Culture Health

    Olympic fitness tips to steal: Team GB’s Kristian Thomas

    7 August 2016

    With an Olympic team bronze from London 2012 under his belt, Kristian Thomas’s next goal is a team medal in the Rio 2016 Olympics. On the first day of the gymnastics competition yesterday he took a step closer to that, securing his place in the final.

    Before heading to Rio, he said: ‘The Olympics is the pinnacle of an athlete’s career so to be back for my second Olympics is really exciting. It feels very different this time with it not being in London, but I’m sure Rio will put on an equally good performance and I can’t wait to get out there and get going.

    ‘The work, commitment and dedication to get to this point over the past four years has been very tough especially as my body is a few years older. However, I’ve enjoyed the process and I feel I’m in the best possible shape going into these Games.’

    Fitness tips
    ‘I started gymnastics when I was five years old, thanks to tagging along with my older brother. He had lots of excess energy so my parents needed a way to channel this. Luckily, I found a sport I loved, and was good at a young age. I now train 25–30 hours a week.’

    1. Recovery is key
    ‘I am a big fan of the foam roller, a must-have in any gym bag. It’s small, portable, cheap and something I use daily. It can be used for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points, but it can also be used to help with stretching and gym exercises.’

2. Train all muscle groups
    ‘We tend to train the muscle groups that are naturally better or stronger. While making those particular muscle groups stronger, it results in other areas being weaker and that could cause injury due to muscular imbalance. Ensure your exercise programme covers exercises for the whole body.” 

    3. Fuel your body with the right food
    ‘Breakfast on the day of a morning session should result in a slow, sustained release of energy. Eat porridge or, if you’re hitting the gym extra early and can’t stomach anything too solid, try a smoothie, flavoured milk or yogurt. This will help provide energy, but won’t make you feel bloated or heavy.’

    For more health and fitness tips, visit Benenden.