At twenty-three years old, Cairo Santos is living the dream, playing professional American Football as kicker for Kansas City Chief – becoming the first Brazilian born athlete to play in an NFL regular season game in the process.
To celebrate the release of Madden NFL ’16, FHM grilled Cairo on his training regime, from kicking to dieting to downing delicious smoothies. You know what? We feel stronger just typing this...
Hi Cairo, what does your training regime look like at the moment?
"It starts to get intense in May. We practise pretty hard for a month, then we have a month off before training camp starts.We go back as a team on 1 August and it’s basically the same routine until the season starts in mid-August. Once the camp starts, it’s a grind until February. The ultimate goal is to get to the Superbowl.
"We kick every other day so we don’t wear our legs out. Usually we go to the field and stretch, go through our warm-up routine, then I start to hit a couple balls on my own. Then we go in with the team and play a game, attempting to score field goals. Later we focus on kicking, then it’s the gym, then icing our legs to aid recovery. That’s my day.
"My routine before the game is almost the same thing, about an hour and a half before the game I do a lot of kicks to test the conditions. Then it’s positive thoughts to get into the game.
Do you have a favourite workout?
"My favourite workouts are ones that involve the lay. I feel like I get a lot out of it and can see if I’m getting stronger. The rest of the time is just for beach muscles. Bicep curls to look good in pictures, that sort of thing, you know.
What’s your least favourite workout?
"The crash pads is a horrible workout. We have a square mattress that's full of sand and you’re just running into it, basically just to wear your legs out. It burns, it hurts, but it feels really good afterwards.
What’s the biggest injury you’ve had?
"I haven’t had anything that bad but the second year in college I pulled my groin. I missed practise for six weeks then turned up to the game and tore the muscle. It was pretty painful. That took a while to heal, but it strengthened my groin so much that I haven’t had a problem with it since.
What’s your diet during the training regime?
"We have a dietician in our cafeteria regulating what we eat. Off-season I was put on a programme to gain more weight. I’m trying to build more mass throughout my whole body. I gained ten pounds within a couple of months.
"Once a week we have a cheat day. Sundays is a good time for pizza and a beer, to celebrate the game we’ve just played.
What’s the most important workout for every athlete?
"The core is important for everything. Anything that focuses on that will make you a better athlete.
Is there any new tech that has changed the way you train?
"GPS is put in pads and helmets to see how much force our bodies are getting and how much running we all do. One thing we have done is we have a nutrition bar in our weight room. Right after you workout you have a blended smoothie with protein which helps you heal instantly."
_ Cairo Santos and Harry Kane were both speaking at the launch of _ NFL Madden 16 , out NOW on Xbox One and PS4. Visit easports.com/madden-nfl