Train like an Olympian
Top workout tips from Olympic hopefuls gearing up for the Vancouver 2010 Games.
1. FALL IN LOVE
If you dread the gym, ditch it in favour of something you can't wait to do. Strength training doesn't require heaving dumbbells. Olympic trainer Kelly Forbes counts surfing and mountain biking as two of his preferred strength exercises. With so many new workout options out there, from Piloxing to parkour, you're bound to find something you adore.
2. PAIR UP
Dragging yourself out of bed becomes a must when your friend is waiting for you at the 7 a.m. yoga class. For Montreal-based pair skater Jessica Dube, working with partner Bryce Davison gives her a mental edge. "There is a comfort we feel knowing we are there for each other," she explains. "It motivates us both in competition and in training."
3. DRESS THE PART
Loo likes to compete wearing black on the slopes. "It makes me feel mean and aggressive," says the snowboarder. And Dube says there is nothing better than when you have fitness gear you love. "This is why I try and help design mine, to ensure I get a skating dress that makes me feel confident." Ditch your tired, oversized cotton attire and invest in sleek workout gear made of technical fabrics to keep the sweat factor minimal and the style quotient high.
4. REWARD YOURSELF
Have you been to the gym four times this week as you planned? Treat yourself to those new sneakers you've been coveting. Prefer gourmet goodies? Our country's top athletes do as well. But keep your splurges in check: a little sweet treat after a grueling spin class is well deserved, but burgers and onion rings after every workout will cancel out all of your hard work.
5. START WITH THE SMALL STEPS
Canada's Olympians don't focus solely on going for gold. Set realistic objectives you can meet during each workout. Add one more rep to each exercise, for example, or hold your plank position five seconds longer.
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