Olympic gymnast John Orozco has been the one to watch in London this summer and the Afro-Puerto Rican athlete recently shared how he stays in shape for the Huffington Post Healthy Living.
"I train a total of five hours a day," Orozco said. "I get up in the morning and go to practice from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then I have a break — or physical therapy — and then I start up again at 3:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. I have the fighter as my alarm clock. Seriously! I get up, it’s a normal day — I don’t even think about it anymore. I know what needs to be done to achieve my goals. Its not something that I think about."
Since joining the Olympic Training Committee, the 19-year-old from the Bronx said his diet has received a makeover, trading in fast food for more healthy options that will sustain his rigorous training schedule.
"Before competition, I didn’t used to eat anything because I don’t want to go in feeling heavy. But now, I have yogurt or something healthy with a lot of protein mixed with carbs," he said. "At home in New York, always on the go, I'd get fast food or quick takeout food. I used to order pizza late at night and that was really bad food for me. Now that I’m at the OTC, I have a great plan because nutritionists helped me learn about what portions I need to be eating, proper nutrients."
Orozco, who's been doing gymnastics since he was eight years old, not only trains hard, but he also coaches younger kids to be just as good on the mat and compete their hearts out.
"The number-one thing I tell them is to make every day count. Get at least one thing done. Make sure you're progressing each day, especially on hard days, when you have an injury or you don't feel like being there. It's really important to always work hard," he said. "I mean, the way I see it: if you’re going to start something, you better be committed and stay true to yourself and make sure you make it happen. It has gotta come from within you, the desire to make it happen no matter what."
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