By: LINDSEY MURRAY
Edited By: ARYA ROERIG
With July 27th quickly approaching, talk of the 2012 Summer Olympic games has been buzzing all around. It is hard to imagine that these athletes spend year after year training for a defying moment in their career that may only last a few seconds. Most athletes keep their training program under tight wraps and are reluctant to share with anyone. However, we were able to snag a few tips and tricks of the summer’s most athletic competitors that are easy to do at home and will leave you feeling like a gold medalist.
Surprisingly enough many Olympians utilize Pilates as part of their cross training program. Athletes such as runner Lolo Jones and gymnast Alicia Sacramon are huge fanatics of Pilates’ wide variety of benefits. A single routine provides a combination of strength, balance and control, while also incorporating a mind, body and spirit aspect that is crucial in the tough competition that these competitors face.
In addition to a core workout routine, Olympic athletes swear by a solid warm up and recovery plan. American Council on Exercise spokesperson, Todd Durkin, suggests a ten-minute light cardio warm up in addition to 10 to 15 minutes of a dynamic warm up, such as skipping, for those who are looking to train like an Olympian. He also suggests recovery techniques such as foam rolling and massages to reduce discomfort or soreness the next day.
Olympic athletes are not only sticklers for their workout regimens, but are also conscience of what happens in the kitchen. Athletes that are looking to enhance their energy focus on enjoying a breakfast rich in complex carbohydrates and lean protein. It is also crucial for them to continue eating every three to four hours throughout the day and within 90 minutes of working out in order to keep energy levels high. USOC associate director of food and nutrition, Terri Moreman shared with Outside Magazine that Olympic athletes stock up on the service dining halls Thai chicken soup in order to have a nutrient packed meal that is also delicious. Some other popular dishes among this year’s athletes include yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit, and organic salads in addition to organic beef hamburgers as a main course.
Aside from fitness and nutrition, athletes’ swear by getting a good night’s sleep. Eight to ten hours of sleep per night is crucial to the success of a high level training routine and for the highest quality of sleep a bedtime before 11pm is recommended. In addition, avoid computer and television use before bed and sleep in the darkest room possible to avoid effects of electromagnetic waves that can leave you feeling run down.
These tips are what make Olympians the extremely successful athletes they are. Though there may be many differences between the athletic abilities of these competitors and the average human being, that doesn’t mean that these tips and tricks are not extremely beneficial to us. Incorporating this fitness and nutrition advice will not only help provide great fitness results but will also give you the edge, energy and drive of those competing in the Olympic games.