Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

5 Olympic Athletes Share Their Workout Secrets

Font Size
A
A
A

Diana Lopez, TAE KWON DO

For Diana Lopez, 24, going to Beijing is a family affair. Her brothers Mark, 26, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Steve, 29, will also be competing; a third brother, Jean, 34, will be coaching her ringside. "It's comforting to know that I'll have people around me whom I love and trust," says Lopez, who started sparring when she was 6, occasionally with her siblings.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS:
Beginning two months before competition, Lopez — who lives in Houston — practices tae kwon do five days a week for two hours a day. She also works in six hours of plyometrics, footwork drills, and weight training; a Bikram yoga class; and three 30-minute jogs a week.

SECRET WEAPON:
When Lopez wants fast results, she combines speed intervals with plyometrics: three sets of 10 reps of jumping on and off a raised step, with 10 seconds of uphill sprinting on a treadmill between each set. "I love the strength and explosiveness it gives me in matches."

MIND GAME:
After each practice, Lopez lies on her back while Jean leads her through a 10-minute visualization of mock fights or upcoming matches, such as her Olympic debut.

EAT LIKE A PRO:
At 5-foot-10 and 132 pounds, Lopez had to drop to 125 pounds to qualify for the featherweight division. After narrowly missing the 2004 Olympic team, she cut junk food and fast food from her diet and learned to subsist on oatmeal, fruit, lean protein, and greens. "You have to listen to your body," she says. "Now I feel so much faster in competition."

FEET UPKEEP:
Because she competes barefoot, Lopez swears by Sephora Body Scrub for keeping calluses at bay. "And I love getting pedis!"

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
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

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.

Thanks!

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

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article