Olympic fever revs up fitness routines

Mon Jul 2, 2012 5:24am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With the 2012 London Olympics just weeks away, weekend warriors, fitness fanatics and couch potatoes alike will soon be inspired to rev up their routines.

The fitness industry is gearing up for Olympic fever with workouts that reflect the athleticism, competition and teamwork of the games.

"Something about the Olympics makes people want to compete," said Samantha Clayton, a Malibu, California-based personal trainer and track coach. "The athletes make it look so easy that everyone gets that I-can-do-it feeling, even if they can't."

Clayton, who competed as a sprinter in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has watched Olympic fever grip Pepperdine University, in Malibu, where she is head women's sprint coach.

"Around campus, it just inspires students to train hard and work harder, even if they aren't that caliber," she said.

A native of Birmingham, England, Clayton is particularly excited about the Olympics, which will begin in London on July 27.

"My entire family has a severe case of Olympic fever," she said. "A lot of my friends are still competing."

Clayton thinks much of the appeal lies in watching the many televised sagas of struggle and determination of individual Olympians, whom she describes as often otherwise ordinary people.   Continued...