Go for the Gold! Workout Secrets from Top Olympic Athletes
Get Moving Every Day
"For me, I'm 28, I've been doing this a long time, so it gets harder, your metabolism slows down a bit as you get older. I have to get out there every day and move—whether it's yoga, taekwondo, whatever—I have to move every day."
—Diana Lopez, taekwondo
Take Everything One Step At a Time
"Don't look at the big picture as the only achievement. Start with set, smart goals and work up to something bigger."
—Jordyn Wieber, gymnastics
Focus on Your Competition—Her Workout, That Is
"I try to think about my goals. I think about my competitors—I know they're working hard, and if they are, I have to work hard too. I have to be one step ahead of them."
—Allyson Felix, track and field
"I recommend to any women to do some form of resistance training, whether that be weight lifting, power lifting, or just general strength and conditioning. Because we're women, our bone density is affected by osteoporosis more than men, and you can almost completely offset that by doing strength training. You'll be stronger, more flexible, faster, and more athletic. There's pretty much nothing that weight lifting can't cover in itself. So in conclusion, lift weights!"
—Sarah Robles, weight lifting
Put Yourself Out There
"This year, I was new to a school—my son's in kindergarten—and I didn't know anybody, and for a couple of months I saw that there was a group of moms who seemed to hang out a lot, they seemed to really know each other. I thought to myself (like a new kid at school), 'I want to know those ladies,' so I thought, 'What could I do to get myself into this group?' So I started a workout group in the parking lot. After we drop our kids off, we work out together. And now I've got a group of friends and a support group. So, I'd say put yourself out there. Be open to trying new things, and have fun!"
—Brandi Chastain, former Olympic soccer player
Mix It Up
"I get bored so, so easily, and I constantly have to do something different otherwise it wouldn't work out. Adding variety keeps working out interesting."
—Shawn Johnson, former Olympic gymnast
Work Hard, Play Hard
"There are no shortcuts. If you feel good, you'll look good, you'll play good. Work hard every day. No matter what your strengths and weaknesses, there's no substitute for hard work."
—Hope Solo, soccer
Make Sure You're Doing It Right
"Performing moves incorrectly is a surefire way to injure yourself. If you can, get a trainer who can give you some pointers and help you with your workouts."
—Dara Torres, former Olympic swimmer
Never Give Up
" If you want something, go after it yourself. Never rely on anyone else to get it for you, and don't give up!"
—Carmelita Jeter, world's fastest woman, track and field
"My coach used to encourage me to share my goals—whether writing it down or saying it out loud—with everyone. I find myself giving that same advice to other athletes and my friends when we are working out together. It’s very empowering for people to know your goals so they can share in your achievement when you reach them. There's an app—the GE Healthyshare app for Facebook—that allows you to share your health goals with your community of friends as a source of inspiration. The Olympics are a great time to kick-start better health and HealthyShare makes it easy for consumers to take something they are already doing – interacting with their friends online – and extend it in a fun and meaningful way around getting healthier."
—Summer Sanders, former Olympic swimmer
"Find a workout you enjoy, and you'll have fun. Plus, when you're having fun, you'll want to work out more."
—Lauren Cheney, soccer
Focus on Your Abs
"People might not realize it, but archery takes a lot of physical endurance, and having a strong core is essential."
—Khatuna Lorig, archer
Get Some Sleep
"The older I get, the more I realize how much getting enough rest and sleep makes a difference. I need at least eight hours of sleep to feel my best. If I'm up late and then get up early the next morning, I'm dragging throughout the day."
—Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball
Tie One On
"Always double-knot your sneakers. One of my teammates once lost a shoe during a game!"
—Heather Mitts, soccer
Get On a Roll
"Sitting tightens your chest. For a great release, lie faceup on a foam roller placed lengthwise under your spine, and stretch your arms out to your side."
—Mary Whipple, rowing
Keep Up the Suspense
"A suspension program like TRX provides consistency, is great for strength training, and you can do it anywhere, which is good for us because we're always on the go!"
—Heather O'Reilly, soccer
Hit the Beach
"Running on sand is killer for your lower body—it will raise your butt two inches! Start with a five-minute jog and a 10-minute walk, and gradually increase your time running as you get stronger."
—April Ross, beach volleyball
Get Off the Ground
"I have introduced plyometrics to my training over the last couple of years to help my explosive power and speed improve. Box jumps and stair bounds are two of my favorite moves to do because you don't necessarily need a gym for these, so they're great for when I am on the road traveling. It's always fun to try and see what objects you can find to jump up on to and see how high or how many stairs you can jump!""—Joanne Kiesanowski, pro cyclist (Team TIBCO
, US) and Olympic athlete (New Zealand)
Be Completely Focused In the Moment
"Be 100 percent focused on what you're doing. Right after my son was born, I used to worry about him a lot during my workouts. I'd be thinking about him and that would distract from my training. I've learned that everything can wait 30 minutes or an hour. Now when I work out, I make sure I'm completely focused."
—Kara Goucher, long-distance running