"Olivia Vivian" An Elite Gymnast and a Ninja Superstar's journey

Hello, who are you and what sports/fitness routine do you play?

Hey my name’s Olivia Vivian and I compete in the sport of Ninja Warrior. I used to be an elite gymnast, but the intense hours and culture burnt me out and I lost my love for sport. 

It was Ninja Warrior that reconnected me to that 8 year old who loved playing in the playground and I found a community within this sport that is unlike any other.

Over the years I’ve had many accomplishments such as Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games, but it’s my more recent results in Ninja that showcase how my mindset has changed over the years.

I used to be that Athlete whose goal was just to ‘make’ a stage or beat a certain obstacle, until I said back and asked myself why I wasn’t aiming to win the entire competition. 

Once I changed my mindset, and trusted myself to truly go for it - I’ve been able to accomplish a lot more than just ‘making it’.

For the past four years I’ve been the first and only female to make it into the grand final and top 8 Ninjas in Australia (men and women), and I’ll keep working hard towards my goal of being the first female in the world to win the show and beat the men. 

Is it hard? Absolutely. Most days I feel like a delusional optimist, but that’s a battle a face in my own head.

How do you get ready to train for your sport/how do you train?

I love training F45 which is a functional movement to keep my body well rounded. It mixes up cardio exercises with strength and resistance.

To train specifics like finger & grip strength, I’ll do indoor rock climbing and then some obstacle training to maintain body awareness and movement. It’s hard to find really elite level Ninja gyms in Australia so we actually train in the backyard of one of our ninja friends. He has built a whole rig and puts varied obstacles up so we can practice. 

After a workout/game, how do you recover your body? What do you do to get your body in shape? What type of diet do you eat?

 I love to get high nutrients straight after my workouts. It’s usually in a shake form that includes super greens, protein powder, turmeric and collegian. I can feel my body craving sustenance so I try to feed it straight away rather than waiting an hour for a meal. 

My diet tends to stay pretty clean and healthy aside from my cheeky addiction to chocolate! Haha 

But I’m lucky in the sense that I love cooking and stay away from sugar drinks. 

When it comes to ice baths and hold/cold therapy I know I need to improve in this area. Like most things it usually comes down to conscience and I’ll admit I’m a little lazy with the ice baths. This is something I know I need to work on as the benefits are so worth the effort and slight discomfort.

How do you prevent injuries when you’re training? What type of stretches do you normally do? What’s your routine looking like?

The best way for me to prevent injuries is to try and stay in shape and keep constant movement. Our bodies were made to move and I go a bit crazy if I do nothing for 2-3 days without a workout. 

When I was younger I used to be able to just jump into my sessions and recover without effort, but now I’m older and much more away from the way my body needs warm up and cool down periods every session. 

I’ve had multiple injuries over the years, so I incorporate some rehab/prehab exercises into my warm up routine so that my body is switched on and prepared for my sessions. 

If I do get injured, it’s usually because I didn’t warm up properly and I rushed into it.

If there was someone wanting to get to your level, what type of advice would you give them?

"Don’t be afraid to try something new and don’t give up if you’re useless at first! When I first tried ninja I was terrible! It took me 6 months to get a warped wall! 

But like most areas in life, I tell people to have the courage to set themselves big goals. Believe in them self (which is easier said than done) 

Work hard. This message is overlooked sometimes. To be good at something it usually takes a lot of hard work and mistakes. 

Which brings me to the ultimate tool - persistence. My secret is that I never give up. When I want something, and believe I can do it, I don’t stop until I do. It usually takes me a lot of falls and fails, but I always find a way to get back up and keep moving forward."

How do you structure your day now? What projects are you busy with?

As we go in and out of lockdown I try to keep a routine with my day by starting off with coffee and a workout. It sets my day up to tackle any work projects I have going on. 

I work on lots of campaigns which keeps me busy, and I have some larger projects I’m working on which I can’t disclose right now! 

How has your journey on social media been like? Future plans?

Social media! Haha well what started with an account to just post cool tricks I learn turned into a much larger following which I’m grateful for. I now mostly use it to connect to people in DMs and inspire others.

How can our audience find you online?

Instagram is a great way! @oliviavivian

Link to Olivia's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oliviavivian/  

Olivia is a social media influencer, Olympian Gymnast, and Guinness World Record holder. She has lots of accomplishments such as Olympic World Championships and Commonwealth Games and Ninja.