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Train like an Olympian with this intense 3-round workout

Curious what a workout looks like for an Olympic athlete in training? Give this routine a try.
One fit woman box jumping in the gym
Utilizing a box at the gym helps build strength while also challenging your balance and coordination.Getty Images stock

As you're glued to the TV watching the impressive feats of Olympic athletes who are in peak physical shape, do you ever wonder what a workout looks like for an athlete at the top of their game?

You may think that their workouts consist of a lot of fancy movements, but one Olympic trainer said it’s quite the opposite.

“Depending on the sport, most Olympic athletes require high force production in their movements. Many start with a 'track style' workout in their programming with built in rhythmic drills, plyometrics, and speed development,” said Mat Kite, a weightlifting performance coach and director of education at D1 Training.

Kite is currently training former MLB player Ian Kinsler who is competing on the Israeli baseball team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He has also trained with Olympic athletes Mike Rodgers, Natasha Hastings and Carlin Isles during their off seasons.

“You can often find these world-class Olympic athletes still coming back to the basics, building off a great foundation of movement quality, and doing the simple things well,” he said. But, he added, simple doesn’t mean easy. In fact, you’ll be surprised how intense some of these foundational moves are.

Kite put together this sample workout so we can all channel our inner athlete and get a taste of what an Olympic training workout looks like. Each circuit focuses on a specific training area: performance, strength and core conditioning. Head outdoors and give one of these circuits a try — or string them all together for one serious workout.

Many of these exercises are high impact, so avoid them if you have joint issues, and always check with your doctor before trying a new workout routine.

Warm Up

Athletes prepare their body for an intense workout with warm-up routines like this. You can either perform it for reps or for time, said Kite. Spend about 30 seconds total per exercise, or perform 5-10 reps.

Plank walk up: 10 reps

Single leg glute bridge: 10 reps each side

Leg knee hugs: 10 reps each side

Dead bugs: 5 reps each side

Reverse Inchworm: 5 reps

Supine straight leg raises with bent knee: 10 reps each side

External hip rotations: 10 reps each side

World’s greatest stretch: 5 reps each side

Quad walk and hip stretch: 2x10 each

High knees stationary: 2x:15 seconds

Monster walk straight leg raises: 10 each side


These cardio drills focus on agility and speed. Perform each of these moves twice, for a 20-yard distance each time.

Pogos knee drive traveling

Carioca knee drive

Lateral A skips

Straight leg skips

A skips


These moves build strength while also challenging your balance and coordination.

Narrow squat: 2 sets of 12

Dumbbell power clean: 2 sets of 8

Depth drop: 2 sets of 5

Box step up knee drive: 2 sets of 10

Core and conditioning

Fire up your core with these exercises.

Toe touches: 2 sets of 20

Forearm plank: 2 rounds of 30 seconds

Line drill (in and outs): 2 rounds of 20 seconds

Cool down stretch

Downward dog with pigeon thread: 2 rounds of 30 seconds, alternating sides