A few weeks before the Olympics, I sat down with soccer legend, Mia Hamm. Hamm, a forward for the US Women’s National Soccer Team, still leads as the country’s top goal-scorer—beating out both men and women with 158 international goals. Deservedly so, she’s widely considered and has been named the best female athlete of all time. However, she just might be most known for her another of her contributions—around the time Hamm was applying for colleges, Title IX allowed her to get a scholarship to the North Carolina Tar Heels to play soccer on the collegiate level, the same privilege given to men for so many years. Without this opportunity to play sports in college, Mia doesn’t believe she would have been able to continue playing soccer into her future. Mia’s unbelievable presence on the field, opened up the eyes, hearts and hopeful minds of millions of young girls across the world. Hamm told me that she understands one of her greatest goals may not actually be one of the 158 she’s tallied, but perhaps that girls needed to see other girls playing sports and that her ability to be a role model at such an important time may actually be her best goal yet.
Mia has a building on the Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon named after her. When the women’s professional soccer league was created, it was Hamm’s silhouette featured in the logo. She’s been inducted in numerous Hall Of Fames and she helped the US women’s team take home the gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She has definitely made her mark in the history of sports. But after Athens, Mia decided to retire and settle down to have a family with her husband, also a professional athlete and former Major League Baseball player. Since then, Mia spends her time taking care of her twin daughters and travels the country inspiring young girls and teaching them the importance of playing sports—undoubtedly passing on the legacy that she helped to create.
Read on to see what she thinks of the US Women’s Soccer Team in London, her thoughts on cover model Hope Solo and what workout she’s doing these days! Read more
Among all the amazing wins going on in London, the USA still has a handful of exciting events to go! And even though we’re trailing China by one medal to be the “winner of winners”, the games and races coming up may change all that. The US ladies soccer team scored the final goal to beat Canada (congratulations Alex Morgan!) and are on their way to redemption in the finals against Japan. Serena Williams won her first singles gold medal (we loved that happy dance!)—while she and Venus took home the gold in doubles too! Teen swimming sensation and newcomer to the pool, Missy Franklin, nabbed four medals, three of them gold; perhaps on the heels of becoming the female version of Phelps? And who can forget the Fab Five winning the team gold— and Gabby Douglas being named the top honor of all-around champion?
But gold medals aren’t just what we’re after; simply making an Olympic team is the biggest honor of all. McKayla Maroney on the vault is walking away with a silver medal, as is the speedy Carmelita Jeter in the women’s 100 meter. The list goes on and on, but coming up is the must anticipated Lolo Jones in 100 meter hurdles (semi and finals airs tonight!) and our favorite beach babes, Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor going up against China in the semi-finals today.
We got to chat with one of our favorite cover girls, Kerri Walsh, when she stopped by the Oakley Safehouse in London. The Safehouse is just that, a safe haven for Oakley athletes at the Olympics to rest, relax and find some private space away from any distractions the games are sure to throw at them.
What’s it like playing such late games? It looks cold out there!
My favorite Olympian of all-time, Natalie Cook, our coach has done a great job of preparing us. We train every night at 10:00pm and get home at 12 in the morning. We’re trying to figure out our process. We’re in a really good rhythm with it now.
Read on to find out how the Olympian balances mom time and game time! Read more
With the start of the 2012 London track and field events today, Nike has unveiled its latest addition to their already awesome array of Olympic gear to hit London. The Liberty x Nike Zoom Victory Elite is a sweet track spike decked out in a floral motif, combining the iconic silhouette first introduced in 1960 and the new FlyWire technology of today’s innovation. If you’re wondering what that is, FlyWire technology looks like strategically placed filaments that function like cables and offer support exactly where it’s needed on the upper of your shoe. And the threaded outsole will help minimize weight and maximize support, everything you want when you’re hitting the pavement. (The Nike FlyKnit Trainer+ are the bright yellow kicks you’ve been seeing all over the podium on Team USA!)
Whether you’re a track star or just want to feel like one, these spikes—and the Liberty x Nike Zoom JA Fly designed for sprinters—are being sold exclusively at Liberty’s shop on Regent Street. If you’re lucky enough to be in London catching the games live, check out the coveted shoes created solely for the elite Olympic athletes, like Nike’s Allyson Felix (racing in the 100m, 200m–her signature event—and the 4x100m relay).
Can shoes like this make me faster? Actually, probably a bit. Even if they aren’t made with magical powers, they could make me feel like an Olympian and what’s better than that? Go USA!
Continue catching all the latest Olympic news this weekend when track and field events finally ramp up! You know I’ll be watching. Follow me on Twitter at @FITNESSjenna to catch updates and times on all the big events.
Can’t be at the games this year (okay, perhaps some of us won’t ever get there!), but go for the gold in your own backyard with our hardcore Summer Games circuit workout featured in our July/August 2012 issue! I met trainer, Angela Parker, founder of Body Inspired Fitness in Los Angeles, while we were in Miami for Puma’s BodyTrain girl’s getaway weekend. During Angela’s workout, her upbeat personality and can-do attitude was enough to make me do my best to impress, and her bootcamp training style meant I was being told to work harder every single step of the way. I knew this lady would be loved by you guys, even if you can’t experience her one-on-one like I did. Her backyard bootcamp, created exclusively for FITNESS readers, has you competing against yourself (or the clock) to eke out more reps. Meet the trainer behind this kick-butt routine:
What was the most surprising thing you learned about your training style from watching yourself on Chelsea Settles?
What was surprising is that it captured the emotion and the connection that comes from working so closely with someone over such a long period of time. How you saw me on TV is exactly how I am in real life. I am passionate, I am focused, and I don’t let anything get in the way of others’ success. I am learning how to not want it more than my clients want it.
What’s your favorite workout outfit? Head to toe:
I’m an ambassador for Puma so I’m a big fan of their workout gear. Of course I love my new Puma BodyTrain Slim Capris, especially the gray ones with blue and green stripes. I like how they give me an extra super flat tummy. I love pairing it with an oversized puma tank like this one. I love the cheap sports bras from Target. I always wear colored socks, which is a great way to add flash to a boring workout ensemble. Anytime I workout outside I am always wearing a visor. There is nothing sexy about wrinkles or skin cancer. And my favorite funky workout accessories are crazy nail polish and colored leather bands around my workout watch.
Favorite pre- and post-workout snacks?
My favorite pre-workout snack is Paleta’s 100 calorie bar. A great post workout snack I enjoy is my banana coconut smoothie. 1 cup coconut milk, 1 banana, 3/4 cups frozen pineapple, 1 tbsp almond butter. It’s cold, it’s refreshing, it’s hydrating and it’s the perfect snack to replenish and refuel me!
What’s the one or two best nutrition tips you tell your clients?
Don’t deprive yourself. Load up on veggies. Drink lots of water. Read more
If you’re a fitness fanatic like myself, I’m sure you’re glued to your TV (or two computers streaming live and one delayed TV broadcast!) for all things happening in London. For the first time ever, I’m proud to say that I rarely got up from my couch this weekend because I was so tuned in to the Olympic events—go Team USA! The “Fab 5″ US gymnastics team this year are absolutely phenomenal (not to mention so damn cute!). I’m in awe every time they run, flip, jump, twist and land on their two feet so beautifully. While the USA is edging forward toward a team gold, one of the biggest upsets in what’s sure to be gymnastics history happened yesterday too.
Jordyn Wieber, the reigning World Champion in the all-around division, was pushed out of the all-around finals, after placing third behind her two teammates, main rival 16-year-old Gabby Douglas and best friend and Olympic-village roommate, 18-year-old Aly Raisman. Leading up to the London Games, not much was said about team captain Aly, as the attention was mainly focused on Jordyn and Gabby, the teammates openly vying for the coveted All-Around Champion Title (an Olympic win in this category—in which gymnasts’ scores for all four events, vault, uneven bars, beam and floor routine are combined—is considered the mother of all titles to win). As the media coverage on Jordyn and Gabby picked up speed, finally coming to a head during Sunday’s preliminary events, no one predicted this outcome would happen.
Some might say that Jordyn simply had a bad day, making a few uncharacteristic mistakes on beam and the floor routine, or you could say that Aly truly shined under pressure, but one thing’s for sure, poor Jordyn Wieber was knocked out of USA’s top two spots and excluded from the all-around finals competition. Due to a rule that says each country can only send two gymnasts from their team into this competition, she will not be able to advance, even though Jordyn is ranked 4th overall (only two-tenths of a point behind teammate Gabby). As I watched this play out on TV, I was in awe and heartbroken to see Jordyn’s dreams collapse in front of billions of people. I just wanted to jump through my screen and give the girl a hug! This athlete handled herself with such grace and maturity, finally speaking to the media after her tears slowed down.
Is it fair that she should be locked out of this competition, when other gymnasts scoring much lower than her will be able to move ahead? If it’s truly a competition on the all-around champion (the best of the best!), then how can these ladies be judged fairly when they will not be going against one of the best?
Since I’m not a pro on all things gymnastics, I got on the phone with Olympian Shannon Miller, who is the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history and one part of the ’96 Atlanta Games “Magnificent 7″. Shannon, who is an expert analyst for Yahoo Sports, is in London and was there for this exhilarating day. Read more
In honor of the NYC Triathlon coming to town this weekend (look for me!) I met up with pro triathlete–and former FITNESS magazine cover model—Jenny Fletcher. An amazing athlete from a young age, Jenny had the looks for the runway and hit the modeling scene in her teens, but her passion for sports never fell to the wayside. From competing in pentathlons, to running and eventually falling for the triathlon, Jenny always kept fitness and exercise at the top of her list in life. Today she travels the world as a pro but spent some time with me to talk shop at Oakley’s Perform Beautifully retreat last weekend in Napa!
How do you treat yourself the week before the triathlon?
I always love to get a manicure and pedicure with fun colors to make me smile when I’m racing!
Do you have any superstitious rituals?
None yet. I always like to mix it up so I don’t start to panic if something doesn’t happen.
First thought to come to mind the morning of race day when you first wake up?
“Oh boy… Here we go! Let’s do this!” Kind of funny that I say we… Not quite sure who I’m talking to!
Written by Andie Surget, editorial intern
Skimpy shorts and bikinis leave little room for your trouble zones to hide. That’s why we had FITNESS advisory board member Michele Olson, Ph.D., create (and model!) the “Banish Every Bulge” Express Workout in our June issue! Check it out on page 52, try it for yourself and hit the beach with confidence.
To learn more about the personality behind the powerful workout, we spoke with Olson. Read on to find out about workout of choice, what’s hiding in her gym bag and who would be her dream gym buddy!
How did you get your start in the fitness world?
When I was playing competitive tennis in high school, one of our assistant coaches was the head football coach. He made us go to the weight room and lift weights with his football players. I could not believe how much it did for me, my body, my fitness and my tennis game! This translated into my college tennis playing career. I was one of the few who worked out and used weights. Once I saw the power of fitness, I pursued it with even more passion.
There are a lot of fitness trends circulating right now: CrossFit, TRX, 90-day programs, Zumba, etc. Do you have any favorites?
Everything runs in cycles. In the early days of “aerobics” everyone trained hard and jumped their brains out—often causing stress fractures, shin splints, plantar faciitis and back pain. So I began doing studies on hard-style exercise and found that injuries often occur when you do these kinds of workouts more than four days a week without variation. Then, everything moderated to low-impact, more Pilates, less dance-based workouts. And, here we are again, with more extreme exercise programs and more dance-based workouts like Zumba. I like ALL of these formats! There is something in each for everybody. It’s just learning how much to do of each and how to vary these workout formats so avoid injury and optimize fitness gains. Personally, I love Tabata intervals, [high-intensity] metabolic resistance training and Pilates. I teach a lot of these formats.
Usually I give you all a sneak peek into the trainers’ lives who create our popular Express workouts, however, this man really needs no introduction. But so many things are happening for our favorite TV and all-time trainer, Bob Harper, that I had to fill you in on some of his latest projects!
Bob’s first book, The Skinny Rules, was released this month (it’s already a New York Times bestseller!), he’s got a line of supplements called Smart Success on the market, and his new interactive website, BobHarper.com powered by Watch It Now Entertainment, is a totally cool online fitness club that anyone can be a part of. The website is the closest you’ll get to working out with Bob himself, without taking a trip to the ranch. You’ll also get daily videos of Bob leading workouts, giving cooking demos and providing you with motivational tips so you’re inspired to stay on track. Plus, the thinking is done for you—get new workouts to try everyday, three circuit exercises to incorporate into your routine each week and a group fitness class to join to get your social fix from. Of course, you’ll find a place to track your weight-loss progress, food journal and workouts as well as chat with other members (and other Bob-fanatics too). It’s only $9.95 a month, and compared to other weight-loss clubs, this one is truly a deal. And let’s be serious, part of the reason we couch-potato it up every Tuesday night is to see Bob make others sweat on national TV, so why not indulge every single day?
Check out my one-on-one with our beloved renaissance man, Bob Harper and see what he had to say about our 20th anniversary issue!
I love that Ben Ward, husband to Olivia Ward season 11 winner of The Biggest Loser, was part of the reason you were inspired you to write your book, The Skinny Rules. He said he followed you on Twitter and from that guidance he was able to lose 100 pounds before Olivia came home. That’s amazing! [Check out Bob's article "Eat What I Tweet!" HERE.] Do you have one rule that you make sure you never break to stay in shape?
I wanted to give people what I have been doing with my contestants on The Biggest Loser for a long time and that is a set of rules that they could live by that was going to give them the results that they wanted. I think the number one rule that you make sure you never break is to NOT DRINK YOUR CALORIES. All those sugary sodas, coffee drinks, and smoothies add up to a lot of calories and sugar. I would rather eat all my calories.
One of my favorite celebrities, Jennifer Lopez, looks ridiculously fit, awesome and pretty darn sexy every week on American Idol. (I’m always a bit more excited to see what she’s wearing than the Idol performances themselves!) But even when this diva trades the designer clothes and fancy shoes for something more comfy, she manages to make it look good too. How could she not when Under Armour‘s super trendy and fashionable fall pieces—the StudioLux Noir Collection—are so spot on that not only will you be excited to get into your workout clothes for the gym, but maybe wear them for a night out too.
As a fitness editor, I see an endless array of apparel hit my desk, but nothing has combined the trends, style, fashion, fit and such coolness as this new line from the design masters over at Under Armour. I can’t wait to get my hands on the, not one, but FIVE, super sexy black spandex tights (each is slightly different with a twist of Jennifer Lopez-ism that she would highly approve of), and the chic tank and cropped mini jacket combo. This is the lust-worthy collection that has fitness editors drooling over (maybe Vogue gals too!), but I’m loving that my favorite fit gal, J.Lo, got her hands on this apparel first, making it that much cooler.
Check out Jennifer Lopez wearing Under Armour’s newest StudioLux Noir jacket and pants in her newest video for her single “Follow The Leader”. (The collection goes on sale in August!)
Living in New York City, I don’t get that many opportunities to run on trails—the Bridle Path in Central Park is where I get my fix for dirt, rocks and maybe some mud after it rains. So when North Face asked me to join their Endurance Challenge Series at Bear Mountain State Park, I jumped at the chance. Not only was this my opportunity to run a new course (as an urban runner, I’m always looking for chances to keep my running routes fresh!), but in high school with my cross-country team Bear Mountain races were always my favorite. The park is gorgeous and the trails are ideal if you want that outdoor fix not far from the city.
Since my husband has recently picked up the sport of running (thanks to my reluctant nudging for him to do a triathlon with me—NYC Nautica 2012 here we come!), I signed him up as well. This would be his first race ever, unless we count the 10K he ran in elementary school he repeatedly pointed out. We made our way up to Bear Mountain from the city—a short trip by car or train—and I instantly got excited upon recognizing a place that looked basically the same as I last remembered it so long ago. We were set to do the 10K distance and knowing from the advice from trainers, this 10K would feel much longer and harder than a typical road race 10K would be. I knew from my April 2012 column on trail running (page 52) and the advice from Saucony coach Sharon Barbano that the tricks of the trail were to be followed: Take smaller strides for greater control on uneven terrain, pick up your feet more often than a typical stride and scan at least 10 feet ahead so I can see what’s coming up on the ground. I was pumped and ready to go.