Earlier this year, Ryan Nyquist took first place at the BMX Park on the Maryland Dew Tour. His victory in itself wasn't terribly surprising, considering that the pro, famed for his innovative handlebar spins and groovy riding style, all but earns frequent flier points for his regular trips to the podium of major BMX competitions. What is remarkable, though, is that he's been doing it now for 18 years. Which means that, at the ripe age of 34 Nyquist typically competes against athletes who are 10 or more years his junior.
After suffering a major ACL tear in 2006, Nyquist recognized that the years and scars were starting to add up, and so he began to invest more time in his off-bike training. This interest in overall fitness has helped burnish his reputation as one of professional sports' most balanced and disciplined athletes (not to mention one of the most downright humble we've ever met, too). And given his silver medal at the 2013 X Games Barcelona and his recent victory on the Dew Tour, it looks like he chose the right path. (He competes in the San Francisco Dew Tour October 11–13, which viewers can watch live on NBC on October 12 and 13 at 4 pm ET.) Victory, however, never comes cheap, and Nyquist says his success is founded on a combination of intense training matched with serious willpower. He recently gave 'Men's Journal' a look into his training regimen and suggested six key ways the rest of us can boost our overall fitness.
Stick to food classics when you're on the road.
"I usually eat pretty clean, but it's more of a challenge when I'm on the road," Nyquist says. That's an issue with most athletes, who tend to spend long stretches on tour buses, and in and out of hotel rooms. Ryan's solution is to go with the basics: "A lot of eggs in the morning with fresh fruit and vegetables." Besides packing plenty of protein and nutrients, that streamlined breakfast menu has the advantage of being almost universally available, unlike most specialized "healthy" foods. While it's self-evident that eating a clean diet is good for you, Nyquist says that it's really about discipline – holding yourself accountable for making commonsense nutritional choices.
Nyquist says he is also a fan of smart supplementation, and in particular likes Pre-Race Formula by SFH. "Rob Darden is pretty connected in the fitness world, and he hooked me up with it," he says. "I drink one of those 20 minutes before I go and I'm ready – it gives me that extra little boost of energy I need."
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