In the past, The Gym Spot has reached out to elite gymnast Jack Riek on more than one occasion, whether it be in regards to conditioning at home during lockdown, or insight on tips when it comes to training. This time, we have compiled some questions in order for our readers to get to know a little bit more about Jack, his aspirations and what motivates him.

Also we just want to say a big congratulations on becoming the 2021 Australian National Champion on Rings!

 

  • How does being an athlete inspire you to do good?

When I think about how inspired I was by the gymnasts that came before me I am encouraged to try my best to be a role model, and hopefully inspire some of the next generation.

 

  • What mental tool do you use when you are under pressure?

I think about how it felt in training to do that skill or routine well, and then embrace the moment and go for it. 

 

  • What do you give up to train for your sport?

Doing any sport at an elite level is a big time commitment that requires you to sacrifice a lot, including socialising, studying, and even sleeping!

 

  • Describe yourself in one word.

Relentless. 

 

  • What is one thing you do after performing a routine?

Take a deep breath and move on to the next one. 

 

  • What is the best part about competing?

Getting to test yourself under pressure. 

 

  • What’s your favourite sporting quote?

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise” – Kobe Bryant

 

  • Who is your favourite sports person and why?

That’s a tough one. My favourite gymnast is Epke Zonderland, because of the way he pushed gymnastics forward with his work on High Bar, and because of the things he has done outside of gymnastics. My favourite non-gymnast is probably Tom Brady because he is the ultimate winner. 

 

  • What music do you listen to in order to get motivated for comps?

Whatever I feel I need to get to the right energy level, energetic but focused. 

 

  • What is the best exercise to do in order to build shoulder strength so I can do rings?

If I had to pick one exercise, I would say chin-ups. However, I think shoulder flexibility is just as important as strength for rings. 

 

  • What type of grips do you recommend using and why?

Turn gymnastics does great grips which are specifically designed for men’s gymnastics. I also really like Reichelsport because the leather they use is very tough. 

 

  • What is the best exercise that you recommend to build core strength?

V-snaps. 

 

  • What is your favourite skill to do?

Tippelt on Parallel Bars. 

 

  • How do you keep motivated when things are hard?

I focus on my long-term goals and try to find enjoyment in training. 

 

  • How many hours a week do you train and for how long a session?

I train about 24 hours a week in the gym, with a combination of 3-hour sessions and 1.5 hour sessions.

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