Tori Bowie was a breakout star at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio this year. The American track and field athlete took home three Olympic medals: silver in the 100 meter, bronze in the 200 meter, and gold in the 4×100 relay team. Oh, and this was her Olympic Games debut.
I recently caught up with Bowie at the NYC launch event for the new Adidas Athletics collection to see how the unstoppable athlete stays on her game. Her tips were surprisingly simple. In fact, they are things you can do today, to see improvements in your fitness routine tomorrow. So whether you’re crushing it on the track like Bowie, or just looking to maximize your time at the gym, here are three things you can do to help you reach your goals faster.
1. Get in the zone before tackling a workout or competition. Eliminating distractions and starting in the right mindset is key. “I listen to something slow, something to calm the nerves and relax me, so probably Gospel or R&B,” Bowie explains. Whether it’s a specific playlist, a motivational mantra, or a killer dance move, find a pre-training ritual that gets you pumped up and ready to tackle the hard work ahead.
2. Work on your balance. “Your body can’t get stronger or more powerful unless you’re balanced,” Bowie explains. “That’s where everything begins.” One of her favorite ways to work on her balance is by training with the Bosu ball, she adds. The unstable surface of the equipment forces your core muscles to activate to help you stay balanced. That means your abs are working overtime when you’re doing non-traditional core moves, such as squats, lunges, and push-ups using the Bosu Ball.
3. Don’t skimp on sleep. “I think the most important healthy habit is to rest. Eight hours…every night,” Bowie says. That’s because sleep is when the recovery magic happens—it’s when your muscles repair after an intense workout. Plus, sleep deprivation is a form of stress for the body, and it can lead to a slowed metabolism, weight gain, and decreased athletic performance. So if your schedule is extra packed and you have to choose between skimping on sleep or skipping a workout, sometimes sleeping in might just be the right answer.
SELF – Fitness