When you think of Olympic sprinters, you are probably not envisioning them building muscle. Popping off the blocks and tearing the rail off is usually associated with a sleek, compact frame. While it’s an over-simplification, it’s intuitive to understand that a sprinter’s body isn’t going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Former two-time Olympic champion Nick Symmonds knows that, of course, but in a recent video He reveals that in the past few years he has started lifting weights to become a more rounded athlete. That’s a small change: as an active Olympian, he says he trains two days a week, purely functional lifting. Now that he̵
That inevitably means that he is building muscle. “I now weigh 21 pounds more than I did at the Olympic final,” he says, “but in some ways I feel healthier.” Running ten miles a day meant losing a lot of your natural body weight, he explains. He’s more explosive today, he says, although he may be slower to carry the extra weight – he’s betting today that he could run forty faster than in his pro-running days.
His goal weight at the time was 162 pounds. These days he weighs in at 183.6. How does that translate on the route? As he explains in detail in the videoHis previous personal record over 400 meters was 47.4 seconds.
With the extra muscle, he hits 57.21 on the 400 – a full 10 seconds slower. But as he explains, because of his strength to weight ratio, it’s actually the best 400 he has run. “I really feel like I’m in the best shape of my life today,” he says. “Overall, I’m a much healthier athlete today than I am as a professional runner.”
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