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Addressing Body Image, Nutrition, and Strength Issues in Gymnastics Culture

Today in the podcast, I’m very excited to bring to you an interview I was asked to do with Nicole Ferrier on her podcast. 

Nicole is a fitness professional with a bachelor’s in exercise science and nutrition, a certified personal trainer, a competitor, and an online coach. 

We had an important and informative conversation about some of the cultural issues in gymnastics related to body image, nutrition, and changing the approach to strength and conditioning to make sure it’s in line with the best science and that it is the healthiest approach to training in a hard environment.

Nicole and I talked a lot about these issues which I think are on a lot of people’s minds, related to body image, properly fuelling athletes, and some of the stigmas around aesthetics versus performance.

We explored the need for culture change in the sport so we can best support and help athletes to be healthy, happy, and high performing for the next 10, 15, 20 years and moving away from some of the not so great information around under fuelling or scarcity inside of nutrition of ‘don’t eat this or don’t eat that’. 

Also, we talked about what people can do to work with other experts who can give us some of the best science and updated information on these topics so that our athletes can get the best possible performances. 

This is a wonderful conversation, and I wanted to make sure that I put it up as a podcast, which Nicole was gracious enough to let me share this episode after she published it last month. 

We discuss:

Injury prevention issues in gymnastics.

How to communicate with younger athletes especially when their skill level is at the level of an adult.

Food is fuel.

There’s a time and a place for conditioning. 

Why we need to teach kids how to use technology as a tool and not as a vice.

OCD elbow research paper; from the moment you start to have pain, to the moment you are fully back to gymnastics, what does that entire process look like?


Should parents be allowed to watch training sessions?


Addressing Body Image, Nutrition, and Strength Issues in Gymnastics Culture


Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science