Former elite gymnast and diver Ella-Mae Rayner, also known as Comet, and Olympic sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, who goes by Nitro in the BBC show Gladiators, have shared their top exercise tips
Two of the stars of the smash TV hit Gladiators have offered their top tips for getting in fighting fit.
Since the show launched on BBC1 earlier this year, millions of Brits have watched in awe as the chiselled superheroes work their way through the brave contenders each Saturday night.
But just how do the stars of the show get their bods so toned and their physiques so seemingly perfect? James Moore quizzes Comet and Nitro, and reveals their top exercise tips for lesser mortals.
Who: Former elite gymnast and diver Ella-Mae Rayner.
Top strength: “Flexibility and upper body strength. I’m very fearless.”
Vital stats: The 5ft 8in star loves to walk on her hands: “I can hold a handstand for a minute.”
Training regime: “I train six days a week, two hours a day.
“Before Gladiators I was doing resistance training mixed with cardio like swimming or a HIIT session. Then I went a bit more CrossFit-style training to improve my aerobic capacity and did some contact stuff, like rugby tackling in the park, to get used to one-on-one combat. I also started wall climbing. I always have a rest day too.”
Injuries: “In 2017 I injured my left ankle which stopped me continuing with gymnastics and my aim to be a stuntwoman. Then during filming for Gladiators, I broke my right ankle. It took about six months to recover. My surgeon has assured me it’s fixed, but I’ve got metal in both feet now.”
Diet: “I’m quite disciplined with my food. I eat five meals a day and always prioritise protein, which is good for muscle growth, repair and maintenance. I also always make sure I have carbs around my workout.
“Pre-workout I’ll have oats, cereal or cream of rice. After my workout I always have carbs or protein and then three other snacks throughout the day with protein, carbs and veggies.”
Guilty pleasure: “I’m a chocoholic. I couldn’t go a day without it. I love white chocolate, like Milky Bars, but all in moderation though.”
Calorie intake: “Up to 2,000 a day.”
Health conditions: “None. I make sure I get my veggies in every day, am drinking enough water, get my steps in and sleep well. All of that is hopefully going to help with longevity.”
Secret habit: “I really enjoy painting. It’s so therapeutic.”
Top tip: “If you’re a pure beginner or a couch potato, the number one thing I would do is walking. It’s the most underrated form of exercise. If you’re thinking of taking it to the next level and getting in the gym then lift some weights, but make sure you follow a programme.”
Who: Olympic sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
Top strength: “Explosive energy and the ability to jump high.”
Vital stats: The 5ft 11in star has 17in biceps and says: “I’ve sprinted up to 27mph.”
Training regime: “I’ve been training in the field of athletics for 20 years. I’m probably training five days a week, four hours a day. I’m on the track and in the gym doing everything from squats and power cleans to plyometrics.
“Before Gladiators I made sure I did lots of conditioning work for my tendons. I spend a lot of time on functional movement too – learning how to move in the correct manner.”
Injuries: “In my youth I had stress fractures in my back and I’ve had hamstring injuries, tearing a couple of tendons, which has taken its toll.”
Diet: “I like my morning coffee and porridge, but I don’t want to run around on a full stomach, so I like a later brunch with four eggs, turkey rashers and chicken sausages – lots of protein.
“I also have protein shakes and take supplements, like magnesium, zinc and vitaminD.”
Guilty pleasure: “I do like to snack on popcorn and Haribos, but I hate bananas.”
Calorie intake: 3,500-4,500 a day.
Health conditions: “I’m asthmatic. I only get an attack once every few years but my breathing is vulnerable when it’s very cold or very hot.”
Secret habit: “I play Football Manager to relax.”
Top tip: “Find something that you enjoy and then you’ll give it 100 per cent. I love playing badminton, for instance.”
- Gladiators is on BBC One on Saturdays at 5.50pm