It’s hard to believe that the Vancouver 2010 Olympics were FOUR years ago! Once again, the world is coming together for Sochi 2014 and I couldn’t be more excited! Despite tons and tons of controversy over these Olympics, I 110% support the athletes and their training, dedication, and passion for their respective sports. The culture and society around the Games has grown, changed, and become much more than it ever has in the past, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the intense competition of athletes who get to participate for their country and represent the best of their nation. GO TEAM CANADA!
The many Olympic athletes that travel to the Games have dedicated their lives to their sport. They train hard day in and day out to reach their goals and will stop at nothing less. It’s pretty inspiring to say the least. These world class athletes are amazing role models for those of us not-so-world-class athletes and I think we can learn a fair amount from them.
I’m not saying we need to train 10 hours a day and dedicate our lives to international competition. However I am saying that adopting some of the Olympic athletes’ key training principles and lifestyles could help us feel like Olympians!
SET A GOAL. While it’s obvious what the goal of an Olympian is, try using this same philosophy and setting a specific goal for yourself that is important to you. Whether it’s running a marathon, completing a chin-up, or a goal completely unrelated to fitness like saving money to buy a car – once you have a goal in mind and you have committed to it, it will make your decisions about skipping a workout or blowing some frivolous cash, a lot easier.
FUEL YOUR BODY. Many people are concerned with eating too many calories or too many grams of fat. Athletes are concerned whether or not they are getting the right nutrients to fuel their bodies to perform. Instead of feeling like food is an enemy or something your exercise is in competition with, look at food as fuel. In order for your body to perform and train to meet your goals, you need to give it the right energy and enough energy. Nutrition is not just important for Olympic athletes… good nutrition is important for everyone. Finding healthy, wholesome, nutritious, and delicious foods that work for your body, lifestyle, and goals, is important to making the most out of your workouts and your life in general!
CORRECT YOUR FORM. Speed skaters don’t just skate as many laps as they can and call it a day, they perfect their form and make sure they are training as efficiently as possible. Some sports like figure skating are ALL about form. Instead of trying to do as many reps as you can with as much weight as you can in the gym, learn the correct form for the movement and make sure you are constantly checking and correcting your form. Those Olympians don’t get to the podium with sloppy form!
TRAIN CONSISTENTLY. Olympic athletes train every day. Their goals are big and it takes consistency and dedication to get there. We can learn from this and practice consistency in our own lives. Getting to the gym regularly instead of “whenever I remember” or registering for a weekly fitness class instead of going to drop-in classes that you just never seem to “drop-in” at, are some simple examples of making fitness consistent in your life and helping you reach whatever goal you are striving towards.
If you are interested in training like an Olympian… there are some great workout moves that will make you sweat and probably put into perspective how hard Olympic athletes have to work to reach their goals and accomplish their dreams.
Lateral Ski Jumps.
Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Press & Twist.
There are a couple more ideas for training like an athlete here and here. Pretty hard core stuff.
All of the Sochi, Sportchek, and Team Canada commercials really inspire me when I am on the treadmill at the gym. It took me about four miles to get in the zone for my 9.0 mile run this morning and it was as soon as one of those commercials came on that I thought “I can DO this!” I think to myself, “If those athletes can dedicate their lives to a sport and try and beat everyone in the world at it, then I think I can run a little faster today,” or, “I think I can throw in a couple intervals today.”
It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat, and a lot of determination to get to the Olympics. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Using some of the training tactics and lifestyle choices of the Olympians, we too can put hard work, dedication, and passion into our own goals and achieve what we set out to accomplish. Also… don’t forget to cheer really loud for TEAM CANADA so they can hear us all the way over in Russia! After all, we ARE winter.