When Christoffer Wikke Hallund was a young boy, he started playing football but quickly got bored running around the pitch after a ball. Then his parents introduced him to gymnastics and he was immediately smitten. “I’ve always loved doing handstands and forward rolls and just found gymnastics really fun,” he says.
This was the beginning of his passion for men’s artistic gymnastics – an incredibly demanding sport that requires exceptional control and extreme strength. Over the years, Christoffer has spent countless hours in gymnastic centres perfecting different movements, which has taught him the value of dedication and attention to detail. “I enjoy taking on a challenge and then persevering until I’ve achieved a new level of technical difficulty. It’s a natural high,” he says.
Maintaining focus under pressure
Christoffer’s discipline and talent mean he now competes at the highest level. During gymnastics competitions, gymnasts are scored according to their level of difficulty and the technical content. This means they have to make the difficult decision between taking a risk on a complicated movement in order to achieve a higher score or playing it safe.
“It only takes one error and you can be out of the competition. In gymnastics, everything you do has to be perfect,“ he says. Competing under this level of pressure means that nerves are a natural part of any competition. However, Christoffer is now able to use his nerves as a positive energy that can focus him on his routine so he can bring out the best of the many hours spent on training.
Six days a week, Christoffer can be found training in the gymnastics centre for three hours each time. All sessions start with a warm-up to get his muscles and joints ready. This can include bench presses or pull-ups with weights. After his warm up, he gets started on the gymnastics and works with three of the six different pieces of apparatus during each session: the pommel horse, the vault, the rings, the parallel bars, the high bar and his floor routine.
Protein for strength
And it goes without saying that his level of training requires a serious focus on food and diet. This is an important part of maintaining his physique. In particular, he makes sure he gets enough protein to build muscle strength.
If you need to boost your diet with extra protein, whey protein is a great choice. Whey protein is a naturally-occurring complete protein that is high in all the essential amino acids needed in diet, including the amino acid leucine, the most powerful amino acid for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
Christoffer now has his sights set on the next Olympics. This is an ambition that requires numerous hours of hard work – but happily this is what he enjoys most. And with the dedication and commitment he invests in his sport, it can only be a matter of time before he achieves his dream and makes the Olympic team.
Wishing you all the best with your gymnastics Christoffer!