*20-year-old Olympic Gold medalist Gabby Douglas says that it takes more than 30 hours in the gym each week to perfect her craft and keep her body super fit.
In an interview with SELF, Douglas and her trainer, Christian Gallardo, reveal that her intense regimen to prepare her for competitions includes strength training and conditioning work in the morning, and hours spent working on her floor routines, as well as practicing for the balance beam and uneven bars.
“Gabby gets it. She understands,” Gallardo told the publication. “She gets in there, busts her butt and works out hard. But instead of saying ‘Ugh, that was so exhausting,’ she’ll say, ‘I’m so much better because of it.’”
Gabby says the ritual of learning new moves and skills is what keeps her focused and pushing hard in the gym. “Learning new skills and tricks fuels my passion,” she said.
“It’s kind of like I’m talking inside my head. I’m my biggest critic. Everything has to be perfect for me, and I’m just so precise–even to the last fingertip…What I’m looking for is to just reach the maximum and reach 100 percent of my talent. What that is is just doing better than I did before. It has to come from your heart. You really have to love gymnastics. Love the tough and the hard days. Because when the easy days come, it’s just so effortless. Nothing in life is ever handed to you. You have to go out there and you have to get it.”
READ RELATED STORY: Gabby Douglas Wins at American Cup; Dialed in for Olympics
Gabby’s world changed overnight after her performance at the 2012 London Olympics, where she became the first African American to win the coveted all-around gold. Hers was among the more riveting stories of the Summer Games.
Check out Douglas in action below, and when the Olympic games commence on August 5 on NBC.