15 Ways to Train Like Aly Raisman

Take these diet and exercise cues from the Needham native.

ALy Raisman

Photo via AP

Do you ever wonder if, had you devoted your entire life to gymnastics, you could be racking up Olympic gold medals like Needham’s Aly Raisman? Same.

While we can’t travel back in time and put you in a leotard at the ripe old age of two, we can scour the Internet for Raisman’s best tips on training, eating, and living like an elite gymnast. Natural talent, unfortunately, not included.


1. Drink lots and lots of water. Raisman tells Cosmpolitan that she starts each day with hot water and lemon, and keeps drinking water throughout the day—especially mid-workout. “I just always listen to my body,” she says.

2. Cut the junk. “I try to stay away from white bread or processed things,” Raisman tells ESPN.

3. Don’t forget the afternoon snack. Raisman tells us she eats Greek yogurt with banana and cereal between workouts.

4. Eat lots of fruits and veggies—except a couple. “I hate grapefruit and celery,” she tells US Weekly.

5. Rely on lean protein. Her diet is heavy on chicken and fish, especially salmon, according to her ESPN interview. And, she tells Cosmo, everything gets smothered in ketchup.


1. Train hard. Really hard. Raisman tells Cosmo she practices for about seven hours each day. Don’t try that one at home.

2. Work that body. “We don’t do any kind of lifting,” the 22-year-old tells ESPN. Instead, the team relies on body-weight resistance and exercises such as rope climbs.

3. Get your cardio in. Raisman’s ESPN profile also reveals that she runs for 15 minutes each morning, and likes to take walks outside.

4. Practice makes perfect. NBC reports that Raisman has done her infamous floor routine “8 million times…to the point where you feel you can do your routine in your sleep.” That may not be realistic for us mere mortals, but the philosophy stands.

5. Recover properly. Raisman tells us that she takes baths, rolls out, naps, and uses her NormaTec machine after practice.

Odds and ends

1. Get your rest. Getting shut-eye can be tough when practice goes until 9 p.m., but Raisman tells ESPN she tries to be in bed by 11 p.m.

2. Take care of your skin. “It’s therapeutic for me,” Raisman says in her Boston interview. “I am obsessed with skin products.”

3. Have your cheat days. Raisman is a healthy eater, but she admits to InStyle  that she’s not saying no to post-competition pizza. “A few slices of pizza isn’t going to kill you,” she says.

4. Keep your head in the game. Whether you’re taking on a four-inch balance beam or a challenging CrossFit WOD, don’t overthink it. “My coaches were just telling me, ‘You think too much. Just think about your favorite song or think about something else,'” she says to ESPN.

5. Make a top-notch playlist. In an Entertainment Weekly article, Raisman says she likes music by the likes of Jason Derulo, Colbie Caillat, and Ariana Grande.