6 tips
6 Tips to Learn from Olympic Training Written by: Kim Kisner

The Beijing Winter Olympics kick off today, and for the next three weeks, we’ll be able to witness elite athletes performing at peak levels. It’s impressive to witness, but have you ever thought about what it takes to think and train like an Olympian?

Perhaps we ourselves can “borrow” some of what these athletes practice to improve upon our own fitness levels.

Here are six things you can implement to strengthen your habits, mindset, and routine toward that of an elite athlete. Start today, and at the end of the month, look back to see if it’s made a difference. We think it will!

Stick To It-ness

Olympic athletes are unwavering in their commitment to training. They can’t skip a day because it’s chilly and more comfortable on the couch under a blanket binge-watching TV. Create a routine that’s realistic for you, and don’t cheat yourself –  stick to it. Schedule your VIDA time in your calendar and mark it as a high priority. Because it is!

Be Willing to Test Your Limits

Another trait that Olympians share is that they are not afraid of going beyond perceived limits and pushing out of their comfort zones.  After all, it is only by testing these limits that we are able to learn what we are capable of accomplishing. Pushing our boundaries also allows for growth and learning. Try a new class or two this month, add a couple of workouts in this week that you typically wouldn’t do, and see how it feels to do more. Push yourself a little – because you are worth it and you will likely be surprised by all that you can do – and by the outcome!

Stay Process Focused

The world’s best spend 95% of their attention focused on the process and in the present. When you are at the gym, stay in the moment. Focus on achieving each movement with perfect form. Complete each exercise to the fullest of your ability. Don’t phone it in.

Train Smart

“There are tons of variables when designing a training plan and there’s a time and a place for focusing on slow vs. fast tempo, heavy weight vs light weight, high rep vs low rep, etc,” says VIDA Trainer Ian Zuidema. Elite athletes integrate different types of training for a well-rounded outcome. Mix things up and utilize these variables to push you toward your goal this year. Need help designing a training plan? Connect with a VIDA Personal Trainer.

Constantly Evaluate Your Efforts

This boils down to listening to your body. Some days your regular leg routine may feel like a solid 8/10, and some days the same routine may feel a bit off. Athletes experience this too! Pay attention and adjust as needed. On a micro-scale, a leg day that feels off may simply require reducing weight or reps – redefining ‘training smart’ for the day. On a macro-scale, it may hint at weak points that need to be focused on longer-term, resulting in a slight adjustment to routine.

Move in Many, Many Ways

Routines are great and are necessary, but a good routine should not consist of the same exercises over and over. An example would be the hip complex that healthy hips need to move in many directions. No matter the part of the body we are training, we need to consider all functions of the associated joints. For hips, we need to think of not just squatting, but also hinging and lateral exercises. Then we need to apply the idea of training smart, making sure we hit different kinds of squats, hinges, lateral exercises, and make sure we consistently evaluate our efforts in those three types of movements.


And finally – NEVER skip recovery. It is intrinsic to building strength. It’s during the recovery period that muscles heal and grow. If you haven’t incorporated massage or myofascial release as part of your routine, layer it in this month. Schedule a massage at Aura Spa!