Can You Get Abs Like Dara Torres?

Dara Torres is a 12-time Olympic medalist, an involved mother, and BTW, this 43-year-old has abs that would make Jessica Alba jealous. She’s not just thin, she’s rock solid.

Torres recently came to Chicago and spoke to an enthusiastic group of swimmers while on tour to promote her newest book, “Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program.” The Swim Across America group had lots of questions along the lines of, “What can I do to be like you?” Stronger, faster, leaner, fitter.

“I thought I was done at 25,” she says. “The younger swimmers were calling me Grandma.” But she still had a few Olympic medals to win, so she changed her weight training and stretching routine, plus she let her body rejuvenate between workouts. She began shaving seconds off her swimming times. And, her body became leaner, less bulky and she started to feel healthier.

Here are her tips. If you’re ready to try them, (and we promise you don’t have to swim for 2 hours a day) pick up her book or look for a trainer who uses strength training and dynamic stretching to help you get started.

  • Strength: Torres doesn’t lift weights to bulk up her muscles. She focuses on her core and uses weights like a dancer, in coordinated fluid motions. If you’re afraid of weights, get over it. Strength training is the key to an aligned, beautiful shape.
  • Stretching: Forget static stretches. Torres’ coaches use a method they call Ki-Hara, which is resistance stretching. She credits her balanced strength and injury-free training to their techniques.
  • Nutrition: In the book, she’s strict. But at the lunch, she ate a piece of cake and admitted that she doesn’t deprive herself. Still, if you’re trying to lose weight, her common-sense approach will do the trick.
  • Cardio: Her plan has you exercising 5 days a week, but you’re only doing cardio on 2 of those days. So if you hate the treadmill, this might be a plan you can stick with.
  • Recovery: Dara wants you to rest. Not sit at your computer typing, but really rest. Meditate, dream, sit with your kids and talk. She credits adding recovery days to her ability to still train at an Olympic level in her 40s.

So let’s rock the beaches of Chicago this summer. Dara wears a bikini—and you can, too.

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate