photo by CBC

Train like the World’s Greatest Athletes

Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton are just better than all of us when it comes to fitness. The husband and wife duo are the current Decathlon world record-holder and Heptathlon Canadian record-holder, respectively. They have to mix power, agility, and endurance over two days to conquer their events that, while others might require extraordinary skill at a few things, these athletes must excel in everything. How do they do it? Well, genetics play a big role, and years of technique practice, but you can easily copy their (surprisingly simple) gym routines to make awesome progress in your overall fitness.

Photo by AP
Ashton Eaton combined unmatched power, agility, and endurance to break the decathlon world record. Twice.

So what turns them into the superstars they’ve become? Their coach Harry Marra says they’re each adept at “being a student.” That’s the real key in any health endeavor: Learning and adapting. Don’t just try to find that silver bullet for success, because it takes hard work and a measure of devotion to optimize your workout for your goals.

While the Eatons train full-time, you may only have the schedule to only hit 3 or so days.

A little more information on the nature of the training. Upper body moves are paired off to have a lift matched with a calisthenic exercise. One day of the week is devoted to that upper body, one day for lower body. Core exercises can be paired with either day, given their own day for an easier time, or worked on both days for a challenge. Each workout is part of a circuit done twice, with limited rest in between each exercise. If you can’t do the full circuit at the gym, rotate through just a couple exercises at a time.

photo by Getty Images
Brianne Theisen-Eaton learns from her mistakes and constantly refines her training to reach her goals.

You also have runs on gym days (the Eatons actually run 5-6 days a week, but sometimes you can’t fit that into your schedule). I’ve broken it up so that you could fit this into 3 days (each row of the table is a day), with runs ideally in the morning and lifting/technique later in the day. I’ve also given alternative options to some of the more specialized technique work. Not everyone has a shotput circle and empty field lying around, after all.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Eatons train, check out their YouTube channel!



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