Simone Biles is one of the greatest gymnasts ever. But how does she train?
With several medals under her belt and successful execution of the Yurchenko Double Pike at the U.S. Classic, Simone Biles is considered one of the best gymnasts. Here are some insights into her fitness routine.
Simone Biles is undoubtedly one of the most decorated gymnasts in the world. Her feats have earned her numerous medals as a gymnast and might even prove as a successor to retired Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci. Comăneci was the first gymnast at the Olympic Games to receive a perfect score of 10.0. She achieved this seven times in the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics at the age of 14.
Moreover, Biles became the youngest ever person to receive the prestigious President Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States of America. The 25-year-old gymnast received the medal from POTUS Joe Biden.
Yurchenko Double Pike
Biles performed the Yurchenko Double Pike, becoming the first female among five other male gymnasts to successfully execute this move. This gravity-defying move begins with a round-off back handspring succeeded by two flips in the pike position. Performing this means that Biles would have had to be at the top of her fitness game, both physically and mentally. Here are a few insights on how she trains to be one of the best.
Simone Biles' Fitness Routine
A gymnast's workout routine makes them one of the most skilled athletes in any bodyweight discipline. This requires strict discipline, especially in Biles' case as one of the world's best gymnasts. In an interview with Women's Health, she explained her training routine for five days every week. "In the morning, I usually get up between 7:40 a.m. and 7:45 a.m., and then I'll brush my teeth, do my hair, and just throw on my leotard and my clothes and go to the kitchen. I make breakfast, which is usually Kellogg's Red Berries or egg whites, and then I go to the gym that's only 10 minutes away. I have practice from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then I drive home and eat lunch, which is either chicken or fish so I get the protein. I grab a quick snack and head back to the gym from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and usually have more routines. After that, I either have therapy at the gym or home and then I eat dinner and chill and do it all again the next day."
She also shared insights on cross-training and how it helped her performance. "Last year we did cross-training. We swam twice a week—almost a mile! I swore I was going to drown, it was so hard, and then we would run. And the year before that we would bike 10 miles outside once a week. If we didn't bike, we would run a mile before practice, and as soon as we finished the mile we'd have to go inside and do a beam routine. My legs were absolute jello. But it got easier because the cross-training helped."
Simone Biles' Diet
Simone Biles trains twice a day for a total of 6 hours. This involves a lot of strength training, circuit training, endurance training, and gymnastics. To cope up with such a heavy training schedule, she supplements her nutrition with a balanced diet. She told Well and Good, "What I eat depends on the day and how I'm feeling, but sometimes I like to get up and have a protein waffle in the morning for breakfast with some fruit. For lunch, it's usually chicken and some vegetables. I like to eat fish with vegetables and rice. If I get hungry between meals, my go-to healthy snack is plantain chips." Simone told Insider that a pepperoni pizza is her go-to cheat meal after gymnastics meets. She also uses protein shakes to meet her everyday protein intake, build, and maintain muscle.
Simone Biles' Mental Health
Every sport requires an equal amount of physical and mental conditioning. With the recent rise of sports psychologists and prominent sportspersons opening up on their mental health, athletes are taking mental barriers seriously. Shape reported on Biles' mental health rituals. "Before a competition—usually a week or two [before]—I'll go to therapy to decompress, be in a different atmosphere in a safe place, so I can say whatever I want, say how I'm feeling, [and get out] any negativity. And it kind of just calms me. If I don't listen to music, I'll just get in my head and I'll start to think about my routines and overthink them. I'm a gymnast who kind of needs to be distracted in a way, because if I start to overthink, then you can see that in my gymnastics." The stress of staying at the peak of physical fitness and accomplishing records on a world stage can be nerve-wracking for many athletes. Simone Biles has openly acknowledged dealing with mental health issues and advocates for therapy which worked as an efficient outlet for her.
Is Simone Biles the GOAT?
A common abbreviation for Greatest of all Time, GOAT is used to describe various athletes who are at the top of their game. Biles made a statement at the U.S. Classic by wearing a leotard with a goat head and rhinestone outlines. Having four skills named after her, she can be considered the greatest gymnast. However, she has a long road ahead of her in terms of Olympic medals. Her challenge for medals lies in overtaking the number 1 spot from former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.
Latynina has won a total of 18 Olympic medals in gymnastics and has the most medals not only as a gymnast but also as a female Olympic athlete. This poses a challenge for Simone Biles to become the greatest gymnast in Olympic history as she will have to score maximum medals in gymnastics and beat females across all Olympic sports to make her mark.
Simone Biles undoubtedly trains hard to get to the point where she is. She trains six hours a day for five days of the week, follows a strict diet, and mentally condition herself for the sport. Championing herself as a mental health advocate, she also spreads awareness on the importance of mental health for everyone. Simone Biles is hailed as an inspiration by Nadia Comăneci as the modern inspiration for many gymnasts because of her perseverance despite a difficult journey.