Ryan Lochte – America’s New Superstar Swimmer
Ryan Lochte has just won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London beating out fellow American swimmer Michael Phelps. When you look at the hardcore out of the water on-land workout routines and training style of Ryan, you can see he has put in the sweat and effort to become a world champion.
Ryan Lochte’s Workout Routine – Strongman Training
Ryan has said he’s incorporated a lot of “strongman” type training into his routine. For those not familiar with the concept, that means things like flipping tires, lifting unconventional objects like stones, and doing any number of high strength exercises that require total body strength.
Here’s a video of him training (pre-haircut):
The benefit of this strongman style training vs. typical “bodybuilding” style training is that he’s utilizing a lot more of his core in the movements. Compound exercises like deadlifts, farmer’s walks, rope swings, squats, bent over rows, and the like all require a strong core.
Since much of a swimmer’s ability comes from their core strength, this makes sense. He’s even gone as far as to be releasing a core workout routine dvd.
Another aspect of his training is more explosive movements. This means things like high jumps, throwing heavy objects, medicine ball slams, and other types of “power” movements which activate the fast twitch muscle fibers. Since a swimmer needs speed, doing explosive fast movements is critical for training the nervous system to activate a muscle quickly and generate tremendous power.
Can The Average Person Do Ryan’s Exercise Program?
I would say yes and no. The style of training Ryan does is excellent for all around athleticism and physical fitness. But keep in mind he is a world class athlete that has built up a tremendous amount of physical strength and endurance and has access to the best trainers to ensure proper form and recovery.
The average person can however utilize many of the same exercises, but they must build up a certain capacity and base strength level before do workouts as hardcore as Ryan. If you’re just starting out, have only a few hours a week to workout, and want to get strong, fit, and ripped I’d suggest building the fundamentals with a book like Starting Strength which is the go-to book for the vast majority of people just getting into weight training. It teaches the proper form of the most powerful and essential exercises.
Once a person has built up a steady base of strength, they can start incorporating more strongman style training into their routine. Here’s an awesome article from T-Nation to get you started: Strongman Training.
If a person is more interested in building muscle mass, I recommend specialized strategies like those outlined in this report on maximizing muscle hypertrophy.
Ryan Lochte’s Diet Plan and Healthy Eating Style
Ryan’s success is in no doubt also related to the fact that he started changing how he eats. You may be surprised to know most athletes, even olympic athletes eat a lot of junk food. This is especially true for swimmers who burn a lot of calories during the day and it can be hard to consume enough calories without eating a bit of “junk”.
But Ryan Lochte wanted to be “the best,” so he put his effort into eating cleaner foods. While he used to eat fast food just about every day, he’s ditched that for a healthier diet.
He’s stated that some typical meals he eats are chicken breasts, eggs, oatmeal, fruit, salads, and other whole unprocessed foods. Nothing too “crazy,” just common sense stuff like we recommend here at Excuse Proof Fitness both on our healthy eating youtube channel and in our free weight loss survival guide.
What Ryan Can Teach Us
1. Hardcore training gets you hardcore results. Whether you want to be a world champion or just a bit stronger and more fit, you’ve got to put in the sweat and effort. Results don’t come without hard work. But you don’t need to spend hours and hours getting those results, high intensity work done for short periods of time often trumps spending hours doing something that isn’t very challenging.
2. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. He could have simply trained harder and would still be one of the best in the world. But he wanted to be THE best, so he put just as much focus on his diet.
3. He’s got a rock-solid mindset and will do whatever it takes to win. He trained harder and ate better than his competitors, and it paid off. Even if you’re not striving to be an Olympic caliber athlete or competing against others, why note compete against yourself to be better than you were yesterday?