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How Does an Olympic Sports Scientist Train?

Olympic and Elite Athletic Trainer: Dr. Kimi Sato

I am the chairman & CEO of Peak Force International, Inc. We provide training services for junior to elite athletes in Asia, coaching education services to Japan, Taiwan, China, Poland, Czech, and Slovakia, and consult sport technology companies to close the gap between technological advancement and practical needs. I have a Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. in exercise science.

Greatest athletic accomplishments

I played baseball all the way to the college level. Then, after graduation, I participate in the opposite type of sporting event. Powerlifting, weightlifting, and marathons. For powerlifting, I set the Virginia state record back in 2002.  And for marathons, I had several age group podium finishes. 

Coaching

I have been involved in Olympic-level athlete training and testing since 2006 through the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. Since 2011, I was at East Tennessee State University where they house the Olympic training center. Now, I train athletes from the USA, Japan, China, Taiwan, Poland, Czech, Swiss, and Sweden. 

Creating a training schedule for athletes

There are many varying factors depending on an athlete’s level. Such as training age, type of sports (skill or physical) and the season.  We have a systematic approach to create an “athlete profile.” First, we create an initial evaluation, then design a training program, and monitor progress. It is a complete package to communicate with other coaches and athletes.

Training varies between team sports and individual sports for sure. And, sports can be categorized as strength-power sports, endurance sports, combat sports, water sports, acrobatic sports, and skill-oriented sports. They all have different approaches to training concepts and theories.

Athlete’s nutrition and diet plans

Especially for sports that have weight categories, a diet plan is important. However, well-balanced meals throughout the day, as well as consistency in calorie intake relative to the training load, is more important. Tracking a nutrition plan may be difficult to do, but teaching them appropriate knowledge about sports nutrition specific to their sport is very important.

As research supports, aminoVITAL really helps the “readiness” for training.  It will NOT enhance performance, but because it helps to recover physically and mentally, athletes are ready for intensive training.

Exercise

I train pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day. It all depends on my work schedule and training plan. The kind of workouts I do are weight training, distance running, cycling, and rowing.

An example of my typical workout

  • Dynamic Warm-up
  • Stretching with foam rolls
  • Core training (balance and stability)
  • Sprint drills and plyometrics
  • Weight training (length depends on time availability)
  • Rest
  • Endurance training (length depends on time availability)
  • Cooldown

Currently, I am not specifically training for any competitions, but I train so that I can train others as they should.  I take aminoVITAL throughout a day, but specifically for hydration and preparing myself to train I use Focus Zone to fuel my body through long training, and Fast Charge is a great way to get BCAAs quickly without drinking too much.

Nutrition

Consistency in calorie intake is a key element of not only maintaining my current body figure but also if you want to gain muscles or lose body fat. Having a beyond well-balanced nutrition plan is necessary. I keep track of my nutrition depending on what type of training I do and how long that lasts the next day.  Meaning, if my body does not have enough nutrients to support the next day’s training, the quality of training will be lower.

 Nutritional needs are specific for a specific goal set. If I want to gain muscles, then my training volume is higher, and that means more calories from protein.  If I want to reduce body fat, I need to consume fewer calories in carbohydrates and fat. And, more importantly, I have to have the right timing to consume a specific amount of calories in order to maximize the diet plan and make it effective. Timing and consistency are key to nutrition needs.

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