Fitness is a journey, not a destination — and we’re all at different places in our voyages. There’s the people who are just starting out, dipping their toes into different types of workouts to see what sticks. There’s the people who have been exercising for a while, who have found a training style they enjoy but don’t necessarily feel the urge to take things to the ‘next level.’ Then, there’s the ‘superfit.’ They’re the athletes, the sportspeople, the personal trainers, the Olympians.
Chances are, you see them on your TV, Instagram feed and in the gym and think “that could be me, but I love pizza and Netflix too much.” While it may seem like this elite group have reached the summit of their fitness journey, they’re constantly striving to improve – just like us! They’re all about training smarter, not harder and finding ways to make their workouts as efficient as possible.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the fittest women we know and asked them to spill their best workout tips. No matter where you are on your journey, you’ll be able to use their advice to absolutely smash your fitness goals this year. Read on to hear from an Olympic runner, Ballerina, CrossFit champ, Winter Olympian, Personal Trainer and former Survivor contestant!
Selma is a middle-distance runner who competed in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Selma’s tips:
Buddy up: I’m generally very self-motivated, but even elite athletes get sick of exercise! On these days, I find a training partner or group extremely helpful in keeping me honest. A good friend can distract you from the boredom that training can sometimes be and I am always happier having done the workout.
Planning is key: I am not a full-time athlete all year round, so I need to be really organised when I am working. It’s not always easy, but I find if I do schedule in a time and plan my day in advance, I’m more likely to stick to it and have a better workout.
Have a pump-up playlist: Before a race, I like to listen to my ‘race day’ playlist which includes a lot of Beyonce. It sounds a bit silly, but I like to pretend bringing out my own Sasha Fierce alter ego and getting ready to race. I find this brings out my competitiveness and focus!
Prioritise pre-hab: As an athlete of any level, your main priority is to make sure that your machine (your body) is well maintained in order to continue to progress while staying injury free. Pre-hab is the most valuable thing I do. For me, this includes taking my supplements, eating real food, stretching, sleep, hydration and looking after my mental health. I also use a Compex unit for electrical muscle stimulation for recovery.
Don’t be too hard on yourself: Take the pressure off yourself by remembering you are human. Your 100% is going to be different every day, but as long as it’s 100% for that day, you’re always going to be moving forward.
Accept failure: Always be willing to fail, but don’t keep failing the same way. Be open to trying something new and find what works for you. Accepting failure is the best way to let go of unnecessary stress, allowing you to enjoy your progress a little more.
Snack right: My go-to snack to refuel after a workout is protein avocado mousse. I put half an avocado, chocolate protein powder, some coconut cream, and honey or stevia in my blender and mix it up until smooth. It works a treat every time and keeps me nice and full!
Lucy is a biathlete (cross country skiing and small bore rifle shooting) who competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Lucy’s tips:
Find something you love: There are so many different forms of exercise around, if you find something you enjoy doing you’ll actually be excited to get out there and train!
Rally a team: Whether its your friends, partner or family, get the people around you involved in what you’re doing. Passion is contagious and training in a team really helps with motivation. The key is to look forward to training and by doing the right type of exercise with the right people, you definitely will.
Start on a Monday: The best day to start a new workout regime is Monday. If you make it to a fitness class on the first day of the week you are more likely to stay motivated through the rest of the week. No more excuses! Today is the perfect day to plan and start exercising.
Mix it up: Every 6 weeks, try to mix it up with a fun new fitness class to stay motivated and continue transforming your body. Who knows, you may love Barre, karate, swimming or spin! Fitness is about feeling good about yourself and learning to love movement, so look around for a workout that matches your fitness groove.
Tegan is a model, fascia stretching expert and PT who has trained the likes of Jess Gomes, Lara Stone, Natalie Imbruglia and David Beckham. She also competed in the 2016 season of Survivor. Tegan’s tips:
Time your carbs: If your goal is weight loss, try to time your carbohydrates within the two hour window before your workout. This helps the carbs be immediately used by the body to help rebuild muscles and restore energy, rather than being stored as fat! Opt for nutrient dense options such as brown rice, sweet potato or quinoa. Make sure to combine with some lean protein to help tighten up your physique.
Regulate your sleeping patterns: Many of my clients feel they are doing everything right and then I ask them about sleep. “I probably don’t get to be until about 1 am,” they often say. When we sleep, we release growth hormones which are essential to creating the body you desire. Getting to sleep too late can lower the production of these hormones, leading you to plateau in your weight loss goals. Little tweaks like getting to bed earlier will help get you there. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, aiming for around 10 or 10:30 pm.
Rest up: Don’t forget to allow for rest days. Too often, I see clients smashing themselves everyday thinking the weight will fall off faster if they do. Yes, they may lose some weight, but it can also lead to fatigue, injuries and sugar cravings. If you are training correctly, you don’t need to train everyday to get the body you want. Two challenging weight sessions plus two HIIT classes a week can be adequate, providing you’re eating the right foods for the other 23 hours of the day! The other three days should be light sessions if anything, such as yoga or light walking.