Olympians' Nutrition, Fitness and Sex Secrets

Feb. 17. 2006—, 2006 -- Olympic athletes are the pinnacle of physical fitness, but how do they get those perfect physiques?

For the metabolically gifted, calorie counting isn't always a priority.

"I eat as much food as possible," gold medal-winning skier Ted Ligety said.

"I don't have too strict a diet," silver snowboarding medalist Gretchen Bleiler said. "I ate a hot dog for dinner last night."

In order to twist her body in awe-inspiring ways above the halfpipe, Bleiler and her fellow Olympic athletes stick to year-round training regimens.

"Core training is so important," Bleiler said. She surfs every day during the off-season to stay in shape.

Skier Bode Miller is known for his unconventional workouts. His barn serves as his gym, and his uncle built Miller's training equipment according to his specifications. Miller has also created exercises -- like pushing an 800-pound tennis-court roller uphill and jumping homemade hurdles -- to improve his endurance, strength and agility.

Like most Olympians, speedskater Jen Rodriguez favors doing a lot of cross-training.

"It's not just on the ice," she said. "We do a lot of cycling. We do a lot of weight training. We do what we call dry-land training, which is mimicking the speedskating position but on your shoes. We do some in-line skating. You know a lot of cardio based in summertime and then when we get on the ice, it is all about skating."

All athletes stressed the importance of doing fun activities to stay in shape. But there was one enjoyable act some athletes shied away from in the days leading up to big competitions -- sex.

"It's a known fact from all the athletes, coaches and the studies and everything that people perform better, have a higher level of testosterone in their body, without having sex a certain amount of time before their competition," speedskater Chad Hedrick said. "I tried it, and it is working so far and I'm going to keep doing it until I accomplish all my goals."

Bleiler dates fellow snowboarder Chris Hotell. She said they had a mutual understanding when they competed.

"When we are up at the top of the halfpipe, it's a perfect relationship because he realizes he wants to stay away from me and let me do my thing," she said. "He has a job to do and I have a job to do, and we have fun afterward when it's all done."

Not all athletes subscribe to the abstinence theory.

"I don't abstain," freestyle skier Joe Pack said. "That's the point of being an athlete."