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Joe Simpson

Wasps and England scrum-half Joe Simpson talks us through his post-match fitness routine…

As soon as I come off the pitch, I have a recovery shake to replace fluids and get some protein and carbohydrates into my system. There’s also water and Dioralyte in the changing room. The main thing is to warm down and get some fuel in; we eat pizza to build up calories. We also have our team dressing-down (debrief) at this stage.

It can be hard to motivate yourself to get into an ice bath when it’s 2°C outside and you’re exhausted, but if I have one I’ll sit in it for eight minutes solid before showering. Some of the guys put on recovery tights, which help get your circulation going.

If we’ve played at Adams Park then I’m usually home in time for dinner. You can pretty much eat whatever you like after a game, and I go for any takeaway or comfort food like spag bol, followed by sweets – anything from Haribo to jelly babies.

I’m often physically low and worn out after games, so I stay in and have a quiet night watching a movie. If I’m in a good mood or the club has put something on for us I may go out and have a beer, but I’m hard on myself after games, always thinking about what I could have done better, so this is rare. If you’ve got an injury you’re not allowed to drink at all, as alcohol slows down your recovery process.

I’ll be at the club between 9 and 11am the next day for a recovery session if we’ve got a sharp turnaround. Some guys have another ice bath, but I go for a massage, a 15-minute cycle and do some stretching. If we don’t have to be at the club, I’ll lie in as long as I like!

Food-wise it’s just a normal day, so breakfast will consist of bran flakes or Weetabix, and I take protein shakes to try to maintain my size.

That evening I’ll try to switch off by going to the movies, seeing my old school friends, and playing computer games – anything that requires no effort – in preparation for the next week.

I record all our televised games and watch them the next day and make notes. Otherwise, the video is available at the club two or three days later.

For the first half of the week we look back at how we could have improved our performance, and in the second half we look at our next opponents.

Key points:

Warm down

Replace fluids and fuel

Take it easy!