The spirit is high in the GB camp, everyone’s friends and family are coming to support them so everyone is eager to get out there and prove to everyone that British Gymnastics is great.
Louis Smith Stats
Olympic Bronze Medal on the pommel horse in Beijing (2008)
Being a professional athlete isn’t easy. Like with any job, you have to put the hours in and have the dedication necessary to be the best that you can be. Myself and the rest of my training group work hard in the gym every day so that we can realise our dreams of success at the highest level. Here’s a little insight into what we get up to during a typical day of training and the things we’re doing to stay in world class shape in the lead up to the Olympics in 2012....
This will normally take an hour. It will involve loosening up, stretching and general physical conditioning. I use my own bodyweight as a general rule for conditioning and only very occasionally do I work with free weights.
I do two or three apparatus sessions covering elements and combinations. This will typically include routines that I am practicing for upcoming tournaments.
I will rest my body, eat lunch and take on plenty of liquids. Utilising Lucozade Sport drinks and the rest o their nutritional range allow my body to adapt quickly and effectively in response to the demands I am constantly putting on it. I eat sensibly and ensure I have a balanced diet.
I’ll cover the other apparatus and work on specific conditioning for rings and individual elements.
Three common exercises are: The handstand and working around it with elements such as press ups and lifts to a final position, mid body exercises to strengthen the core and develop correct posture, and circuits on the rings involving the cross position to increase maximal strength.
The sessions are designed to increase flexibility and to prepare the body through both general and specific strength training circuits.
I also develop power for the dynamic events such as floor and vault, as well as maximum isometric strength for the held positions on the rings.
The object is to do enough repetitions to make any performance consistent.
I think the best bit of training advice I can give is to remember that your body will adapt to the demands that you put on it - work hard and the results will come.
Look at the big picture and don’t get down if one session is bad – the important thing is just to keep going and be positive.
Remember it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a professional athlete and an Olympian. However everyone has to start somewhere and if you focus on what you want to achieve then you have every right to aim for the stars!
The main thing is to stay fit and healthy. Set yourself clear, achievable goals and go for them. Success comes with hard work, discipline and self-motivation. I’ve achieved some great successes in my career already but there’s so much more I both want and believe I can achieve by applying myself to it. Here’s to you doing the same...