Olympic Athletes Share Their Workout Secrets

Whether you want to tone up or slim down, we'll show you how with tips from these Beijing-bound athletes.

  • LINDSAY DAVENPORT, TENNIS
At 16, Lindsay Davenport went pro. At 20, she took home the gold at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, before going on to win the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open. Now, 14 months after the birth of her son, Jagger, the former number one is eyeing the sweetest comeback of all: a repeat gold in Beijing.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS:
Every week, Davenport, 32, does 10 to 15 hours of hitting and stroke drills at a neighborhood court in her hometown of Laguna Beach, CA, plus three hours of free weights, the occasional Pilates class ("depending on how stiff I am"), and two sessions of footwork and plyometrics (high-impact drills). The real challenge? Working around Jagger's schedule. "I try to always be home for his feedings," she says.

SECRET WEAPON:
Three-way lunges (stepping forward, laterally, then back) tone the quads and mimic the motion of hitting a low shot. Four days a week, Davenport does 10 to 20 reps on each leg.

EAT LIKE A PRO:
During her pregnancy, Davenport cut out soda and lemonade and went cold turkey on caffeine.

MIND GAME:
"Keeping your head in each point is the toughest thing about tennis," says Davenport, who spends a few moments in silent visualization before every match. "You need a sense of calm and a big sense of belief."

CHILL FACTOR:
"Being a mom has raised my confidence. The little things-bad line calls-don't bother me as much."

WORD TO THE WISE:
Davenport exercised moderately while pregnant-swimming, cardio workouts on an elliptical machine, and light weight training. "My body bounced back so much faster because of it."


  • DIANA LOPEZ, TAE KWON DO
For Diana Lopez, 24, going to Beijing is a family affair. Her brothers Mark, 26, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Steve, 29, will also be competing; a third brother, Jean, 34, will be coaching her ringside. "It's comforting to know that I'll have people around me whom I love and trust," says Lopez, who started sparring when she was 6, occasionally with her siblings.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS:
Beginning two months before competition, Lopez-who lives in Houston-practices tae kwon do five days a week for two hours a day. She also works in six hours of plyometrics, footwork drills, and weight training; a Bikram yoga class; and three 30-minute jogs a week.

SECRET WEAPON:
When Lopez wants fast results, she combines speed intervals with plyometrics: three sets of 10 reps of jumping on and off a raised step, with 10 seconds of uphill sprinting on a treadmill between each set. "I love the strength and explosiveness it gives me in matches."

MIND GAME:
After each practice, Lopez lies on her back while Jean leads her through a 10-minute visualization of mock fights or upcoming matches, such as her Olympic debut.

EAT LIKE A PRO:
At 5-foot-10 and 132 pounds, Lopez had to drop to 125 pounds to qualify for the featherweight division. After narrowly missing the 2004 Olympic team, she cut junk food and fast food from her diet and learned to subsist on oatmeal, fruit, lean protein, and greens. "You have to listen to your body," she says. "Now I feel so much faster in competition."

FEET UPKEEP:
Because she competes barefoot, Lopez swears by Sephora Body Scrub for keeping calluses at bay. "And I love getting pedis!"


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