A Day in the Life: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman

The Needham native is currently training 35 hours per week in preparation for the Rio Olympics.

Aly Raisman

Raisman competes at the World Artistic Gymnastics championships. Photo via AP/Matthias Schrader

Ever wondered how people who eat, sleep, and breathe health spend their days? We did. So in this series, we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you a day in the life.

Aly Raisman, Olympic Gold Medal-Winning Gymnast

For Aly Raisman, 21, three Olympic medals (two gold and one bronze) just aren’t enough. So for the months leading up to this year’s Olympics in Brazil, the Needham native is devoting roughly 35 hours per week to training, seeking to become the first American female gymnast to win three gold medals, and the first in 15 years to make two back-to-back Olympic teams. Here’s how she’s making it happen.

7:00 a.m.: Wake up and put on Revision Skincare Intellishade sunscreen. Next, eat breakfast—usually hot water with lemon or coffee, and two pieces of toast or cereal with skim milk.

7:40 a.m.: Drive to practice, at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics in Burlington.

8:30 to 11:15 am: Practice. After that, it’s back home for lunch. A typical lunch is dinner leftovers from the night before, maybe chicken or fish with brown rice and fruit.

After lunch: Recovery time, usually by taking a bath, using a NormaTec machine—a system meant to reduce soreness and increase circulation—rolling out, and taking a nap for anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour and a half.

Late afternoon: Before heading back to the gym for another workout, have a snack of fruit (typically either a banana or watermelon) and Greek yogurt with dried cereal.

5:00 to 9:00 p.m.: Workout number two for the day.

9:40 p.m.: Have a late post-practice dinner. Again, it’s usually chicken or fish with vegetables, and a small amount of brown rice or pasta.

10 p.m.: Ice and cool down after practice.

10:15 p.m.: Shower, brush teeth, and put on skincare products—”It’s therapeutic for me; I am obsessed with skin products”—and head to bed.

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