IMAGE_Nile Wilson-L

Nile Wilson: Elite Gymnast Flies through the Air with the Greatest of Nutrition

By Herbalife Staff
July 13, 2016

There’s an old saying that “Being a gymnast is having the strength to hold on and the courage to let go.” There’s no doubt that UK gymnast Nile Wilson, who is set to compete on the world stage in 2016, is in firm possession of both strength and courage, as well as a natural aptitude and flair for this most demanding of sports.

“Gymnastics is highly unique in that few people in the world are able to do what we do,” says Wilson. “Many can run, swim, cycle and kick a football, but most cannot fly through the air, twist, turn and have the strength and control to hold incredibly difficult positions.”

Learning to Fall

Wilson got his start in gymnastics at the age of four when his parents decided that their highly active son — who had split his head open three times — better improve on his spatial awareness, coordination and ability to properly fall. From his first class on, he quickly took to and developed a passion for the sport, wanting to engage in it constantly. “I consider each and every gymnastics apparatus unique, interesting and exciting to train and compete on,” he says. However, his specialties are parallel bars and horizontal bars. More than just getting a thrill out of impressive looking catch and release moves, he’s demonstrated incredible all-around prowess in these two disciplines, reaching the top eight in the world on both in two previous World Championships. He’s accomplished this through laser focus on his training. “Gymnastics is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world that requires a combination of strength, power and muscular endurance,” he says. “When you are an elite athlete in this sport, you’re expected to train 30-plus hours a week. The routines we perform require significant precision and are high risk – the smallest error can mean we’re on the floor. It’s also challenging from a mental perspective, as there is pressure to perform for my team and my country, which I thoroughly enjoy.”

The road to a competition takes around six to eight weeks. Wilson spends one to two weeks building up routine fitness, two to six weeks training heavy and the last two weeks prior to competition tapering his training and polishing his routine. As part of his training, each day he strives to increase the pressure on the situations he’s in. “One thing I do is get everyone in the entire gym to watch my routine, which makes it feel more like it’s a competition,” he says. “This helps me to prepare mentally for the challenge of competing.”

Finding His Balance

Wilson began taking a serious interest in balancing his nutrition at the age of 15 and immediately started seeing incredible benefits to his training, resulting in much more success in competition. For the last five years, he has been constantly experimenting with his nutrition to learn what works best for his body. “I consider nutrition to be incredibly important in gymnastics, where generating strength and power while keeping your body lean and tight is critical,” he says. Wilson also notes that “the supplement market these days is overloaded with information” and that he really likes how “Herbalife® products are science-based and taste great.” He’s also fond of the enthusiastic and supportive community that Herbalife fosters. “I incorporate the products into my training along with balanced nutrition,” he says. “Timing when I eat is of the essence so that I can maximize my time spent training.” Typically on heavy training days, during his first three hour training session, he will use Herbalife24® Formula 1 Sport and sip on it continuously throughout the morning for sustained energy. He also takes Herbalife24® CR7 Drive to enhance his hydration. After his session, he has a healthy meal along with an Herbalife® Protein Bar for extra protein to help build and maintain lean muscle. During his second training session, he uses Herbalife24® CR7 Drive to fuel his muscles and Herbalife24® Rebuild Strength for immediate and sustained muscle recovery.*

Partners in Performance

“My partnership with Herbalife is an incredible opportunity for us to promote and raise awareness of this incredible sport,” he says. “It makes it all the more easy to team up with them since I genuinely believe in their products and community. Our future together is bright and I see great things ahead as we continue to develop it.” In the meantime, Wilson is excited about competing for his country in Rio alongside his teammates. “We’ve all been through the same challenges on this journey,” he says. “Right now it’s my sole focus and winning it has been a dream and a goal of mine for many years. I plan to stay in the sport at least for another cycle to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I just keep trusting the process and loving the journey on my quest to conquer all of my goals.”

Nile Wilson Fast Facts

  • Born: January 17, 1996 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  • Height: 5 ft 5 in (166 cm)
  • Discipline: Men’s artistic gymnastics
  • Level: Senior International Elite
  • Club: City of Leeds Gym Club

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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