Back in our February 2010 issue, three Winter Olympic hopefuls -- speed-skater Apolo Anton Ohno, snowboarder Seth Wescott, and hockey player Zach Parise
-- detailed their training regimens. These Winter Warriors certainly
made some noise: Ohno became the most decorated American Winter
Olympian ever, Wescott defended his gold medal in snowboard-cross, and
Parise nearly led the young U.S. team to another Miracle on Ice (Parise
and Co. eventually settled for silver after a thrilling overtime game
against Canada). So, how did these athletes achieve their medal-worthy
bodies? Read on to find out...
(33, 6'1", 200 LBS)
Snowboard cross, which made its debut at the 2006 Olympics, pits four racers on a course of rolling terrain, jumps, and ramps. Wescott won the gold in 2006...and again in Vancouver.
Endurance and cardio are key, Wescott says. "Summertime is mostly about putting in mileage, mainly through mountain biking," he says. "I skateboard and surf as much as I can. Obviously you're using your upper body for paddling, then once you're on the board, it's very sport-specific." When winter rolls around, Wescott spends at least 120 days on powder. He lifts two hours, five days a week, doing bench press, lat pulls, pulldowns, dips, and body-weight exercises, until he reaches Olympic-level. "You need to be more fit than anyone else in the world on that particular day."
Thanks to a self-described "hyperactive metabolism," Wescott eats four times a day. "I try to eat pretty balanced. I really like fish as a source of protein," he says. "I eat a lot of pasta, and I love eggs. My big rules are to stick with whole foods and not eat fast food."
"Your legs are your whole power factory in snowboarding," he says. To strengthen his lower body, Wescott does eight sets of squats. The initial set is a light one (about 20 reps) to warm up. His sets get progressively heavier, much like what he goes through in competition. "As my race goes on, my legs get more and more tired, so I push a lot more weight." One of his more alternative exercises: Swiss ball squats. "You literally jump on top of the ball and balance yourself, then bang out 100 squats. It's crazy." Because a fast start can often win you the race (snowboarders launch themselves out the gate), arm strength is critical; Seth does about 100 pullups throughout the day.