10 Tips for an Olympic Body
Experts share the diet and exercise secrets of Olympic athletes.
7. Ease into new exercises.
If you are going from cyclist to runner or runner to cyclist, you may be
pretty fit, but your muscles or skeletal system might not be ready for the new
sport. Think of Lance Armstrong's painful New York City Marathon debut last
So take it easy at first, and don't overdo it.
8. Vary your activity, but include the weight room.
Olympic athletes spend a lot of time on their primary activity (a cyclist
will ride, a runner will run), but for most folks, varying the activity reduces
boredom and uses a variety of muscles which may otherwise not get worked.
Also, says Callan, strength and power -- which come from resistance training
-- are important components of any sport. Working out with weights will also
reduce the loss of muscle mass that often occurs with aging. Even men in their
70s and 80s have put on lean mass in a relatively basic strength-training
Also, the NASM says that studies have shown no difference between those who
do resistance training three times a week vs. those who train five times a
week. So you really don't have to train like an Olympian in the weight room. A
little goes a long way.
9. Train regularly and consistently.
"The more intense the training is, the more you're going to reach your
potential," Callan says. "You will not find an Olympic athlete who is
not highly, highly trained. They don't roll out of bed and win the 100-meter
sprint or the 50 freestyle. They spend hours and hours of training of all
Of course, people also respond at different rates and in different ways,
which means that Callan is hesitant to say just how much training someone needs
to really get into shape. Another factor is how a program is designed. If
you really want to get in shape, it's safe to say that three workouts a day
will go a long way. But anything is better than working out with that
10. Consider hiring a personal trainer.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), personal
training jumped from the seventh most important trend in 2007 to the third most
important in 2008.