With the Olympics kicking off tomorrow featuring the grand opening ceremony, it’s just about time for all of our favorite athletes to get ready to show and prove. One of the people we will definitely be watching is Simone Biles. The world champion gymnast is the favorite to take home mucho gold in Rio, but before she jetted off to South America, Biles spoke to Women’s Health about how she’s preparing for her events. That included a chat about what she’s eating and how she’s training her 4’8″ frame in anticipation of taking center stage.
When asked how it feels to show people that some of the fiercest athletic competitors come in all shapes and sizes (including tiny ones), Biles said, “It’s amazing that I can inspire little kids to know that you can be short or tall, and your body type doesn’t matter because you can do anything. That’s what I love about how diverse our team is—we have such different body types, yet together we build the best team there is. I think we’re stronger together than individually.”
As for her daily routine and her go-to meals, training is strenuous and is, at the least, six hours of her day. But when it comes to her food, Biles said her meals stay pretty light.
“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,” Biles told Women’s Health. “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 at home, and then I eat dinner and chill and do it all again the next day.”
As for workouts outside of practice, Biles has in the past done her fair share of running, swimming, biking and cross training. But in an effort to focus on “calming it down,” as she says, her workouts now consist of more leg and ab work than anything. Strength, in the legs and via a taut core, is important for a gymnast who needs to have good balance.
“I like doing legs because those exercises come pretty easily to me,” Biles said. “I have good, powerful legs, so I can do conditioning and they won’t be too sore. But stomach conditioning, I don’t like it at all! It’s my least favorite. I like laughing better for an ab workout than actually doing abs!”
Biles also said that she focuses a lot on stretching in an effort to stay both flexible and far away from any chances of injury.
“We have a routine that includes running and then a stretch for every part of our body. So we’ll stretch before practice, but especially afterwards, because then you’re tense and you need to stretch those muscles down,” Biles stated. “It’s very important to keep your body flexible so that you don’t get injured. My favorite stretch is splits because not a lot of people can do them. And over-splits is when you put your leg up on a mat so it’s higher—and it just looks cooler!”
And like most athletes, Biles likes to stay disciplined with her diet after training. That means no greasy, salty, sugary and all-around heavy meals. Her focus is on obtaining the proper nutrients to keep her body looking and feeling A-1.
“Pre-workout I love drinking Core Power; it’s a recovery drink. And then a banana and peanut butter because bananas have potassium, which helps with muscle cramps. And then afterwards, I like having a good fish, like salmon, and rice and carrots.”
All that hard work and discipline is paying off. As you can see, she’s 4’8″ inches of muscle:
And we’re amped to watch her do her thing soon enough.