How to train and recover like an Olympian

Checking Apparel

This week, we’ve partnered with our friends at NWSE Activewear to see what it takes to train and recover like an Olympian. Bridget Sloan competed at the Summer Olympics in Beijing and is a brand ambassador for NWSE with her own exclusive line of fitness-focused apparel. In this week’s post, she gives Pacers some quick and easy tips on her favorite workouts and recovery techniques.

Below is the workout routine you can follow so you can train like a gymnast.

Warm Up

  1. Start with 5 minutes of cardio. You can use a stationary bike, treadmill, rower, etc.
  2. Do a light stretch with arm circles, jumping jacks, and high knees.

Strength Training

  1. Barbell Back Squats – 5 sets of 8 reps each.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Paceline Tip: If you’re not familiar with “HIIT”, high intensity interval training involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low intensity recovery periods. HIIT is a great way to pump up your heart rate and can be used as conditioning.

4 rounds of

  1. 10 Handstand Push Ups or Traditional Push Ups
  2. 30 Double Unders or 50 Jump Rope
  3. 15 Dumbbell Front Squats


Paceline Tip: Now you’ll focus on lower body and core strength with a mix of bodyweight training and weighted moves. Gymnastics training requires strong and stable core muscles for performance and injury prevention.

3 Rounds of

  1. 16 Dumbbell Step Ups
  2. 20 Jump Squats

3 Rounds of

  1. 10 V Ups
  2. 15 Sit Ups
  3. 20 second Hollow Body Hold

Cool Down

Hold each stretch below for 30 to 60 seconds

  1. Pigeon Pose
  2. Deep Lunge
  3. Seal Pose

Next are the ways you can recover like an elite gymnast

  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Refuel after training sessions with proper carbs, protein and fat
  • Drink a gallon of water on training days
  • Replenish electrolytes as needed
  • Eat an adequate amount of protein each day
  • Partake in cold therapy through cold showers, ice baths or cryotherapy
  • Stretch everyday. Dynamic stretching before. Static after.
  • Prioritize time to physically rest your body and your mind.

Below are Bridget’s go-to stretches for recovery

Paceline Tip: According to Mayo Clinic, stretching can help improve your flexibility—and better flexibility may come with a variety of benefits, including lower risk of injury, increased blood flow to your muscles, and better joint range of motion. 

  • Pigeon pose
  • Downward dog
  • Any and all splits
  • Banded shoulder stretches
  • Pike stretch
  • Butterfly pose
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