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Chasing football fitness: Patrick's Transformation


Discovering the joys of sport at a very young age is a special thing, especially if you stick to that sport as you grow physically and mentally. It becomes part of your life, a special activity you look to for structured goals and for fun, for self-betterment and team achievement. Embraced over the course of a lifetime, sport becomes a much more than a hobby or a pastime.

Patrick has lived thirty years, and for twenty-five of them, he has been playing football. For him, football is a defining passion. If you asked Patrick who he is, depending on the context, he might tell you he is a manager at a software company. He might tell you he is German living in Munich. But most likely, if the particular context was the football field on his local team’s game day, Patrick would very likely slip on his gloves, kick the grass cuttings from his boots, and tell you: “I’m the starting goalkeeper”, before running over to take his position between the sticks.

And so he was until the day he injured his shoulder, sustaining an injury just bad enough to need surgery, which meant a three-month layoff from football and fitness activities.

His permanent position as the team’s shot-stopper was gone.

In the immediate wake of setbacks like these, the emotions come rushing in: disappointment, anxiety, sadness, anger. These are natural responses. And while we can’t know for sure what Patrick was feeling in the moments of recovery, having lost his place, we’re fairly certain he felt that a big obstacle had just risen up to block him from his passion.

When this happens to any of us, we are faced with a choice: do we attempt to get past that which has been placed in our way, or do we stand down and find other ways to keep our time and attention?

With the things that are truly meaningful to us, it’s rarely the latter. We collect ourselves, recover, and give it our all to take back what was lost. And that’s the choice Patrick made. He chose to rebuild his strength and fitness levels so that he could take back his place in the team.

Now, Patrick had trained with Freeletics before; a 12-week Training Journey in the past had helped him lose seven kilos and get into the shape he wanted to be in, so he knew that it could help him again.

However, the last time Patrick had been training regularly with the app was almost a year before his recovery from surgery, and this time Patrick was able to take advantage of a special, limited-edition Training Journey that hadn’t been there previously: Football Fit, 1 developed with star goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen.

There couldn’t have been a more appropriate Journey for a keeper training his way back to a starting place on his team. On top of that, he had the support of other Free Athletes in his area on their own transformation Journeys and the guidance of Freeletics Ambassador Chris Kobi.

With these elements in place, Patrick was motivated from the get-go. His mantra? “COME BACK STRONGER.”

For him, this meant losing fat, and getting his fitness levels back up by doing the workouts in his Training Journey and adjusting to a more balanced diet with the help of the Nutrition App.

The road back to being in good shape wasn’t easy, though. He started out on his Journey weighing 119 kilograms, far above his target. Re-learning proper form and restoring lost habits proved challenging too, with a difficult second week bringing some self-doubt to the amateur goalkeeper’s mind. But, just as before, he stuck to the exercises and by Week 5 of 12, he was already noticing improvements in his form and ability to do Burpees.

His momentum only increased as he reached the halfway point, and Patrick was also able to incorporate Freeletics Mindset into his routines, and his transformation saw him grow both physically and mentally stronger while having fun and losing weight.

At the end of the 12 weeks, he was well on his way to taking his shot at regaining his place as his team’s goalkeeper, having shed 16 kilos, regained strength and rediscovered his self-belief.

When asked whether he planned to continue on with his Freeletics training? The answer was a clear “yes”, because, in his own words, “It was awesome…[and] there is more in the tank!”

And finally, because you certainly want to know: yes, Patrick is back starting in goal for his team. Passion for sport and a commitment to fitness does go a long way.

Watch highlights from Patrick’s transformation Journey:

  1. Editor’s Note: Football Fit is a special limited-edition Training Journey that is not currently available. If you want to try a similar workout that is available in the app, we recommend Explosive Strength from the male Training Journeys, or Slim & Toned from the female versions.