Training & Performance

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The secret to going faster is learning when not to

No, you haven't met her somewhere before, and neither had we. Fletcher, a 33-year-old triathlete from Red Deer, Alberta, has spent the last five years coming up through the amateur-triathlon ranks, consistently winning her age group, and is poised to go pro in 2009. How does she practice jockeying against other hard-bodied type-A women who occasionally kick

Keira Newton, of Dynamic Kettlebell Fitness in Santa Fe, NM, demonstrates some basic and advanced kettlebell exercises. Keira Newton Keira Newton Basic Kettlebell Workout…

What Twight rails against is mediocrity of effort. I’d drunk heavily from his rancid punch, and in a strange way I looked forward to more.

I constantly sprain my ankle playing basketball. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve my ankle strength and balance to prevent this?

The Lab Rat tests an extreme fitness machine.

At an off-limits facility in the Philippines, multisport coach Brett Sutton treats humans like horses and isn't above the occasional screaming fit. Works for some people—including Chrissie Wellington, the reigning Hawaii Ironman titleholder—but his critics say he breaks more champions than he makes.

A revolutionary—and brutish—new fitness regimen.

Meet Outside's Fittest (Real) Men in America. Emulation is encouraged.

Inside the maddening new world of online training

Does wearing an ankle brace when hiking form a dependency, preventing your ankle from getting stronger? Also, do you advise wearing an ankle brace on both ankles for extra protection, or just on the ankle with which I have previously had problems? Ben Hagerstown, Maryland

I have very underdeveloped pectorals to the point that they are almost breast like. I run and workout often but it doesn't seem to help much. What can I do to fix this problem?

It's a lot easier than you think to train for an Olympic-distance triathlon. And if you follow our newbie-friendly plan, it's also a blast.

In which the author undertakes a grandiose experiment: to discover whether a regularly imbibing, socially smoking, still carousing 37-year-old can transform himself into a competitive athlete. Guess what? He did. Follow his plan and you can, too.

The year is half over, but there’s still plenty of time to get in shape and compete in an Olympic distance triathlon. Choose from our select races, throw on some Lycra, and start training.

Sleep has overtaken yoga and carb-free diets as America's favorite fitness craze. It's about time.

Spring is here. Time to wipe the cobwebs off your bike, oil your chain, and kick your fitness into a new gear. Here's how.

A sport-by-sport guide to everything you need to excel.

Whatever daredevilry you aim to master, you can go from zero to hero a lot faster than you think. Join our brave, bruised guinea pigs on their quests to prove that, with a little time and energy (and the right coach), any bum can be a badass.

Put that weekly jog to rest and take your training to a new level with our guide to technique, gear, and recovery

At the Monkey Bar Gym, fitness is fun again

“When you sit down on an exercise machine, with your back against chair, you tend to shut down the rest of your body,” warns Laird Hamilton. “You want strength that you can actually control and apply.” It’s called functional strength, and it dictates the way you should lift weights. Here’s…

Can Viagra really improve high-altitude performance?

Sorry, abs: One muscle trumps all others. Keep your ticker in top shape with our complete guide to cardio health.

I’m training for my first triathlon, and I'm an experienced swimmer and runner, but no cyclist. What type of bike (hybrid or road) would you suggest for a 23-year-old female? Also, any ideas on a specific model—preferably under $500? Susan Athens, Georgia

Go with the flow, say ChiRunners, and your legs will follow

Rule number one for total physical fitness? Where your back goes, all else follows. Keep yours in top shape with our guide to strength, flexibility, and injury treatment.

I'm shopping for a road bike for triathlons and day cruises with a price tag below $1,500. Any suggestions? Kevin Fargo, North Dakota

No time? No equipment? No excuses. Our experts kick your training into overdrive with customized 30-minute workouts for every harried athlete.

Got any suggestions for a good heart-rate monitor that is reasonably priced? Jeanna Princeton, New Jersey

Kick off the year by snuffing out stress, playing more, eating right, and keeping fit enough to nail any adventure.

Make skate skiing part of the season's regimen and you'll start the year with fitness to spare

The latest all-mountain jackets keep you toasty on lift rides and cool on out-of-bounds hikes

Alberta now rivals British Columbia as Canada's best winter playground

To find your limits, you must go past them

Will you look ridiculous trying a Hollywood workout? Quite possibly. But you'll also tap into America's greatest training resource.

What can I do to help improve the strength and stability in my ankles? I have been an avid hiker for over 14 years and have never had a problem with stability, regardless of the footwear worn. But a couple of years ago I noticed that my ankles felt weak and would twist far too easily, even on moderately uneven terrain. I've tried using footwear geared towards providing more stability but it seems to have a minimal impact on the problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

What happens when training goes digital? Your workouts get real.

Knees are critical joints, and they can't be traded in like last year's cell phone. Keep your hinges state-of-the-art with our complete guide to strength, conditioning, and injury prevention.

You've done your rehab, your knee feels great, you think you’re ready to return to action. But don’t rush back into the fray. Avoid a repeat injury by first taking—and passing—this return-to-sport test, provided by the Steadman Hawkins Center, a renowned orthopedic center in Vail, Colorado. Don’t attempt to perform this test on your

Want a spin bike delivered to your room? Get that and more with our guide to staying fit on the road.

The peloton has been looking forward to the first rest day of the 2006 Tour de France. The first week of the race has been fast and hard, and many men hit the ground at least once this week. This rest day gives them a short period to recuperate from…

Tackle cycling's ultimate fitness test and learn where your riding really stands

You may never have what it takes to race up steep alpine passes like the best cyclists in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from their training secrets. You’re using the same muscles, pedaling up the same inclines, and maybe even riding the same bike. So the…

Learn Spanish and other languages while you train with this smarter-than-average spinning class

Straighten up with a lesson from Superman's posture coach

Ready to play your way to total fitness? We thought so. Kick-start your transformation with a visionary six-week approach to bringing body and mind together for strength, stamina, and your best performance ever.

For a compulsive adventurer who can't stay put, sometimes there's only one cure: Get Zen. If only it were that easy.

YOU CAN BET that drug-company executives aren’t among the 70 million Americans suffering from sleep problems. Thanks to blockbusters like $2-billion-a-year Ambien, the sleep-aid industry is booming, and several similar drugs are angling for space in your medicine cabinet, including Lunesta, launched in 2004, and others awaiting FDA approval. These…

Want real results? A new regimen sheds pounds, builds strength, and shortens your workout time.

Oxygen chambers allow you to simulate the world's altitude extremes. But should you? Depends on what you're after.

You're gonna get hurt—count on it. Here are the new smart fixes for those inevitable breaks, tears, and strains.

Ski all you want with our 21-day late-winter plan for optimizing shoulder-season fitness

With more and more A-list resorts offering up fractional ownership opportunities, living the dream on some of your favorite powder grounds and being pampered like a rock star is becoming a reality

Triumph and controversy reigned at one of America's most prestigious triathlons Sunday

I am a runner and not interested in going to the gym. What results could I get if I did, say, 20 regular push-ups, 20 wide-grip push-ups and ten tricep push-ups every day?

We cull 25 years of the best of Outside's esteemed Bodywork section to bring you the best advice on terrain hucking, knee recuperation, injury prevention, and more.

Want an unbreakable superstructure? Building tough bones can be as easy as grabbing your skis and charging bumps all day long.

Faris Al-Sultan's crusade to become triathlon's first Muslim world champion

TECHNOLOGY HAS MEANT GREAT THINGS for the fitness industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get real results from “old school” workouts. When I coached the U.S. National Cycling Team, from 1990 to ’97, I used the mountains behind my Colorado Springs cabin as a training ground for young racers,…

WHEN I WAS RACING BIKES in the 1980s, we still had no idea what we were doing when it came to sports drinks for endurance. We knew we needed more than simple water to replace the calories and minerals we were burning up and sweating out during training. But beyond…

CHRIST HAS RETURNED. No, not the carpenter—the skater. Christian Hosoi (“Christ” to fans) is resurrecting his career at 37. After a drug-fueled meltdown that ended with four and a half years in prison, the legendary aerobat is taking his first high-profile steps toward reentering the competitive fray—touring with skate exhibitions,…

NEED NEW INCENTIVES TO STAY IN SHAPE? How about gunfights, acrobatics, and international espionage? Spy School, a new fitness program from the Los Angeles–based gym Absolution (www.absolution-la.com), offers a custom menu of health and “adrenaline management” courses designed to turn you into the next Mr. or Mrs.

BROKEN BONES, TWEAKED KNEES, torn tendons: In days of yore—say, last year—these injuries would’ve promptly ended your season of biking, running, or hoops. Not anymore. Doctors are now shifting toward minimally invasive surgical techniques and natural healing stimulants that not only get you back in the game in top form…

Fit or not, it's time to wise up and listen to your ticker. It could be headed for an untimely failure.

Boxing drills aren't just for pugs anymore—they'll jump-start your fitness for mountain biking, paddling, climbing, and more

WHEN TONY KANAAN lines up for the Indianapolis 500 on May 29, chances are he’ll have one of the slowest heartbeats on the grid—and not because of overconfidence. The 30-year-old Brazilian uses triathlon training to prep for the rigors of his 200-mile-per-hour workdays. And it’s paying off. Kanaan won the…

Embrace the summer sun with an intelligent skin-protection strategy

I want to get a six pack within a week and keep it there. Is it possible? If so then how?

Fit should be synonymous with fun. So stop working out and start acting like a kid again. With help from fitness experts, pro athletes, and groundbreaking coaches, we'll show you how playing your favorite games leads to a lifetime of high-energy health.

How does lap swimming compare with other aerobic workouts? Does a mile of swimming equate at all with a mile of running?

The insurance industry amps up with specialized policies for thrill seekers

Dr. Claudio Stampi teaches endurance sailors how to perform better on minimal sleep. The secret, he says, is learning how to power-nap.

What's the fastest way to bring power and stamina to your sport? Start moving very, very slowly. (No, even slower than that.)