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Training is often a full-time job for an elite athlete, so their entire day, most days of the week, often revolves around training, nutrition and recovery. It all comes together to ensure they’re able to continue performing at a high level and compete well when it counts.
Laura Hingston is an elite diver from Melbourne and part of Diving Victoria, with career highlights including making the Australian National Squad in 2017 and winning silver at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2018. She’s currently in her fifth year of diving and aiming to make it to Tokyo in 2020. After a recent shoulder injury, she’s back at it again, showing us all exactly why she earned the childhood nickname “bruiser,” due to her drive and ability to always go hard or go home.
So, what does a day in the life look like for her?
For many of us, Laura’s training days might appear a little brutal!
On a day leading up to a competition, she might enjoy an extra sleep in, courtesy of her coach, but on a normal day, she’s arriving at the pool around 6 a.m., before heading over to VIS for a strength session afterward. (Strength training is a huge part of Laura’s routine; did you know divers hit the water at 60 km/h? That means they need very strong upper bodies to absorb the impact.)
Her morning routine, both at the pool and at VIS, where she completes her strength training, could include dry land training (performing somersaults and dives onto a soft landing to further perfect technique), shoulder rehab, strict leg lifts to create a strong core, split squat jumps and flywheel rotations to help twisting dives. This is done with the assistance of Laura’s strength and conditioning coach.
One goal for Laura’s morning workouts? She hopes to do 100 double unders while rope jumping in a row at some point this year, and she’s getting pretty close!
After a recovery session with contrast therapy, making good use of VIS’s ice baths, spas and saunas, Laura wraps up her morning fitness session and runs to grab a bite to eat, after being at the gym and/or pool for about four hours.
What could a meal for Laura look like? It could be something as simple as peanut butter toast on the go, or avocado toast with a few eggs and a side of homemade green juice. Lunch might be a chicken and salad roll. Whatever it is, you can be sure it’s nutritious.
After a short nap, Laura heads back over to the pool for another three hours of training. She typically trains six days a week, taking only Sunday off. In the latter half of the day, her training often includes platform dives, including 10m platform dives, perfecting five different dives. A typical evening session will include a total of 70 dives with bigger sessions including as many as 100 dives!
Then, it’s time to head home and relax a bit before the next big day. Laura knows the importance of downtime and mental health for athletes — She’s a Lifeline Community Custodian, part of an AIS initiative to reduce the stigma around mental health. For her, downtime usually includes a bit of rest, dinner (another nutrient-rich meal, with some protein, veggies and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes) and hanging out with family or friends.
After all that Laura will aim to be in bed by 10pm.
Do you see any similarities between Laura's nutrition and exercise regime?
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