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Manya Makoski- Fitness and Strength, Health and Nutrition, Recovery and Maintenance

Courtesy of  OurGameMagazine

Welcome to the first blog by MM22 for the Our Game Magazine Performance Section. My name is Manya Makoski and I am a professional footballer currently playing in Finland for Åland United. I am obsessed with every aspect of training. Fitness and strength, health and nutrition, and recovery and maintenance. I love keeping track of everything that I do to my body and everything I consume. How I train is one of the things I can control. I have said it before, and I will say it again: if I am not fit, it is my fault. Although I may think that what I am doing is right, I know I am not perfect in my training routine and diet. I am always testing different ways of doing things, on and off of the field. Hopefully, this blog will give some insight on performance to both myself and my readers.

Here is some background information on my past offseason.

I was living at home in Milford, Conn., where I spent a few months coaching for girlsCAN Football and training. My training facility, United Athletic Centers in Stratford, was amazing. It had everything I needed: turf fields, futsal court, gym with weights and machines, functional training, and an owner that was really invested in providing the best for my training.

My training group, called BTE 99, was a group of other professionals and highly talented players. We trained two times a week for about two hours each session. Our trainers, Mike Legates and Eric McGrath, planned each session with purposeful drills.I played pick-up, did technical training on my own or with another player, lifted weights, and went for various runs (intervals, recovery jogs, tempo). My favorite workout was an awesome “bootcamp” I did three times a week. The instructor was Mike Bacon from Fit Adventures. It was two rounds of 15 minutes of various body weight work: squats, planks, sprints, lunges, and push-ups (my least favorite thing to do in the world but I got pretty good at them towards the end).

If I was not working out, I was either eating, sleeping, napping, foam rolling, stretching, or planning my next workout. Here is some performance journal samples from a few of my offseason days. And of course I picked the “best” one to share. Not every day is like this one. (Mostly everyone knows how addicted I am to Starbucks).

January 30 went to sleep at: 12:15 a.m. woke up at: 9:30 a.m. about 9 hours of sleep.

*Supplements (9:40a) -20 min coconut oil pulling.

*Snack (10:15a) -banana with 2 tbsp Trader Joes almond butter -2 oz Naked mango juice.

*Workout (10:30a) -high intensity interval run: 1 min sprint, 1 min jog @ 32 minutes, about 4.4 miles -15 minutes foam rolling and stretching.

*Breakfast (11:30a) -1/2 cup whole grain rolled oats with 1/2 cup lowfat Silk vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup mango, 1/4 cup granola

*Workout (2:45p) UAC -high intensity treadmill interval sprints: 30 sec @ 11.7, 30 sec rest @ 20 minutes -weights: upper body and core; 45 minutes; medium intensity -2 supersets @ 2 x 2.5 lbs and alternating stand leg on bosu ball: delts X10 X3 ways X3 hand positions with X10 incline scaps; high rows X10; high rotations X10; low rows X10; low rotations X10; internal/external rotations X10; double leg raise abs X60 -2 supersets, alternating stand leg on bosu ball: bicep curls X15 each arm @ 2 X 15 lbs; deadbug abs X60; tricep dips on bench X30; plank 90 seconds; bicep curls thumbs up X 10 each arm @ 2 X 15 lbs; slow bicycle abs X60; shoulder press @ 2 X 15 lbs; half incline situp with twist @ 6 lbs X30; lat pull down X15 @ 50 lbs; hip raise abs X60 -20 minutes foam rolling and stretching

*Snack (4:00p) -10 oz water with scoop Muscle Milk vanilla protein powder, 10 strawberries, 2 tbsp rolled oats, 1/4 cup lowfat plain greek yogurt. 

*Snack (7:00p) -14 red grapes -slice of Trader Joes whole wheat bread with 2 tbsp Skippy natural peanut butter.

*Dinner (7:45p) -Whole Foods: sweet potato and cranberry quinoa cake; 1/4 cup kale and guacamole salad, 1/4 cup cranberry cous cous with pecans.

February 1 went to sleep at: 11:30 p.m. woke up at: 9 a.m. about 9.5 hours of sleep.

*Supplements (9:15a) -20 minutes coconut oil pulling.

*Breakfast (10:00a) -1/2 cup whole grain rolled oats with 1/2 cup lowfat Silk vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, banana, 1/4 cup granola -3 oz Naked mango juice.

*Snack (11:15a) -Starbucks grande nonfat caramel latte.

*Workout (12:00p) -UAC Mike Bacon’s bootcamp: high intensity -2 sets of 15 min of work (pushups, squats, various planks, sprints, forward lunges) with 2 minutes of rest in between sets.

*Workout (12:45p) -60 minutes light/medium intensity ball work with another player (dribbling, first touch, passing, long balls) -core: heel touches X60, slow bicycle X60, double leg raise X60 -20 minutes foam rolling and stretching.

*Snack (2:45p) -10 oz water with scoop Muscle Milk vanilla protein powder, 10 strawberries, 2 tbsp rolled oats, 1/4 cup lowfat plain greek yogurt.

*Workout (3:30p) -60 minutes girlsCAN High School pick-up session: light intensity -10 minutes foam rolling and stretching.

*Snack (6:15p) -half of a cup of Panera creamy tomato soup with half of a french baguette.

*Dinner (8:45p) -Senor Panchos 3/4 california vegetable burrito; 6 tortilla chips and 2 tbsp guacamole.

I have been in Finland for about a week. We are still in preseason and will be playing our first regular season game April 8. My body feels prepared, and I have been performing well so far. In this blog, I will continue to write about the different aspects of my performance. Each week I will also have few FAQs at the end in reference to what was in the blog.

For any comments or questions, you can email me at

Live The Game, Love The Game



*How many times a week and what kinds of workouts should I be doing each week?

For professional players and players aspiring to be, I think that 5 to 6 times a week of working out is best. Anything extra is up to you and depends on how you feel. Personally, I like to do sprints or intervals two times a week and tempo or longer distance runs one time a week.In the gym, I am usually lifting lower body two times a week and upper body two times a week. However, with bootcamp, it is a mixture, so I base my weight workouts off of what I have not or will not cover that week in the bootcamps.I like to get on the ball as much as I can. Fitness through playing is always the best. I try to play pick-up or do some technical training at least four times a week. My workouts last anywhere between 30 minutes to maximum two hours. Anything more than that, the quality drops; and anything less does not feel enough to me. However, 5 minutes with a ball will not hurt. I always try to give myself one “rest and recovery” day per week. Either I will do absolutely nothing at all and eat what I want to eat; I will go for a long and really slow jog around my neighborhood; or do some movements in a pool. No matter what I foam roll and stretch.

*My workouts are getting monotonous and I am getting burnt out. What else can I do besides run and lift weights?

It is good to mix it up a bit. Some days I do not feel like going for a run. Instead, I will do a bootcamp at the gym, do some kickboxing on the heavy bag, go for a bike ride, go for a swim, do some yoga, or take my imaginary dog to the park and chase him around. The options are endless.

*What does intensity mean?

This is a personal concept that takes a while to develop and understand. I use a few different levels: high intensity, medium/high intensity, medium intensity, low/medium intensity, and low intensity. High intensity is the hardest you have ever worked out. For me, it involves a lot of heavy breathing and being close to my max heart rate (generally it equals 220 – age).

*Why do I need to keep track of the number of hours I sleep and what time I wake up and go to bed?

Your body needs sleep to perform at your best and it needs enough of it. Seven to eight hours of sleep is best. And the earlier you go to bed and the earlier you wake up, the better quality of sleep you get.This has been an area of trouble for me. I am not a morning person and I love to stay awake at night. I feel more productive and get more work done. Yet I am always tired during the day, and resorting to napping. Naps are a good thing, but I do not like to get too reliant on them to refresh my energy.

*How do I know what I should be eating before and after a workout?

This has been a game of trial and error for me. I cannot eat a lot before a workout, but I need to make sure that I am getting enough to supply my body with energy. What you put into your body is your fuel for a workout. Carbs are best for me for before a workout. Protein and carbs are my best friends after a workout. Talking to a nutritionist is probably the best answer to this question.

*What is the difference between a snack and a meal?

Usually I gauge my snacks to be anywhere between 100 and 300 calories. My meals are usually around 500-700 calories. I have noticed that it is optimal for me to have more snacks than meals. I do not like to workout after eating a lot. I save my big meals for dinner and after workouts.

Manya Makoski is a professional player from Trumbull Conneticut who is currently playing for Alan United in Finland. For more information on Manya, visit

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