How Simone Biles Stays In Shape

Simone Biles became a 2021 U.S. all-around, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise champion and uneven bars bronze medalist, according to USA Gymnastics. In fact, she's a seven-time U.S. all-around champion, a six-time U.S. vault champion, and a five-time U.S. balance beam and floor exercise champion. She was also named the 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year, as well as Team USA's Female Olympic Athlete of the Year for 2019. After all, she has won an astonishing 25 world medals ( three bronze, and three silver, and 19 gold) — which, mind you, is the most medals in gymnastics history.

She's a first for many recognitions, as well: the first woman to win five World all-around titles, three World balance beam titles, five World floor exercise titles, et cetera. Ultimately, she's the most decorated U.S. women's gymnast ever. And this list barely scratches the surface. Needless to say, Simone Biles is more than a champion; she's a role model and a gosh-darned legend. Sure, it'd be easy to also chalk her up as some sort of super-human. But that would negate all of her relentless dedication and hard work. Here's how she stays fit to crush her competition.

She does 'twerkouts'

It's no surprise that Simone Biles is not your average athlete. With 30 World and Olympic medals under her belt, according to USA Gymnastics, it's no secret that she's doing something right. And that something may very well just be twerking! No, but really, we're not kidding. The star athlete told NBC's "Today" show that she's been taking her workouts to the next level and all from the comfort of her Texas home (via Yahoo). "I've been doing more body work, so, abs, arms, legs," she explained on the show. "The other day, I did a Youtube, it was like a twerk workout, I guess. Yes, it was a twerkout! But it was a lot of squatting and conditioning, so I got my legs going."

We're certain that twerking alone won't win you an Olympic medal. But it apparently does not hurt and may even help to get you there. At the very least, it sounds like a fun time for the dancing gymnast.

She spends time walking her dog

It may sound silly, but a champion knows that any way to move your body and stay active is a great way to move your body and stay active. There's no wrong way to get moving. Even if it is as simple as getting outside to walk your dog. Simone Biles told NBC's "Today" show (via Yahoo) that perusing around with her pup is one surefire way she keeps fit. Plus, getting out with her dog helps to keep her mind healthy, too.

"Mentally, going another year, I think that's what going to take a toll on us," Biles said when she first found out that the Olympics would be postponed, according to NBC Sports. "I cried, but ultimately, it was the right decision. We need to be sure everyone in the U.S. and around the world is safe." While staying at home waiting out the pandemic, she kept up her healthy routines by doing whatever she could, including walking her dog. Now we wonder if her dog is as talented a trickster as she is.

She writes down her goals

One way to make sure you achieve your goals is to first write them down. This way, you know, you don't ever just sort of forget them. Journaling has a wealth of benefits (via HuffPost). And by writing down fitness goals, you may be able to reach your physical health goals, too. Don't just take our word for it, though. Simone Biles herself does it.

At the start of each year, she sits down with her mother to jot it all down and kick off each day with intention, she told Forbes. "No dream is too big," she said. "Remember to write down your goals because you always see the bigger picture in the end, but there are little puzzle pieces that will fit into that bigger piece."

In fact, she said that writing down her goals is why she has done so well over the years. She has a big overall goal, but mapping out all of the "little steps to get there" has been key to her success.

She focuses on the positives

Ever hear someone say "Not with that attitude, you won't!" in response to you complaining about something at which you feel like you're bound to fail? It could not be a truer response. A positive mentality may just be the first thing you need to become a champion, followed by, of course, skill. After all, if you don't believe in yourself, who will?

Simone Biles is a force of nature. And that may be partly due to the fact that she focuses on the positives. She told Forbes that finding the light in everything has helped her to rebuild stronger and stronger after life's inevitable dark sides. This was especially true for her after coming forward as a sexual assault survivor in 2018, she said. "Focus on the positives — that will really bring you back on your feet and keep you moving forward," she told Forbes. "I try to live by that."

She gives the gym 100% but knows how to turn off

Burnout is real. You can bust your booty in the gym for hours on end, for days on end, for weeks or months on end. But, at some point, your body is going to need a break. And you need to know how to treat it right. One way Simone Biles stays fit is by giving her all when she's at the gym, but listening to her body and knowing how to turn off and relax, as well.

"Yes, in the gym I put in 100% effort, but whenever I go home, I try to leave work at the gym and then do whatever I need to do at home," she told Forbes. She went on about the importance of finding your joy outside of your sport or work. So that it isn't the only thing on which you rely to "fill your tank." She added, "You're going to need to fill your tank [outside of work], that's how you go into your job and do the best you can."

She doesn't count calories, but she tries to avoid overeating

Counting calories can be problematic at times, so Simone Biles does none of that. Instead, she eats mindfully, she told Women's Health. Because she spends six to seven hours a day working out and training her body, being conscious about what she puts in her body to fuel it is incredibly important. But by no means is she doing any fad diet tracking or anything of the like. 

"For gymnasts, in particular, [tracking] can lead to health problems and eating issues, so I just eat what I know I can and should," she told Women's Health. "I do not track anything. I eat what I feel good with and try not to overeat or stuff myself because I'm always at the gym." And listening to her body has certainly taken her a long way, so we'll just go ahead and take her word for it. 

She eats a light breakfast

While breakfast is certainly one of the most important and energizing meals of the day, Simone Biles tends to eat a lighter one, if she eats anything at all in the mornings. After all, she wakes up at the crack of dawn to get started — and who is ever really hungry that early in the morning?

"I wake up so early before practice, which is at seven, so sometimes I'll grab a quick bite and sometimes I won't," she told Women's Health of her morning routine. If she does have time to squeeze in a snack in the morning, she'll opt for oatmeal or some fruit, she added. Nothing more? Nope, not even a cup of coffee. "I've never been a coffee drinker," she went on. "I've always been somewhat of a morning person." So instead, it's just plenty of water to keep hydrated before, during, and after practice.

On the weekends, however, she'll splurge for some more since she has more time to cook up a meal without having to be at the gym. You know, like protein waffles with chocolate chips. Or even cinnamon rolls. Yum.

She refuels after workouts with protein shakes

A tough workout can (and should) wipe you out and deplete you of your energy. That is why Simone Biles refuels with a protein shake when she's done crushing it at the gym. "I love having a Core Power Protein Shake after a workout," she told Women's Health in fall 2020. "Usually I drink half after the first practice and half after the second practice. One of my favorite flavors at the moment is vanilla. It always changes, but it's currently vanilla."

Protein shakes are quick and easy options for most athletes. They get the job done without taking much time at all to mix up (if they're not already premixed like Core Power shakes). And with so many brand and flavor options out there to choose from, they can taste like a much-deserved dessert after a challenging workout. It's a win-win: replenishing and delicious.

When she snacks, she snacks on fruit

Simone Biles does not seem to be a big snacker. After all, she is always on the road or training with not a whole lot of time to eat. So she mainly sticks to eating at mealtimes, she told Women's Health. But when she does snack, she likes to go for something healthy.

"I don't really snack too, too much because I'm always at the gym but, if I do, I try to snack on some fruit," she explained. Her favorite fruits include grapes, strawberries, bananas, and occasionally watermelon. Sometimes, she will go for some banana bread or a banana muffin, too. Or she will splurge on popcorn or pretzels and Nutella, she revealed to the publication. Don't forget that she's human like the rest of us! And it's only fair that everyone get some Nutella in their life from time to time, right?

She keeps a consistent sleep schedule

One proven way to stay healthy is to keep a consistent sleep schedule — one that means at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night, on average, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And Simone Biles told Women's Health that one way she stays so fit is by, you guessed it, sleeping well. In fact, she said that nothing comes between her and her sleep. And she hits the hay pretty early, too. "Earlier than 10:30 p.m. is my target time," she told the magazine. "I'm usually in bed by 9:30 p.m., so I'm asleep before then."

Considering the fact that she wakes up early, starts her gymnastics practice in the gym at around 7 a.m., and does not drink any coffee to get herself going, hopping in bed at an early hour makes sense. After all, you can't become a world champion if you're running on empty all the time. 

She goes to therapy to keep her mind healthy

Everyone should try seeing a therapist. At least once. There, we said it. Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of — and it's not just for people who "need" it (whatever that means) either. Simone Biles told Shape that she sees a therapist before major competitions to cope with any anxiousness leading up to them. Nope, not even the Olympic gymnast of all Olympic gymnasts is immune to a case of the butterflies.

"Before a competition — usually a week or two [before] — I'll go to therapy to decompress, be in a different atmosphere in a safe place, so I can say whatever I want, say how I'm feeling, [and get out] any negativity," she told the publication. "And it kind of just calms me."

In 2020, Biles also told Refinery29 that her therapist's office is a "sacred space" for her because she can talk to her therapist about anything without judgment. "I feel like [therapy is] an outlet for me, and just for me only," she said.

She journals about her workouts

When you think of ways to keep fit, you probably think about different exercises to do in the gym and meal plans to follow in the kitchen. But one totally necessary way to stay fit is by keeping your mind healthy and getting yourself in a consistent routine that's on the right track. And you can do that by journaling, like Simone Biles does. Yes, Biles has said that she journals about her workouts to make sure that she's staying on a trajectory to success.

"I do recommend journaling because it's a safe spot [to express yourself]," she said during her MasterClass live-stream, (via Shape). "You can put your thoughts onto paper, however you're feeling, or your goals, or whatever you want to do." Biles has been journaling since she was a child, thanks to one of her coaches who encouraged her to do so. "Everyone [who worked with that coach] had a journal, and we'd keep it in our locker, and at the end of the day, we'd write about how our workout went," she explained. And, now, she's able to look back and see how far she has come.

She gets in the zone with good music

Music is everything in the gym. The kind of music you listen to can really make or break your workout. After all, you need to get pumped up (or, sometimes, chilled out), and research published in SAGE Publications shows that music can do just that for you. The music you choose to play can make you feel powerful, the study suggests, inspiring you to be the best version of yourself and, yup, kill your workouts. That's largely why Simone Biles is all about the playlist when she hits the gym or arena. Music quiets her inner critic, she explained to Shape.

"If I don't listen to music, I'll just get in my head and I'll start to think about my routines and overthink them," she admitted to the magazine. "I'm a gymnast who kind of needs to be distracted in a way, because if I start to overthink, then you can see that in my gymnastics."

She allows herself cheat meals

Cheat meals have a bad rap but they are so hugely important. No one has the willpower to be perfectly healthy all the time (or, if they do, we've never heard of them!). Everyone needs to splurge every once in a while. After all, we're all only human. And, sometimes, the promise of a cheat meal can even keep motivation high. Even Simone Biles indulges in cheat meals from time to time. And, when she does, she does it well.

For Biles, New York pizza is one of her favorite go-to cheat meals, Biles told People. She's also a fan of fries, ice cream, and brownies because, duh (via People). She's even been known to make pit stops at McDonald's. And when she's not looking to have a cheat meal, she still goes for a heavier dinner full of protein. Biles told People in 2016, "I like stew chicken or I really like salmon."

Whether the Olympic athlete is sticking to a nutritious meal plan or having a cheat meal, it's no secret that she's nevertheless dedicated to her sport. She works hard to play hard. And we love her that much more for it!