"I hate going to the gym": Torah Bright shares her fitness secrets
She's one of Australia's most well-known snowboarding champions, with gold and silver Olympic medals to boot; but Cooma-born Torah Bright is unfazed by all her achievements. Kind, bubbly and disarmingly nice, she even taught a complete novice (me) how to snowboard for the first time (ok, not really) without losing her patience once. As one of Roxy's sponsored athletes, Torah is in a league of her own. It's not just the obvious passion for her sport that gets her up and training every morning, she simply lives and breathes the lifestyle that goes along with it. Whether its designing her own Roxy snowbarding range, Bright Edition, or test driving Roxy's Biotherm collaboration (a neckwarmer that moisturises your skin while you wear it - ace), Torah is the reason why skiers (me) think they can attempt snowboarding. She just makes it seem effortless.
Here, she shares her ultimate health, fitness and snowboarding tips (if only we could all be this committed).
What's an average day on a plate for you?
I usually start the morning off with a protein shake, whether that's out of ease or because I'm heading to the gym. After the gym I'll have some eggs or something like that. Then, I head out to the mountain, and come back for lunch. I try to cut out diary and wheat when I can because I know I feel better without it. So [I go for] good sources of protein and a bunch of vegies and then for dinner, it just varies - protein again and also a bunch of vegies.
Do you have any particular diet when you're competing or is it generally quite consistent?
It's pretty consistent but if I'm tired I will cut out all sugar, dairy and wheat because they're things that I've noticed really trigger me and make me feel fatigued. So for me, it's just listening to my body because it always tells me what I need.
Is there anything you don't eat or drink? Do you have caffeine?
I do occasionally, but it's very limited. I don't drink alcohol - I definitely don't feel like I've punished myself the night before! I take supplements, mainly magnesium, zinc and vitamin C. You know the 80/20 rule? You've got to let yourself have some fun because you're human, there's some pretty great-tasting things in the world that make you pretty happy so the 80/20 rule is a good one to live by.
Do you have any food weaknesses that you find really hard to resist?
When I have sugar cravings... it's chocolate. I just love chocolate.
How do you stay focused and eat healthily when its cold outside?
Well a big, hot steak is pretty good with steamed veggies! I mean, for carbs and things like that I have sweet potato and other substitutes, but if I'm really craving [carbs] I'll have them. But it's not something that's in my diet every single day.
What would be an average week of training for you?
It's different for in-season and out-of-season because in the middle of a winter season - northern or southern hemisphere - I really don't train too much in the gym, its more recovery type stuff like yoga and whatever feels good. If I'm in the gym and have sore muscles, it's not really helping me snowboard, so I try to focus on making the most out of my time when I'm on snow.
In between seasons, I train in the gym and do a variety of different things. I definitely have to make it fun because I hate going to the gym. I hate it! But sometimes I'm like 'Oh I do enjoy a little bit of weights stuff' but yeah lots of low-weight but high-rep type things. Yeah just a mixture - Pilates, a little bit of strength training like weights but mainly just geared towards what I need for my sport.
What kind of exercise is beneficial for snowboarding?
Well, you need strength in your whole body because it's a high-impact sport. So being strong, you prevent injury and also recover quicker. It's definitely targeted at the whole body. I've had a few shoulder injuries, so I need to focus on my shoulders, but core is huge and of course lower body and the legs.
Do you train most days or do you have rest periods?
I would say there's rest periods - if I have a lot of travel on or I'm exhausted, I don't try and push it. Some days I'll just go for a walk, other days I'll do yoga so I do listen to my body and what it's kind of telling me. When I'm not on snow is when I kind of push in the gym and build fitness so that I'm good to go for the winters.
How often are you in-season and out-season?
In northern winter, I would be on snow from about November to April, sometimes into May. That's kind of the peak season on snow. So then I'll have more or less May and June, there's still things going on, but that's when I'd start to train again. Then back down to the southern hemisphere for the winter and that's on July, August and September it slows down again. September, October is that period before the northern winter again.
Let's talk about the Biotherm Roxy range. Were you one of the first few people to trial it?
[Roxy] had definitely figured it out, but we were the original guinea pigs. We weren't really involved in the conversations but definitely the testers, the prototypes. The collaboration and science behind it is genius and so well done.
What difference has it made in terms of chaffing and protecting your face?
It's huge, actually. Just yesterday I was talking to a girlfriend, she was like, "Yeah I had to take a couple of days off - my chin was just getting so raw." I can't remember the last time I've had an experience like that - it's been years. So that was interesting and I told her about what we were doing at Roxy.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
I'll finish this southern winter around the end of September, go to a friend's wedding in the States and then I'll have a little getaway with my husband in October. October and into November will be my off-snow training session and then December I'll be back over in the States getting ready for the winter. This year I'm hoping to get to Alaska for a film project... there's lots of fun things going, I can't wait.
A lot of girls are put off snowboarding because its seen as a bit of a guy's sport. What advice would you give to girls that want to try it?
I would say, try it! If you can find another girl who's up for the journey and the adventure - perfect. Otherwise just get out there. If you skate or surf, snowboarding is the easiest out of those sports. I think the best thing is to ask yourself if you want to do it, why not? What's stopping me?
The Roxy Biotherm neckwarmer range is available now. Head to roxyaustralia.com.au to shop online.
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