Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin reveals his secrets to staying fit

Although the current Portland Timbers franchise has only been in existence less than a decade, it has already lodged itself in the city’s collective consciousness. The team routinely sells out its home games, won the Major League Soccer (MLS) championship in 2015, and as of November 27, 2018, is poised to make a run toward a another championship. Digital Trends’ Riley Winn visited the Timbers home stadium, Providence Park, to speak with defender Zarek Valentin, who talked about fitness -tracking technology, his love of sneakers, and the energy of the Timbers Army.

Valentin has been playing soccer since he was around 5, although he flirted with the idea of becoming a basketball player as a teenager.

“I would have loved to be an NBA player,” he says, “but I was not good enough, tall enough, athletic enough, fast enough to do that. I actually almost gave up soccer for basketball when I was in seventh grade, but I realized I was on the B-team for basketball and the national for soccer, so I made the right decision.” Valentin went on to join MLS, following in the footsteps of his older brother, former L.A. Galaxy player Julian Valentin.

The workout regimen for an MLS player is rigorous. “We start at about 8:30 [a.m.] every day,” Valentin explains. “A lot of players get in before that. The team likes to have as much control over our lives as possible. I say that in the most positive way, meaning they serve us breakfast, they serve us lunch, and a lot of players take home boxes for dinner. I took two. So they can basically control everything that we put into our body. They know exactly what we’re putting in before, during, and after training, so the team has a lot of control over our lives, and I think that they enjoy that, and ultimately they can see when a player’s maybe working too hard, working too little, then eventually regiment themselves out for that.”

Part of the intense routine is the inclusion of fitness-tracking devices, which have been an enormous boon for the players.

“I used to not be into it as much,” Valentin says, “but the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve used it as a bar, set to essentially gauge how fit I am … I’ve been able to gauge what my peak fitness is: How fast I can run, how I feel after the game, how I feel before the game, and maybe during a three-game week … and maybe if I’m coming back from an injury — knock on wood — or maybe I haven’t played a game because I was being rested or coach’s decision. No matter what, I know essentially what I have to do to get my body back into peak fitness.”

Digital Trends Live airs at 9 a.m. PT from Monday through Friday, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the Digital Trends Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Podcasts

New Spider-Man, Old Ghostbusters, John Wick, and 'Glass'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be talking about the Netflix price rise, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, a new (and possibly very old) Ghostbusters movie, the latest from Netflix and Steve Carell, Glass, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Motorola flip phone, ads in space, smart umbrella

On this episode of Digital Trends Live we discussed trending headlines like foldable smartphones and advertising in space. We also sat down with Caleb Denison and Ronan Glon to talk about the world of tech post CES 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix news, visions of CES, and more

On episode 45 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle looked at the most exciting news stories from the world of tech, including the runaway success of Netflix's Bird Box, what to look forward to at CES, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 1

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels. From the Impossible Burger and the future of food, to full…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: CES 2019, Chromecast security flaws, and more

We talk about a Chromecast hack and FCC approval of radar controls in smart devices on this episode of Digital Trends Live. CEO of Affect Change Jason Neubauer also joined the show and Jeff Barrett talked about new tech trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Everything to expect from CES 2019

On the latest episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler, Caleb Denison, and Jeremy Kaplan explore the many gadgets to look forward to at CES 2019, including 8K TVs, 5G-capable phones, and artificial intelligence.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 2

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels. From the latest VTOL taxi from Bell Helicopters and the…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Exciting revelations from day one of CES 2019

Broadcasting live from CES, the annual tech conference in Las Vegas, the hosts of Digital Trends Live covered anti-poaching cameras, Samsung's foldable phone, the new-and-improved Impossible Burger, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 3

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels and announcing our Top Tech of CES award winners. We're joined…
Digital Trends Live

Original ‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin Harrington on what he loves about CES

Broadcasting from CES, the hosts of Digital Trends Live had a chance to talk to entrepreneur and original Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington about his love of trade shows and how he invests.