How to train like a super athlete

Dominique Mann, SA’s Top female Aerobic Gymnast, on what it takes to excel

BODYTEC: What motivates you to keep training hard?

DOMINIQUE: I have a few things that motivate me. I love the feeling of being in control of my body. I love putting on my favourite pair of jeans and looking great, but most importantly, the privilege of being able to represent my beautiful country in my sport is more than enough motivation.

What should you one when injured?

Every injury, small or big, should be taken seriously and professional help should be given. The injury needs to be rested and rehabilitated to get 100% strength back - as an athlete this is very important. You can still train “around the injury”. There is never an excuse for no exercise.

How important is living a healthy lifestyle to achieving your fitness goals?

Living a healthy lifestyle is the number one key to achieving your fitness goals. In my opinion, it's simple; you are what you eat. I have proven this to myself many times through trial and error.

How do you push yourself to reach new goals? 

I am a very competitive person, so when I set myself a goal, I won't stop until I have reached it or am satisfied with my attempt. It's impossible to get good results without setting a goal. Another way to keep yourself going is to make a record of each session, write down your progress, and the excitement of even a small improvement will encourage you to push further.

How do you prepare yourself mentally when you compete?

If I think of my entire week of training ahead of me when I wake up on a Monday morning, I instantly feel anxious. You have to break it up and just concentrate on each day at a time. Take it session by session, that way you will be able to give your best at each training session.

How do you keep exercise fun?

Exercise can become monotonous and mentally tiring at times. I like to throw in exciting challenges to get me out my comfort zone. One of my favourite things to do is to make an obstacle course with some gym equipment, and time myself and a training partner to see who can get through it the quickest. I also love doing all sorts of outdoor cardio like swimming in the sea or going for trail run. It's up to you to keep it fun. I also make sure that I feel comfortable in what I’m wearing – so Shock Absorber sports bras really help me.

What do you do when you want to give up?

We all have those days that we want to just give up, it's normal, but this is when we have to dig deep and rise above the negative thoughts. When I have these days, I just take a moment, sit back and look how close I am to achieving my ultimate goal. I find that I feel like this when I have over trained a bit. So, I give my body the rest it needs and come back with a stronger, positive kick.

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