6 Ways to Work Out Like a World-Class Athlete

Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world offer exclusive experiences that help you up your game – from training with a pro volleyball player in Santa Barbara to taking tennis lessons from a Hall of Famer in Maui.

by Sarah Tuff Dunn

Mastering the ancient fighting techniques of Muay Thai takes physical and mental determination.

No matter how far natural ability takes you, proving you’re the best demands thousands of hours of work and determination. Pro athletes know what it takes to win and have unbeatable insights that can advance fitness programs of any level – which makes them extremely valuable and effective trainers.

During these exclusive Four Seasons experiences, guests are paired with proven, acclaimed athletes for one-on-one training lessons in sports that range from tennis to triathlon. Learning to spike a volleyball in Santa Barbara, mastering a unique fighting technique in Koh Samui – here are six ways to see the world (and yourself) through the eyes of a champion.

Swim, bike and trek like an Ironman in Kona

As you bike along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, take in the beautiful views of the lava fields while enhancing your cycling skills.
Train for a triathlon alongside six-time champion Dave Scott in the Hawaiian home of the IRONMAN World Championship.
Perfect your swimming technique as by focusing on mechanics in the azure waters of the Kona coast.

Whether you’re a budding triathlete or an elite competitor, there’s one man who can help you get better — six-time Ironman world champion Dave Scott, who is leading a five-day camp at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. In this brand-new triathlon training program, running August 22–27, 2016, you can smooth your swimming style, get faster at transitions, become more efficient on the bike, and run across the finish line in less time than ever.

“It’s very interactive — I’m not showing them how many muscles I have, but instead how to minimize their time and maximize their workouts.” Scott designed each day’s training session based on his own lessons learned, not only in swimming, biking and running, but also in nutrition, flexibility and injury prevention. “A lot of people think more is better, and I was my own worst enemy in my heyday of racing,” admits Scott, who now offers a more balanced approach to students. “Do what you can do at the moment. Be present. Be mindful. It adds calmness and it adds clarity.”

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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Ice dance in Moscow

Get exclusive training from a World Figure Skating champion at the rink of Moscow’s Olympic Stadium.

So you think you can’t ice-dance? At Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, you can meet and take private lessons with Alexander Zhulin, a World Figure Skating champion and acclaimed Russian ice-dancing coach.

Four Seasons guests have the opportunity to lace up at the same rink where competitive ice dancers train. The session begins with an exclusive evaluation of your skills and continues with one-on-one coaching to work on your lifts, spins and synchronized twizzles. If you’d prefer to stay off the ice, you can still watch Zhulin work with the next generation of champion skaters.

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

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Set and spike in Santa Barbara

After spending 20 years playing professional beach volleyball, Todd Rogers is ready to pass along his expertise on the sandy shores of Santa Barbara.

There’s no better place to learn the sport of beach volleyball than sunny Santa Barbara, where you can practice blocking, spiking and peeling with a proven pro. Todd Rogers, who reigned as champion in the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour with partner Phil Dalhausser from 2007-2011, has partnered with Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara to teach guests his swift moves and share his 20 years of experience in the sand.

“You don’t need to know anything to start playing — I can really critique your skills and adjust small, minute things or major things, depending on your needs,” Rogers says of the lesson, which takes place at the fabled East Beach court.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, play a friendly match with Rogers, who often rallies his own training partners and family members for games with his students.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

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Win match point in Maui with private tennis lessons

If your sports calendar begins with the Australian Open and ends with Wimbledon, then the five-day Wailea Tennis Fantasy Camp at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is for you. Learn to lob not just like the pros but with the pros in this training session, running November 16–20, 2016.

Hall of Famer Lindsay Davenport and former U.S. Open winner Tracy Austin, both retired professional tennis players, are using their proven expertise to teach Four Seasons guests the fundamentals of tennis in singles and doubles. “What you see on TV — that’s what you’re learning,” says Camp Director Cathy Nicoloff. From setting up shots to finessing fast feet, this 10-day camp introduces participants to the latest tennis techniques, with personal feedback from the elite players and video analysis. “You’ll get to hit with the pros, and maybe even get a shot past Lindsay Davenport — imagine telling that story for the rest of your life!” says former U.S. Davis Cup Captain and Fantasy Tennis Camp Coach Tom Gullikson.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

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Master Thailand’s ancient form of fighting

Learn exclusively from a pro as you master Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand.
Receive one-on-one, customised training while taking in the panoramic views of the gulf of Thailand.
After a day of practice, sit back in luxury and watch the professionals in action at the Chaweng Boxing Stadium.

Athletes who commit to mastering Muay Thai – the centuries-old practice of fighting with eight points of contact – will emerge stronger both physically and mentally. They’ll also gain a new appreciation for that Thai massage.

Surrounded by breezy palm trees in the Bill Bensley–designed training ring on the Gulf of Thailand, guests participating in the full-day Muay Thai Adventure at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui begin with lessons from a Muay Thai pro in the seaside ring. Together, students and the master focus on the fist, forearm, knee and shin strikes that earned for this form of kick-boxing the name “the Art of Eight Limbs.” At the Resort’s spa, the recovery is all-out, too: an herbal steam, cool-water leg massage, and full-body massage with essential oils of cloves, ylang-ylang and black pepper. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show with the top Muay Thai fighters in the world from your VIP seat at the Chaweng Boxing Stadium.

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

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Your secret weapon for swimming on the French Riviera

Take in stunning views of the Med as you learn proper breathing technique from legendary swim coach Pierre Gruneberg.

Learning to swim using a salad bowl may sound laughable, but plenty of athletes have indulged in an odd training tactic or two. Become a part of a group in the know by training with Pierre Gruneberg at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel.

In the unique Gruneberg Method, students practise with a salad bowl filled with water before even entering the pool, which develops calm breathing. “You may be amused and surprised, but you’re quickly very confident,” Gruneberg explains. “This aptitude is important to feel comfortable in the water.”

Guests will proceed into the 1930s pool, which is renowned throughout the French Riviera, then graduate to dips in the Mediterranean. “I want to help make your breath automatic so that you can think of only one thing — enjoying the beauty of swimming in the sea,” Gruneberg says. “To be happy in water means to be happy in life.”

The legendary French swim coach has taught Paul McCartney, Ralph Lauren and Charlie Chaplin, among others, how to live the life aquatic, using his special techniques.

Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

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