Carli Lloyd has reached the greatest heights in women’s soccer. Her long list of accolades include Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion and FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
The Delran, New Jersey, superstar is known for her intense training style. She and her personal trainer, James Galanis, have been working together for 13 years and in that time she has gone from a player cut from the U-21 national team to the captain of the U.S. senior team.
Given everything Lloyd has accomplished, it begs the question: what sets her apart?
U.S. & World
According to Lloyd, it’s simply working harder than everyone else.
“I don’t think there’s too many people that are doing the workload that I’m doing,” she said. “If I took somebody through a week’s worth of my workouts I’m not sure that they would be able to survive.”
It’s not just the workload that makes the difference for Lloyd. She trains when she knows most other players are taking a day off.
“I know that the majority of people aren’t waking up at 5 or 6 am if they need to go out to the field to train,” she said. “I know that the majority of people aren’t training on Christmas Day, on New Year’s Day, on Thanksgiving and on various holidays.”
Although Lloyd follows a strict training and dietary plan, she does not train on a regimented schedule.
“There’s some players that wake up and do the same thing every single day,” she said. “That’s not how I’m wired. Sometimes I train early in the morning, sometimes I train at lunch time, sometimes I train at night. Whatever I need to do, my body is up for that particular day.”
However, that flexibility can make it difficult for Lloyd to follow her diet. “I think that’s the downfall, you can typically grab a very unhealthy snack,” she said. While on the go, Lloyd typically packs KIND bars to give her that healthy option.
Lloyd’s adaptability is not only evident in her schedule. It is something she specifically strives for in her training.
In her time training with Galanis, no one workout has ever been the same. It’s all about making Lloyd uncomfortable.
“What’s really special about James is that he can continuously come up with drills and ideas to keep me stimulated and once I get comfortable with one thing he continuously makes me uncomfortable with another thing,” she said. “We may do the same sort of shooting drill, but James will throw in something that is totally different, maybe a different angle or a different dribbling exercise or a different juggling exercise, just as I get comfortable he continues to make it harder.”
Lloyd’s efforts both on and off the field have been rewarded emphatically. The two-time Olympic gold medalist leads the U.S. into this summer’s Olympics as favorites to top the podium again.
Lloyd, 34, plans on competing in another World Cup and Olympics.