"My Focus" is a weekly photo series in which TeamUSA.org (and @TeamUSA on Instagram) takes fans behind the scenes with some of the top Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls. Fans can get a glimpse into a day in the life of an athlete and see the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that is required on a daily basis to represent Team USA. In the third installment, follow figure skater Max Aaron as he trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1) Prepping For Practice
U.S. Figure Skating's Max Aaron checks out his skates in the lobby of the Broadmoor World Arena Ice Hall in Colorado Springs, Colo., prior to beginning practice.
2) Getting Warm
“My favorite exercises to warm up with before getting on the ice are agility exercises to make sure all my muscle groups are warm and ready for the explosive movements needed for jumping," said Aaron.
3) Ice Time
“I have on-ice practice six days a week," said Aaron. "I am generally on the ice for three-four sessions, each lasting 45 minutes.”
4) Plan Of Attack
“During training sessions I talk to my coach about tempo, timing into jumps, breathing spots and performance or execution of elements.”
5) Taking A Break
Max Aaron grabs a drink of water during practice.
6) Time To Refuel
“Some of the foods I have for lunch would be salmon or chicken with a carb like rice or pasta," said Aaron. "I try to eat a well-balanced diet that is high in protein and low glycemic.”
7) Hitting The Gym
“Core work is very important for figure skating because it helps my performance in jumping.”
8) Heavy Lifting
“I am in the gym around four times a week and my workouts off the ice mostly consist of explosive work.”
9) Hammer Time
“I have been working on trying to become more explosive on the ice, so working on this in the gym is essential.”
10) Loosen Up
Staying loose is important to Aaron because he needs to be able to execute high jumps and explosive movements.
11) Stretch It Out
“To stay flexible for my sport I spend time after workouts stretching and doing Pilates," said Aaron.
12) Rest And Recovery
“Recovery is so important to me because it allows me to prepare for the next day," said Aaron. "Tired muscles need to heal and strengthen before exercising again.”