With a strong body and steely mind, you can take control of the midfield battleground, says Arsenal's all-action Welshman Aaron Ramsey when talking to FourFourTwo.
Improve staying power
"As a midfielder you need to be able to break up play, win the ball back and start attacks, and to do this you need to be very fit. Build the foundations of your fitness before the season starts. I do a mixture of interval training and long-distance runs. This gives me a benchmark before I return for pre-season training. I keep on top of that throughout the campaign. If we don't have a midweek match I try to get in an extra session to blow away the cobwebs."
Hone your top half
"If you are physically powerful, you're harder to knock off the ball. I like to do an upper body gym session once a week. I do pull-ups and bicep curls as part of my workout, and I usually aim for three sets of 10 or three sets of eight. Not many players do more than that because of the number of games we play throughout the season. With midweek matches there isn't enough time to recover, so you have to be streetwise with the amount of extras you do."
Play to the final whistle
"Carry on going until the last minute of the game thinking you can get a goal. Once you sense it, push on and go for it. Teams start to suffer in the last 10-15 minutes of matches and that is when we take full advantage, which is evident in the number of late goals we score. We have the majority of possession during most games and that tires out the opposition. We are a fit team and we have players who can get up and down the pitch even if it's late in the game."
Aaron Ramsey was speaking at the global launch event of New Balance Football.