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Olympic Gold Medalist Garrett Weber-Gale on a Swimmer’s Shaving Routine

Call us grooming-obsessed, but amidst all the aqueous competition in London, we can't help but think of those unsung heroes of the podium: the razors, creams, and gels that allow the hairless members of Team USA to glide through the water like fish. We were lucky enough get the lowdown on a typical Olympic shaving routine from gold medal winner Garrett Weber-Gale. The biggest surprise: one shaving session calls for as many razors as you likely go through in a few months.

Another shocking upset: Weber-Gale, now an accomplished chef, uses the same old school Barbasol favored by the likes of Esquire's Kurt Soller. To be fair, shaving your whole body is a ton of surface area—especially for lanky swimmers—so it's hard to stomach dishing out for premium creams. It'd literally cost an arm and a leg.

Here's the Olympian-turned-foodie on the typical swimmer's shaving routine:

"Usually you shave the day before your first big race. The shave, depending upon who you are, will last for several days. Sometimes you'll do a quick reshave after a couple days just to get the slick feeling back. I usually sit in the bathtub with good old Barbasol shaving cream and get the job done. It's kind of a pain sometimes because you want to be careful and it can take up to an hour. Some swimmers shave while standing in the shower and don't use any shaving cream. I usually use one razor for my legs, one for my arms, one for my stomach and chest, one for my back, and one for my face—gotta keep it sharp. It does actually make a huge difference. The more hairy you are the bigger the difference. Plus, it gets rid of all the dead skin so you feel like a rocket when you dive in the water."

Of course, shaving doesn't guarantee victory. A healthy diet had a lot to do with Weber-Gale's, and all of Team USA's awesome 2008 victory in the Men's 4x100 freestyle relay. Check out Weber-Gale's website Athletic Foodie, where he chronicles his passion for healthy food. You can stay up on his nutritional advice at @athleticfoodie.

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