Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

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 year.

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 program. 

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 sorts."

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 remote.

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. 

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
man exercising
knees to chest
Man looking at watch before workout
Overweight man sitting on park bench

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
jogger running among flowering plants
woman walking
woman doing pushups