Athletes from around the world are getting ready to take on the Tokyo Olympics. Inspiring work ethic and intense dedication shows up in the body and mind of each and every one of these Olympic athletes, and we’re here to celebrate everything they’ve achieved as they prepare to compete on the global stage.
Troy Isley—Boxing (USA)
Troy Isley needs endurance, agility, and strength to dominate all three rounds. Boxers like Isley train for their sport by combining cardiovascular training with speed drills and strength workouts to build physiques that are muscular, powerful, and well-conditioned to pack a punch.
Lidia Valentín Pérez—Weightlifting (Spain)
Lidia Valentín Pérez trains for her sport with everything from heavy tire flips to agile box jumps. Using unusual items allows Pérez to develop the deep stabilizing core muscles she needs to master the Olympic lifts. Through and through, she is strong to the core!
Nathaniel Coleman—Sport Climbing (USA)
The best way to train for climbing is—well—to go climbing. Nathaniel Coleman honed his skills and his physique by doing precisely this, but you can start in the gym with hanging exercises and leg lifts to build up your core and grip strength just like Coleman.
Photographer: Vladek Zumr via Instagram @vladek_zumr
Yohan Blake—Track and Field (Jamaica)
Elite sprinters like Yohan Blake develop incredible muscularity and definition from the anerobic demands of their sport. These athletes train by sprinting on the track and lifting to build even more strength and power in the gym.
Adam Ondra—Sport Climbing (Czech Republic)
When you’re using every finger, toe, elbow, and knee to hold on, you need all the strength you can get. Adam Ondra tackles some of the toughest climbs in the world to hone his strength and skills. Grip training and intense core workouts help to develop the lean muscularity that helps Ondra scale sheer cliffs with ease.
Caeleb Dressel—Swimming (USA)
Caeleb Dressel needs endurance and powerful upper-body strength to cut through the water. Long bouts of cardiovascular training combined with explosive resistance exercises helped him hone the back and shoulder muscularity that are hallmarks of this sport.
Sammy Schultz—Modern Pentathlon (USA)
Mastering all five events of the modern pentathlon takes super-human abilities. Competitors like Sammy Schultz need precision, endurance, strength, and poise to be victorious. You can build a physique like Schultz’s with endurance cardio workouts, strength training, and yoga.
Credit: Samantha Schultz (Achterberg) via Instagram @samanthaausa
Janja Garnbret—Sport Climbing (Slovenia)
Janja Garnbret trains for her demanding sport by combining classic moves like a Turkish get-up with new training tools like an aqua ball, maximizing recruitment of her core muscles to develop a physique that can literally climb walls.
Paige McPherson—Taekwondo (USA)
Taekwondo requires balance, agility, speed, and power. Athletes like Paige McPherson drill movements over and over again until she can execute a jumping spin kick with impressive precision. Her finely tuned skills are matched by an elegant physique that is both balanced and strong.
Teddy Riner—Judo (France)
Teddy Riner trains for his sport by lifting heavy in the gym and performing mobility drills to improve his flexibility. Judo requires speed, agility, and strength, and training for this sport has given Riner a powerful musculature that guarantees he’ll be ready for anything his opponent might throw his way.
Molly Seidel—Track and Field (USA)
Distance athlete Molly Seidel builds her endurance and her body by logging grueling long-distance runs every week. Long strides make short work of those miles, so lower-body strength and flexibility are critical for developing and maintaining her long and lean endurance physique.
Ellie Black—Gymnastics (Canada)
For athletes like Ellie Black, training for the intense demands of gymnastics can include everything from box jumps to sprints to full-body resistance training in the gym. Her dedication to becoming as strong as she can shows up in every muscle of her physique.
Colin Duffy—Sport Climbing (USA)
When he’s not dangling from a precipice, Colin Duffy is practicing head-high box jumps to build the strength and power his legs need to get him to the top. You can create the same strong, lean physique with explosive plyometric routines and heavy grip training on the bar.
Sarah Hildebrandt—Wrestling (USA)
Sarah Hildebrandt may get bloodied and bruised, but her physique looks more like that of a dancer than a fighter. She spends hours training and conditioning to make sure her light, agile limbs are pound for pound as strong and powerful as they can possibly be.
Frank Chamizo Marquez—Wrestling (Italy)
Frank Chamizo Marquez trains hard and it shows. A combination of conditioning and weight training developed the endurance, strength, and power needed to subdue his opponents on the mat, making him powerfully muscular yet incredibly agile.
Ashley Twichell—Swimming (USA)
Swimmers must balance strong, powerful muscles with an aerodynamic physique that glides easily through the water. For athletes like Ashley Twichell, this means combining long sessions in the pool with calibrated resistance exercises to build a physique that is both lean and strong.
Siviwe Soyizwapi—Rugby (South Africa)
Siviwe Soyizwapi has developed impressive legs from running drills and supplemental lifting in the gym, while his arms and shoulders get their muscularity from the intense upper-body demands of this full-contact sport.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock—Wrestling (USA)
With a flex that would make most fellas jealous, Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s hours of dedication to her sport are apparent in every curve of her muscular physique. Explosive power and strength training built her strong legs, powerful arms, and unbelievable core strength.
Shi Zhiyong—Weightlifting (China)
Competitors like Shi Zhiyong train endlessly under the bar to master every nuance of the two very technical Olympic lifts. To reach this level of competition requires mental and physical strength, both of which are clearly on display every time Shi Zhiyong steps up to the bar.
Thomas Gilman—Wrestling (USA)
Thomas Gilman makes grappling with a heavy sled look easy as he practices using his whole body against his opponent in a match. His broad shoulders and tapered waist were hard-earned, sculpted by hours of intense resistance workouts and core training, plus the disciplined nutritional requirements of this weight class sport.
Nikita Nagornyy—Gymnastics (ROC)
Gymnastics is one of the most difficult sports to master. Nikita Nagornyy trains for core strength and upper-body power using a combination of resistance training and conditioning to achieve the balance, flexibility, and tensile strength that gives him such incredible muscularity and definition.
Kyra Condie—Sport Climbing (USA)
After a severe scoliosis diagnosis threatened to end her climbing career, Kyra Condie underwent surgery at the age of 14 to fuse 10 vertebrae. She returned a few months later stronger and more determined than ever. Her inner fortitude has contributed to the kind of muscular exterior that only true strength can build.