SKATING IS ALWAYS a solid workout. But when you’re the 2007 U.S. men’s figure-skating champion, you’ve got to do more than circles. Evan Lysacek, who’ll be gracing the Verizon Center on Saturday as part of “Champions on Ice,” exercises every day to stay in shape. “We can’t take three days off and still skate the same way,” he says. Just hearing what the 21-year-old does on a regular basis is enough to make you sore all over.
» EXPRESS: What’s your regular workout like?
» LYSACEK: In skating, we use specific muscles — not the ones you’d develop walking around or going to the gym. It’s a lot of stabilizer muscles, so we incorporate balance training. Instead of doing a normal arm press, I’ll do it on one leg and lower into a squat. Plus, I do a lot of core training, and quickness drills. It takes up my whole day.
» EXPRESS: How much energy does it take to perform?
» LYSACEK: There aren’t many exercises I can think of, short of a full-out sprint, that are as high-intensity as a short program. The long program is close to five minutes for the men and it requires incredible cardiovascular ability. I run a lot, but that doesn’t build the cardio I need. The only way is repetition of the program.
» EXPRESS: Any particularly tricky moves?
» LYSACEK: The quad jump — that’s four rotations in the air — is like doing a high jump. We need to have that kind of power and speed, and we have to make it look easy. These tricks are nearly impossible and we have to make them look effortless.
» EXPRESS: How tiring is skating without the tricks?
» LYSACEK: I don’t feel the burn of stroking around the rink, but I always realize how hard it is when my friends try. A lot more adults are doing it for exercise, which make sense, because for me, the best way to stay in shape is to diversify.
» EXPRESS: What other sports do you do to mix up your workouts?
» LYSACEK: I like to play golf, but that’s not a very good workout. I love to run, bike and hike. I like to swim, but the water in L.A. is too cold. I love to do power yoga, because it builds and elongates muscles. We need to stay trim for those outfits.
» EXPRESS: How much do you have to think about your diet?
» LYSACEK: I used to have a nutritionist and I forced myself to eat what I thought was right. But now, I eat what my body tells me I need. If I want meat, I’ll eat meat. If I crave iron, I’ll have spinach. I enjoy healthy foods. And I take Juice Plus, which has 10 servings of fruits and vegetables.
» EXPRESS: Any miracle foods you eat before you compete?
» LYSACEK: I always try to have protein because the energy lasts longer. From the warm-up until I’m done skating might be two hours, so I need it. Hopefully, I can find steak wherever I am in the world. I got that advice from Michael Jordan‘s book.
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