X Games 2015: Action Sports Stars Stay Fit for the Games

X Games are Back in Austin

X Games Austin
Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

The X Games are back in Austin for the second year in a row, and the excitement is building as action sports stars flood the city. And while spectators get a thrill out of watching athletes like Nate Adams (Big Air BMX) and Maria Forsberg (Enduro X) fly through the air and go toe-to-toe with other athletes (and obstructions), little thought is given to the hard work it takes to make it to the Games. 

Not only do X Games contenders spend hours practicing their given sport, they also spend hours training to develop the strength, endurance, balance, power, coordination and agility necessary to compete. Check out the training programs of a few of the weekend's favorite athletes and learn how they get in shape for the Games.

Nichole Mees, Harley Davidson Flat Track Racing

Nichole and Jared Mees
Nichole Mees

Nichole Mees is part of a history-making duo, set to battle it out against her husband, Jared Mees, in the X Games' first-ever Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing Competition set to take place on Thursday, June 4th 2015 at 7:30 PM. But don't look at Nichole as part of a pair - see her as an individual who puts in the hard work necessary to compete against the guys.

You see, flat track racing works just about everything. As Nichole points out, "Flat track works all sorts of muscles. Even though I continue to go to the gym during the off-season, I notice that when I haven't ridden for a period of time, all my muscles seem sore and tense when I start back up - even muscles I didn't think I had." 

  • Workout Schedule: Training 5 days a week
  • Workout Type: CrossFit-style training including weights and cardio; additional running and cycling at least three times per week
  • Eating Habits: Lots of protein, green veggies and fruits; during the off-season she enjoys a looser diet

Morgan Wade, BMX Big Air

Morgan Wade
Pete Demos / ESPN Images

Morgan Wade, a Tyler, Texas native (and a Texas fan favorite), took home the silver medal at the BMX Big Air event in 2014, and was the two-time gold medalist from 2013. He's back again to compete in 2015, hoping to break his own X Games Big Air height record of 23-feet, 3-inches, set during the Barcelona Games in 2013. 

  • Workout Schedule: Training 5 days a week
  • Workout Type: Follows a program put together by his body builder brother-in-law; lots of cardio, Olympic lifting, and a once-weekly Murph workout; The Murph workout consists of a one-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and another one-mile run, all in that order
  • Eating Habits: Cuts out sugary sodas and drinks, as well as fried foods

"The Murph Workout is grueling, but you get a great sense of accomplishment every time you complete it! I've been doing it once weekly since Thanksgiving of 2014," shares Wade.

Kacy Martinez, Women's Enduro X

Kacy Martinez winning gold
Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN Images

Kacy Martinez is coming back in 2015 to defend her 2014 Enduro X gold medal. Having never seen an Enduro X event until witnessing her win last year, I can tell you, I've never been so impressed by the sheer level of athleticism required during a single event. It takes incredible strength, endurance and pure fortitude to muscle through such a grueling race.

Given her 2014 win, Martinez says, "Last year went so well I wouldn't want to change up too much of my workout routine. To get ready for X Games I've been doing a lot of high intensity/high heart rate workouts. Enduro X is so much different than any other style of racing. Your heart rate spkes so high in such a short amount of time it really gets your lungs burning." 

  • Workout Schedule: Training 5 days a week, always takes off the Monday after a race weekend to rest
  • Workout Type: Lots of strength training and HIIT training; group cycling and core work on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Eating Habits: No strict diet, but sticks to whole grains and limits processed foods; fruits and veggies are always in her house; during race weeks, she increases carb intake mid-week (Wednesday and Thursday), then focuses on lean proteins the days before the race - for example, salmon and chicken breast with veggies and potatoes 

Maria Forsberg, Women's Enduro X

Maria Forsberg Enduro X
Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

Maria Forsberg couldn't make the 2014 X Games because, well, she was pregnant, but as one of the best female off-road riders in the world, she's more than ready to reclaim her place at the top of the X Games podium - a spot she's been on three separate occasions as a Moto X Enduro X gold medalist (and another three times as a silver medalist). 

And motherhood certainly hasn't slowed Forsberg's training schedule down - she just takes her baby along for the ride, "Londynn comes to the gym with me, and when I run, she's in the stroller."

  • Workout Schedule: Training 5-7 days a week
  • Workout Type: Circuit training and CrossFit, along with running and hiking
  • Eating Habits: Eats everything in moderation, but tries to stick to organic and non-GMO foods

Forsberg also points out that, "I truly enjoy working out. I like how it makes me feel - I'm kind of an addict that way. I don't just do it for riding, I do it for fun." 

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