Sleep monitoring, a personal therapist and 6,000 calories a day: The soccer machine Holland regime

Recently, Norway’s national coach Stahl Solbakken said something about Norwegian superstar Erling Holland that deserves attention.

And that explains the furor caused by Holland in the Premier League.

“His body is getting better, he’s still growing,” Solbacken pointed out. “If you look at him now and go back a year, you’ll see a certain difference. And he takes that aspect extremely seriously.”

The results of the progress are obvious and the whole football world is talking about them.

Holland has broken record after record this season and has amassed 17 goals in the Premier League and a further five in the Champions League.

Tonight he returns to the well-known Signal Iduna Park, where he will face his former team Borussia Dortmund. And no one will be surprised if his goal score swells even more.

Currently, the Norwegian is an unfailing football machine with an increasingly meticulous attention to detail in training, nutrition and recovery.

His father Alfie claims that Erling is more professional than ever with his development, and sources at Dortmund confirm that even at Borussia he paid a lot of attention to improving his physique.

Sleep comes first for the footballer and he is totally obsessed with getting quality sleep, describing it as “probably the most important thing in life”.

Holland is convinced that performance on the pitch depends on quality sleep and among the measures he takes is wearing blue light blocking glasses.

He wears the glasses in the evening before going to sleep and thus blocks harmful light waves from various devices and digital screens.

The attacker goes to bed between 10 and 10:30 in the evening, and most electronic devices are turned off well before that. Holland often isolates himself in the evenings and turns off his phone so as not to be distracted in any way.

He has regular blood tests and wears a device on his finger that measures his sleep quality and heart rate.

Holland has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his bearing, style and charisma, but Calum Walsh, Newcastle’s former head of sports science, draws another parallel.

“He’s an extreme version,” says Walsh. “At the level of Cristiano Ronaldo – every single aspect is considered”. More and more Premier League players are paying close attention to detail before and after training, but Walsh sees even more depth in Holland.

His body mass has increased significantly since leaving Molde in 2019. After stints at Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, he now weighs around 90kg with a height of 195.2cm.

His diet, which included eating up to 6,000 calories a day, has been discussed more than once.

“I’ve never seen anyone eat so much, he eats like a bear,” testified Holland’s national team teammate Joshua King.

The butcher grew up in the small farming town of Bryn, and since he was a child he has taken a serious amount of protein from quality meat. He is aware of the advantages of offal from well-raised animals, he also likes livers and hearts.

“Quality food that is locally produced is most important,” the player shared in a recent documentary. “They say meat is bad, but which meat? The one from McDonald’s or the one from cows grazing in the surrounding area?”

Offal is considered an easily digestible food that is suitable for consumption in small doses. However, players are generally advised to avoid red meat on match days.

Holland balances his diet with fish and higher-carb foods, including his father’s favorite homemade lasagna.

It is the lasagna that is Erling’s choice before every game and even Pep Guardiola has joked about its miraculous qualities.

Erling Holland himself learned to cook some things in the years after he left Molde (he was 19 at the time).

Apparently he doesn’t mind eating a varied diet and indulges in pizza or Chinese food when he returns to Norway to visit his family.

However, this is rare and the star sticks to his regime, relying heavily on the club chefs in the City as well.

“You must be my favorite people here,” he tells the chefs on his first day at the club.

Holland was rested against Copenhagen in the Champions League earlier this month and it was his first withdrawal from the starting line-up since arriving at the Etihad in the summer.

Guardiola admitted the player was not feeling well after the win over Southampton, and City have one thing on their minds about Holland’s injuries during his time at Borussia.

Therefore, the “citizens” will take special care not to overload their new star. Guardiola has already praised sports therapist Mario Pafundi and the rest of the medical staff for keeping Holland fit given the adductor problems he had at Dortmund.

Pafundi became his personal therapist and even went with Holland to the Norwegian national team to constantly stay by his side and take care of his recovery.

The goalscorer will also have a major advantage over most other football stars – he will be able to rest during the World Cup in Qatar, as Norway did not qualify.

City are expected to give him a fortnight off and he can recover for a busy schedule at the start of 2023.

Heart, liver and homemade lasagna: Holland revealed the secret of his diet

“They’re probably building a system for him, taking into account nutrition, training metrics, travel,” suggests Callum Walsh.

“They’ll have a detailed picture of what has caused his outburst so far this season. It could be specific practices in practice. It could be that he’s been practicing a lot or it could be a certain number of practices on consecutive days.”

“Most footballers are of similar height and weight within certain limits – 70-80 kilograms, between 177 and 187 centimeters. But there are also those who stand out like Holland. Their recovery must be different, they have their quirks,” adds Walsh. “Some of them are like racehorses.”

Stahl Solbakken also describes Erling Holland as a racehorse, and it’s an interesting comparison considering the star’s gym workouts.

The striker is trying not to develop too much muscle and not to accumulate mass that would be harmful to him if he wants to remain the fastest player in the ranks of Manchester City.

Guardiola is confident enough in him to joke about Holland’s November and December holidays.

“How perfect he will be depends on how he behaves in Marbella. He has a house there. He will play golf and hopefully he won’t eat and drink too much,” laughs the manager.

The information gathered so far shows that Pep really has no reason to worry, as Holland knows perfectly well how to rest.

Therefore, breaking even bigger records in the second part of the season seems very likely.

Holland and Mbappe have signed contracts that allow them to keep their futures in their own hands


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