How Michael Phelps Got the Gold Medal
Michael Phelps once admitted to eating over 12,000 calories a day in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. That's 60 Krispy Kreme doughnuts! 5 stuffed crust pizzas! 20 bacon cheeseburgers! All the food your heart desires, a bangin' bod, and a gold medal to top it off? Sounds a little too good to be true. But before you pile on the pizza and vow to hit the pool, keep in mind that Olympic-level athletes have dedicated their lives to training. Their every move, every meal, and every decision is strictly monitored by their personal trainer. Still want to give it a go? Try these three tips, taken straight from Olympic pros, and go for the gold!
FOOD IS FUEL: Doughnuts are delicious, and eating 60 of them is an easy way to pile on the calories (especially if you're shooting for 12,000), but their nutritional value is dismal, to say the least, and they're unlikely to fuel your body through an Olympic level workout. Due to the intense physical demands of an Olympian, it's important that the athletes get enough muscly protein, energy-filled carbohydrates and nutrient-rich produce. You probably don't require 12,000 calories a day, but when it comes to fuel, your menu should look the same.
STICK TO A SCHEDULE: Don't feel like getting up for your morning run? Too bad. If you were an Olympian, your coach would be there yanking you out of bed whether you felt like it or not. True Olympic athletes spend 4 to 8 years training for an event – and their training schedules are often planned up to 4 years in advance. If you want to train like an Olympian, hitting the gym has to be a non-negotiable part of your day.
TAKE A NAP: Olympic athletes aim for 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night – followed by a 90-minute siesta later in the day. Resting often is crucial to training because it gives your body a chance to heal – to rebuild the muscle and tissue that's been broken down during your workout. That being said, it's probably impossible for you to get that much shuteye, but you should shoot for at least 7 hours per night.
Above all, concentrate on your core and focus on your goals. A strong core means better balance, more stamina, and, if you're lucky, killer abs. When your core strength is at its peak, you'll train more efficiently. That is, if you can convince yourself to do so. Training is 75 percent mental and only 25 percent physical. Set your sights on the gold (or, you know, those jeans you want to fit into), and don't stop until you get there.