to your system because you’re not used to training that way. I had to lose fat and put on lean muscle. In my first pre-season I lost one or two kilograms of fat, and put on three to four kilograms in lean muscle. As an AFL player you work the hardest in the pre-season to prepare your body for the upcoming season.

Although we train together, everyone’s program is different. In my case, I had to build muscle to be able to compete. In the preseason we do around 15 sessions a week. In general, training revolves around an aerobic program of running and skills sessions, with additional weight training. Weight training is especially for players who need to build up body size and strength, so I did more weights for muscle building and increased the protein in my diet at the same time.

Simple steps to success…

  • Be realistic about the amount of muscle you want to put on and the time frames.
  • Eat around training times to optimise gains.
  • Increase the number of times you eat rather than the size of your meals. Plan to eat five-to-six meals/snacks per day.
  • Adding further nutrients to food you already eat is a useful way of increasing the energy content of foods without filling you up too much. For example a tablespoon of Winners Protein Powder.
  • Add fruit spreads, peanut butter, honey or jam to breads.
  • Include yoghurt and honey in fruit smoothies.
  • Use a nutrition supplement such as Winners Protein Powder.

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