How To Train Like An Olympian

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During the 2012 Olympic Games, most of us were assigned the position of couch potato to watch the best athletes in the world break records. Now that the Olympics are over, is there something we can learn from these athletes? 

Definitely. The intense training and tough mindset of Olympic athletes can be applied to any workout to give your body an extra edge. While you may not make the national team, you’ll earn bragging rights at the gym.

Explosive Exercises

Olympian Usain Bolt begins his daily workout with weighted squats and lunges. You can start these exercises by mastering good form. Once you can maintain lunges and squats without straining your muscles, use free weights to make the moves more challenging. To raise the difficulty level even more, do lunges and squats at a higher speed so that they are “explosive”. These exercises will slowly build your resistance to lactic acid build up and allow you to sprint that much faster.

Interval Training

Chris Malcolm, gold medalist of the 100m and 200m from the World Junior Championships in 1998 recommends interval training to build muscle for sprinting. Instead of running for extended periods of time, interval training requires you to run as fast as you can over shorter distances. This means doing lengths of 30m, 40m and 50m with a few minutes of resting in between. Timing yourself over these distances overtime will allow you to gauge your improvement in interval training. Although your muscles will be sorer at this end of this workout, interval training will accelerate your ability to sprint.

Compound Moves

Another favorite exercise of Chris Malcolm are compound moves that use several muscles in one go. These include cleans and bench presses that improve your muscles’ ligaments’ and joints’ ability to work together and build endurance. For best results, aim for 12 sets of 2-3 repetitions. While you might not experience a lot of hypertrophy, compound moves shape your body into a strong foundation on which you can stimulate further muscle growth.

Regular Training

Despite their flawless appearances on television, every single athlete had to fight for their position in the games one way or another. Take Evan Lysacek. He was a gold-medal favorite coming into the 2004 Winter Olympics in Italy but suffered stomach flu right in the middle of his competitions.

As a result, he missed the bronze. But four years later, he won the gold in an astonishing sweep of effortless technique and strength. Despite negative pressures to give up and go home, Olympians push through and practice daily to achieve their goals. In the same way, don’t focus on the little failures. Keep trying with every fitness routine and get better until you get what you want.

Balanced Sleep and Food

At what time does Olympic rower Peter Reed clock out? 10 pm. The body needs around 9-10 hours to fully regenerate itself after a hard workout. Moreover, it’s not enough to give your body rest. You need to eat to fit the requirements of your workout. Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories per day because he needs a high amount of energy to be able to train 6 hours per day 6 days per week. In the same light, Usain Bolt consumes nearly 200 grams of protein per day to keep his muscles fit.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to food is stock up 60% of carbs for energy and 20% protein for growth. However, finding the perfect balance between the two for your own body will take time.

Still, putting in that time will be worth it in the end, and it will get you that much closer to an Olympian state of fitness.

 

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