scorecardI tried working out like Simone Biles for a week, and now I have even more respect for Olympic athletes
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I tried working out like Simone Biles for a week, and now I have even more respect for Olympic athletes

Fabiana Buontempo   

I tried working out like Simone Biles for a week, and now I have even more respect for Olympic athletes
LifeThelife5 min read
I adapted a Simone Biles-inspired workout routine I could follow.     Fabiana Buontempo for Insider; Francois Nel/Getty Images
  • I followed a Simone Biles-inspired workout routine for a week to see what it was like.
  • This regimen consisted of lots of full-body sessions that left me sore.
  • This week humbled me, and I'd highly recommend trying Biles' routine.

Gold medalist Simone Biles has changed the gymnastics game with her gravity-defying stunts leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

I researched how the famous gymnast stays so fit and found she trains about seven hours a day - she told Jimmy Fallon in 2021 that she works out six days a week, often twice a day.

As a fan of Biles, I tried an adapted version of her routine for a week, so keep reading to find out what it was like following an Olympian-inspired training regimen.

Day 1: I started my experiment with a cross-training-inspired workout

The writer
I swam 10 laps in my pool.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

Biles told Women's Health in 2016 that she has used cross-training - a mix of swimming, running, and biking - to prepare for her competitions.

Since it's summer and I have access to a pool, a cross-training session seemed doable, so I tried my best to channel my inner Olympian.

Biles said she would swim almost a mile, but I aimed for 10 laps in my pool, back and forth, and struggled to complete even that, taking multiple breaks by standing in the shallow end.

A selfie of the writer in front of a bush
I barely jogged for a mile.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

Determined to finish, I toweled off and jogged around my neighborhood for barely a mile until my legs were extremely tired, so I decided to save the biking portion for another day.

Day 2: My legs were burning from an intense bike ride

The writer taking a selfie on her bike
I needed to give my upper body a rest.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

My upper back and arms were extremely sore from my swim, so I decided to give my upper body a break and tackle the bike ride I skipped yesterday.

Biles told Women's Health that she'd bike 10 miles outside, which sounded intimidating to me. So instead of setting a concrete goal, I cycled around my neighborhood for as long as I could.

I tracked my workout with my Apple watch and surprisingly ended up riding for 6 miles.

My quads were burning by the end, and I was out of breath but felt great for getting out of my head and just going for it.

Day 3: Biles' brutal ab routine left me in pain

The writer doing a superman hold
I did several Superman holds.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

I was feeling really motivated to continue this week of training, so I followed the athlete's ab routine but knew I had my work cut out for me.

PopSugar broke down Biles and teammate Jordan Chiles' 11-round ab routine, which reportedly should only take 15 minutes to complete. I don't usually dedicate a workout solely to training my core, but I went into today's session with the best intentions.

The writer doing a hollow hold
The hollow holds were very difficult.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

Biles' workout reportedly consists of exercises like Superman and hollow holds and pulses, regular and single-leg V-ups, and scissors, as well as different kinds of sit-ups and leg lifts.

After the third round, I struggled to get through each of the moves. The hollow holds were becoming so difficult that I could barely lift my legs off the ground.

I struggled through another two rounds - which included more superman lifts and hollow holds - before calling it a day.

Day 4: This slow-paced dance workout made all of my muscles burn

My abs didn't know what hit them after yesterday's intense core workout, and I don't know how Biles makes it through all 11 rounds.

According to, Biles told NBC's "Today" show that she found ways to exercise at home during quarantine, like dance workouts, walking her dog, and handstand presses and holds.

Biles said she specifically followed a twerking-style session she called a "twerkout," but since that's not my forte, I opted for a dance sculpting routine I found on YouTube.

The 30-minute routine - which consisted of exercises like glute kickbacks, plié squats, Superman lifts, hip raises, and boat holds - ended up being a tough full-body workout with a lot of small movements.

Although the routine wasn't fast-paced, my muscles were still burning, and I had to wipe my sweat a few times.

Day 5: Today's bodyweight workout was quite a challenge

The writer doing a push-up
This workout included push-ups.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

The week of Biles-inspired workouts was nearing the end, and although I felt motivated, I was still sore and tired.

For today's workout, I searched for gymnastics-inspired bodyweight routines and found one I could easily follow. This week consisted of a lot of full-body sessions, including this one, which I was getting tired of.

The writer doing a jackknife workout move
I powered through this workout.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

The routine consisted of exercises like bear planks with butt kicks, crab reaches, push-up to plank jackknives, wall walks, and pike presses.

I did each move for 30 seconds and recuperated for 20 between each one, doing my best to get through three rounds. Sometimes I had to rest a bit longer, but I powered through even when it wasn't easy.

Day 6: Foam rolling and stretching in certain places was painful

The writer stretching on a blue yoga mat
I needed a day to rest my muscles.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

At this point in the week, I needed an active rest session - my muscles were sore every day and I couldn't imagine going through another intense routine.

So I put on some relaxing music and rolled out my yoga mat to do a full-body stretch and some foam rolling.

The writer foam rolling
This foam-rolling session was quite painful.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

The stretching felt great but the foam rolling was painful, specifically in my glutes, quads, and upper back. I held the roller on each sore muscle for a few breaths before moving to the next spot.

I'm happy I took this day to show my body some love, despite it being slightly painful.

Day 7: I ended this week of workouts with a long run

The writer taking a selfie outside
I ran three miles for my final workout.      Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

I felt good today, especially after yesterday's active recovery day, so before I could talk myself out of it, I went on a long run.

When I jogged around my neighborhood earlier this week, I barely lasted a mile, so I was determined to run at least three. I'm not a runner, but I made sure to start off slow and keep a good pace throughout.

There were some points I felt like quitting but I powered through and gave myself a pat on the back for accomplishing my goal.

After trying Biles' workout for a week, I have even more respect for how hard Olympic athletes train

This week of trying Biles' routine was the second time I attempted an athlete's workout regimen, and it wasn't any easier.

I wasn't surprised at how intense Biles' routine was, but rather by how many full-body workouts she does a week.

Each session humbled me, and although I was familiar with a lot of Biles' moves, some of the unique ab exercises stumped me.

I have so much respect for how hard all athletes, especially Olympians, train for their sport and how many hours they dedicate to getting their bodies in the best shape.

Overall, I really enjoyed this week of workouts that left me sore and sweaty. I think everyone can learn a few things from Biles and incorporate some of her exercises into an already established routine.