How Do Gymnasts Train for the Olympics?

What's included in Gymnastic Training for Olympic games?

How do gymnasts train for the Olympics? Olympic gymnasts (or any successful athletes) will continually strive to improve their performance. This underlying drive is the reason they can repeat the same movement hundreds of times trying to deliver the perfect execution of the gymnastic element. This is a need to improve continually, and it is a need that justifies their lifestyle. It also accounts for their success as there is no better motivation than self-belief and positivity. This also explains why many Olympic athletes enlist the help of psychologists or counselors to make sure their mental health matches their physical health. Many gymnasts practice meditation to help them relax and aid restful sleep with several adding naps into their training programs.

The Olympics come around once every four years. Competing against the best in the world to be the very best in the world is tough and prestigious. So, how do gymnasts train for the Olympics? Their training routine is an important factor to get right as it is a crucial contributor to their overall success.

Fitness Components of Gymnastics

Although there is a range of disciplines within the sport, there are core fitness components of gymnastics that are needed for each element. Strength and stamina are the two most important fundamentals. Without these factors, it will be very difficult to excel in any element. Following this, flexibility, agility, and coordination allow change of movement as does balance which is another key attribute and, of course, cardiovascular fitness and power provide gymnasts with the endurance they need to compete at the highest level.

When Do Gymnasts Start Training for the Olympics

To become a high achieving athlete, you must be systematic in approach, highly disciplined, have the focus of vision to put your training above all else in your life, and start young.

Gymnasts tend to be small and have lean bodies and this build needs to be nurtured from a young age, ideally four or five years old. Of course, not every five-year-old taking gymnastics will become an Olympic champion, but those who do begin competing at this age.

Proper and well-fitting training clothes are another key to success. Good gymnastic shorts and well-fitting gymnastic t-shirts should be made of special stretchy materials that remove moisture well and do not limit the movements of future Olympic champions.

The other element to consider is the environment. Enrolling a young child in a reputable club with like-minded individuals and dedicated coaching staff can propel those with potential into medal-winning athletes. Good coaching staff can see the potential in the individual and recommend a training plan (including the number of hours per week) and how this can fit around their studies at school. The quantity of hours training will increase with age so that by the time they are a teenager, they will typically spend over twenty-five hours of training. It is believed the most successful female gymnasts will be aged between 16 and 18 when they compete at the Olympics, and the most successful male gymnasts will be in their mid-twenties.

Gymnastics Training Plan

How do gymnasts train for the Olympics? Training plans are goal-oriented and typically have six days of training with one rest day. Training days are broken down into two sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning session starts after breakfast and lasts four hours continuing with a two-hour post-lunch session completing the day. This training plan means that the individual will complete more than thirty hours per week and in the run-up to the Olympics, this number can be significantly increased.

Almost as important as training is allowing time for the body to recover so a typical training plan will include one rest day. This isn’t as much of a break as it sounds. Gymnasts are still athletes so eating well remains a priority. However, it is their time for meditation, massage, or even sleep to prepare the individual for the week ahead.

Training for the Olympics requires the individual to have understanding and support from family and friends. As any Olympic training schedule is a grueling program that contains a high level of sacrifice it is of paramount importance to have a support network that allows the individual to achieve their goals without being distracted. Assistance with meal preparation and travel logistics enables the gymnast to truly focus on the factors that only they can affect.


Part of any training plan for the Olympics will include muscle recovery and preparation. It is normal for any gymnast to endure the post-training-session ice bath. After pushing their bodies to the limit, muscles are soaked in very cold water to reduce inflammation and prevent tissue breakdown. It can also lessen the pain of sore muscles, and some believe it aids the nervous system providing them with the ability to cope with stress more effectively, which is a much-needed attribute when competing at the highest level.


A training plan is not as effective if the nutrition of the gymnast doesn’t measure up. Eating well and regularly provides the body with the essentials needed to succeed. Their bodies are required to have lean muscle mass so diets are high in protein with grilled chicken or salmon with carbohydrates for fuel, such as whole-wheat pasta.

Many gymnasts shun caffeinated drinks and opt for hot water with lemon instead to kickstart their metabolism and contribute to the hydration they need. With all the training, gymnasts must stay hydrated. During their training sessions, water is kept at hand to continually rehydrate and when needed sports drinks which contain electrolytes can be consumed.

It is also important for the gymnast to agree on a nutrition plan for the events as competing times can vary and are non-negotiable. Foods that are quick and easy to digest are best to consume around performances.

So, do you think you have what it takes now you know how gymnasts train for the Olympics?