On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
Even before Simone Biles touched down in Rio de Janeiro for her first Olympic games, the American artistic gymnast was already seen as one of the greatest and most dominant athletes in her sport.
Born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio, Biles first tried her hand at gymnastics at the age of 6 years old during a day-care field trip. By 8 years old, she was training with artistic gymnastics coach Aimee Boorman, and was competing at an elite level by 14, racking up tremendous success over the next few years.
At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, all eyes were understandably on Biles and she didn’t disappoint, scoring gold medals in the all-around, vault, and floor; bronze on balance beam; and gold as part of the U.S. team. Fast-forward to the 2020 games, Biles was being hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime talent and she was feeling the pressure, describing it as “weight of the world on my shoulders.”
In an interview with The Cut afterwards, Biles would reveal that after during the vault competition, she suddenly couldn’t visualise herself in her head, nor could she see the map of the floor in order to land. This had never happened to her before. Biles immediately withdrew from the finals.
“It’s been really stressful, this Olympic Games,” she later said at the press conference. “I think just as a whole, not having an audience, there are a lot of different variables going into it. It’s been a long week, it’s been a long Olympic process, it’s been a long year. So just a lot of different variables, and I think we’re just a little bit too stressed out. But we should be out here having fun, and sometimes that’s not the case.”
Biles also revealed that tennis player Naomi Osaka — who withdrew from the French Open press events to protect her mental health — was an inspiration for her putting her wellbeing first.
I say put mental health first. Because if you don’t, then you’re not going to enjoy your sport and you’re not going to succeed as much as you want to. So it’s OK sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are — rather than just battle through it.Read What Simone Biles Said After Her Withdrawal From The Olympic Final | NPR
Simone Biles’ training routine & diet
On a typical training day, Simone Biles is up between 7.40-7.45am to get ready for her first practice session. If she’s in a rush, she’ll skip breakfast. Otherwise she’ll have some oatmeal or fruit. That doesn’t mean she’s not a breakfast person though. “On the weekends, I’ll have some protein waffles with chocolate chips, some eggs, or even make cinnamon rolls,” she revealed. “Because I might not have to be at the gym, I can actually take the time to make breakfast.”
As part of her morning routine, Biles doesn’t drink any coffee, although she makes sure to consume plenty of water throughout the day. “I’ve never been a coffee drinker,” Biles told Women’s Health. “I’ve always been somewhat of a morning person.”
For a world class gymnast like Biles, her weekly training schedule can be gruelling. “I train seven hours a day, I do have Sundays off,” she explained on The Tonight Show. “So, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday I train twice a day. And then Thursday and Saturday I train once a day.”
The first training session usually goes from 9am to 12pm, after which she’ll drive home and have some lunch. She’ll either cook her own meal or order something via a delivery app. “I feel like it’s more manageable because I can get home, shower, and go on the app to order whatever I want with the click of a button,” she said. “If I cook, though, it’s usually pasta, or chicken or salmon in the air fryer, oven, or on the grill.”
After lunch, she’ll have a nap for an hour or two then get ready for her afternoon training session, which usually starts at 3pm and finishes at 6pm. As part of her injury prevention routine, Biles also makes sure she does a lot of stretching in between practice sessions.
“We have a routine that includes running and then a stretch for every part of our body,” she said. “So we’ll stretch before practice, but especially afterwards, because then you’re tense and you need to stretch those muscles down. It’s very important to keep your body flexible so that you don’t get injured.”
Once her training is wrapped up for the day, Biles will head to her therapy session before going home for dinner. “If I’m feeling like a little bit of a less healthy meal, I get pizza or fettuccine Alfredo with chicken,” she told Women’s Health. “I really like home restaurants that are in the area because I feel like I get to be closer with them. I’m not picky. I’ll try any new restaurant.”
She’ll also work a lot on her recovery and self-care routines. “I do regular athletic massages and ice massages. I also use compression boots and take Epsom-salt baths,” she said. “And I see my athletic doctor every Friday for a check-in.”
I would say to always follow your dream. And dream big because my whole career, including any of the things that I’ve accomplished, I never thought in a million years that I would be here. So it just proves that once you believe in yourself and you put your mind to something, you can do it. I hope kids learn that and I hope they learn that you can be good at what you do and have fun.Olympian Simone Biles Dishes on How She’s Training, Eating, and Mentally Prepping Before Rio | Women’s Health
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