Q&A with Libby Trickett

Three-time Olympian Libby Trickett knows what it takes to be an elite athlete, spending a large portion of her life training to be one of the best swimmers in the world. Gaining seven Olympic medals throughout her career, four of which were gold, there is no doubt that fitness is in her blood.
Since retiring from the sport in 2013 and making the transition back to everyday life and motherhood, Libby is still well immersed within the fitness industry.
Now a mother to daughter Poppy and studying the Australian Institute of Fitness Master Trainer Program™ to become a Personal Trainer, we thought we’d catch up with this superwoman to learn what it really takes to be an Olympic athlete, and find out what inspired her to pursue this new career in fitness.

Libby will be making a guest appearance at this year’s Fitness and Health Expo in Brisbane on the Australian Institute of Fitness stand (H20) on Sunday 23rd October from 11am – 2pm, so make sure you come along and say hi!

When you were leading up to the Olympics / Commonwealth games, how often did you train? Did you incorporate cross training in addition to training in the pool? What was the detailed routine?
In the lead up to major competitions, I would be training 10 sessions in the water, 2 weights sessions, 2 runs, 2 stationary bike sessions, 1 yoga, 1 pilates and 4 ab and core sessions. In total it was around 35 hours a week of training! It was really important for us to do a combination of swim sessions and cross training sessions to create a holistic view of training our bodies.
What is your advice for the next generation/ future Olympians? And your tips for those inspired by the Olympics to become fitter/healthier/stronger?
My advice for any athletes hoping to make the Olympics one day would be to find something that you absolutely love and work your arse off to achieve what you want. It can be tough. It can be difficult and it may seem impossible at times, but if you want it enough and you work smart, I believe that you can achieve it.
How did nutrition play a role in your training leading up to big events? Did your day to day nutrition change around race time? What food or thing did you miss most while you were training hard?
I tried to be really consistent with what I ate throughout training and competition. I never wanted to do anything different when I was racing. I would occasionally stop eating chocolate in the lead up to big meets but generally I would still sneak a piece or two here and there.
How important was massage for you in preparation to an event / in recovery after an event?
Massage kept my body going throughout my swimming career. Particularly as I got older I became more and more reliant on soft tissue work to maintain my body and allow it to continue to recover. I would be getting massages twice week during preparation and at least once a day during competition.
You are obviously a fitness enthusiast, how did your fitness journey start?
I always loved to move. I basically tried any sport I could throughout school and fell in love with swimming from an early age. I just wanted to see what my body was capable of and how far I could push its limits.
What made you want to study the Australian Institute of Fitness Master Trainer ProgramTM?
With my experience through swimming, I have always been interested in how the body works and how to maximise performance but since retiring I’ve also become very interested in and incredibly aware of how important it is to take care of your body for both physical and mental health. I would like to pass on my passion for health and fitness in the future; to educate and help people take care of their bodies and their minds to allow them to live happy and functional lives.
Do you have your own PT and if so, how have they inspired / influenced your fitness journey?
I do work with a PT. To be honest, they partly inspired me to study the Master Trainer ProgramTM with the Australian Institute of Fitness as I could see what a fantastic and positive impact they made on my training, goals and enjoyment of exercise.
What are your favorite exercises (think reps and sets)?
I love anything to do with core.
What about the ones you always dreaded?
Max chin ups.
As a busy mum, how has your training changed? Are you still disciplined on yourself?
My training has changed drastically since becoming a mother. I’ve had to adapt and accept of my body’s limitations at this point but continue to push and test the limits and get stronger again. I like to think that I work hard when I train and I am disciplined but it is difficult to be as consistent as I would like as my life is no longer centred around me. I definitely still try to train 4 times a week but ideally I do something active every day.

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