'I AM STRONGER ON THE PITCH AND HAVE NOTICED A GREAT IMPROVEMENT IN MY PLAYING SINCE TRAINING WITH HIM.'
Rio Ferdinand is full of praise for David's methods. He started training with David six weeks before establishing himself as an England regular. 'I was fit before, but David took me to the next level,' he says. 'I am stronger on the pitch and have noticed a great improvement in my playing since training with him. It had definitely enhanced my football and if it makes you look better in the mirror - which it has - then that's an added bonus.'
Rio was 20 when he first started training with David Marshall. He was one of the younger members of West Ham and, like so many other football players, had neglected the need for weight training. 'I always thought that if you did weight training, then you would put on weight and wouldn't be able to run,' he recalls. 'I thought I would get too bulky. But I was at a stage in my career when I really needed to add to my game.'
When David arrived to spice up the training programme for the team, Rio was impressed. 'He was very enthusiastic. He came and chatted and he seemed knowledgeable and experienced. He pointed out that sprinters do weight training, and that they're not all big and muscular. I just didn't know how to train with weights.' Rio began to adopt the Bodydoctor Fitness Programme. 'After four to five weeks, I felt a lot stronger. I felt different,' he recalls. 'I was always able to run for long periods, but I can now produce some explosive bursts. It made a definite difference.'
'Trevor Sinclair, Jermaine Defoe and I - we all benefited from training with David.We incorporated his sessions into our own workouts. It enhanced us as footballers - and we have all played for England at some level!' Now at Manchester United, Rio still does the programme two or three times a week. 'It obviously depends on the games. Everybody has their own routine to do, and I now have mine!' Since training with David, Ferdinand has become an England regular and the bedrock of their defence, while other players who followed the programme - such as Trevor Sinclair, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard - are now also regulars in the squad.