Competitive Edge

Staying fit is a lifelong passion for many accomplished athletes. From an Olympic medalist to a soccer star, meet four who have experienced the thrill of victory and remain at the top of their game.

Rafa Garcia

27, Reseda

 

Edge

Two-time MLS Cup winner for the LA Galaxy, making 21 appearances for the club.

 

Current Gig

Professional soccer player for the
LA Galaxy.

 

Fitness Philosophy

There is no shortcut to success. You get what you put in. Simple as that.

 

Exercise Routine

Soccer practice for an hour followed by strength and conditioning for an hour.  Foam rolling and an ice bath at the end of the day.

 

Diet

I try to have three balanced meals daily with about 3,000 total calories daily. I try to stay away from red meat and focus more on fish. 

 

Secret Weapon

The secret to success? Always be the hardest worker in the room. And a little 2Pac doesn’t hurt. 

 

 

Ron Skarin

64, Van Nuys

 

Edge

Competed in the 1972 and 1976
Olympic Games and 1975 Pan American Games (gold medal winner as team cyclist). Broke more than 20 national cycling records and won 10 national championships.

 

Current Gig

Ron, a retired building inspector, is a speaker for the Ready, Set, Gold! program that encourages students to excel on physical fitness tests, eat healthy and stay active. He is also
an ambassador for LA 24, which aims to bring the Olympics back to Los Angeles.

 

Fitness Philosophy

I used to push myself to exhaustion, but now I go just to 85%. I still like to feel the burn—but no pain. 

 

Exercise Routine

I try to do cardio at least every other day. I’ll do a 10-minute, warm-up spin, and then I pump iron. Like most cyclists, I have less definition in the upper body and need to focus there.

 

Diet

I eat as balanced a diet as I can. I limit desserts and try to focus on veggies rather than protein. For protein, I love fish.

 

Secret Weapon

I never give up. I pace myself to finish what I start.

 

 

Joanna Hayes

39, Valley Village

 

Edge

Gold medalist, 100 meter hurdles, 2004 Olympic  Games.

 

Current Gig

Assistant coach, women’s sprints and hurdles, UCLA.

 

Fitness Philosophy

I am all or nothing. Go hard or go home. I have to be smarter now because I am older, and I don’t want to get hurt. But I like pushing myself. 

 

Exercise Routine

With two little girls and working, I’m pretty busy. So right now mostly my exercise is “on the job.” I do a lot of walking at the UCLA track. But that is going to change soon. I plan to carve out some training time for myself because I’d like to compete in the Masters .

 

Diet

I try to focus on leafy green vegetables. If I’m craving a starch or carbs, I’ll do a yam instead of potatoes. I have a sweet tooth, but I’ve really backed off sugar. My one rule breaker is coffee with cream and vanilla powder. I love it.

 

Secret Weapon

Stairs and hills. They are great for a full-body workout. 

 

Toni Grafton

34, Van Nuys

 

Edge

Bikini fitness competitor. Among the top five finalists in the National Physique Committee/IFBB Competition, in which women must have between 13% and 15% body fat and are judged on lean muscle proportion and stage presence. 

 

Current Gig

Trainer at Novo Body in Encino and at Total Woman in Studio City.

 

Fitness Philosophy

No matter how I am feeling on any given day, I always give 100%. 

 

Exercise Routine

I work out six to seven days a week. I set goals and try to lift as heavy as I can. It’s legs on some days and upper body on others. I’m always sore afterwards.

 

Diet

So much dairy is toxic, so I try to limit that. I drink almond milk. I eat a lot—1,600 calories a day. Typically I’ll have oatmeal in the morning, almonds for a snack and salad for lunch. Dinner is always protein and veggies and sometimes white rice. 

 

Secret Weapon

Super King in Van Nuys. Their produce section is huge and open (instead of cramped with tiny aisles), and you can get everything quickly and easily. I get tons of produce there for building my salads. 

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