How to train like the U.S. Olympic speed skating team

We know, we know: You’d already look awesome in a skin-tight Lycra onesie. But how fast would you actually be?

Believe it or not, many Olympic-caliber workouts will benefit mere mortal speed athletes who want to get stronger as well as faster. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Thomas Lafera[1], C.P.T., to adapt the following workout from the U.S. speed skating team training manual, and redesign it for athletes with more modest goals and tighter time constraints.

Know that this workout isn’t meant to replace whatever lifting you do now. Speed skaters don’t do a ton of in-season weight work, because skating itself is taxing enough. Instead, they focus on retaining strength, addressing imbalances, and working on joint mobility and battling against the loss of core strength. The suspension trainer[2] “pre-hab” session is designed to address all these challenges, while their interval work emulates the speed skaters’ efforts to go as fast as possible for their events.

Also, the one thing you have in common with Olympians is muscular imbalances.

Speed skaters are always bent over. Their knees bang into their chests with each stride. That can easily cause mid-back weaknesses–which is also a common affliction for most human beings who don’t get to train their core frequently enough.

Speed skaters also circuit the oval in a single direction, leading to strong-/weak-sidedness, just like anyone who isn’t ambidextrous. Speed skaters will tend to have tight hips and IT bands from overworked quads caused by the repetitive motion of their kick and glide. Yes, the same can be said for runners, cyclists, and anyone who sits too much[3].

Which is why the following training regimen should be an effective “counter-weight” to the rigors of being a Homo sapien, period.

References

  1. ^ Thomas Lafera (www.dragondoor.com)
  2. ^ The suspension trainer (www.mensfitness.com)
  3. ^ and anyone who sits too much (www.mensfitness.com)

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