The Final Five U.S. gymnasts talk about how they got their incredible abs, and warn against adopting unhealthy habits

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated December 19, 2019 09:21 AM
Credit: Source: Simone Biles/Snapchat

It takes hundreds of thousands of flips to get abs like the Final Five.

The gold medal-winning U.S. gymnasts stopped by the PEOPLE Now studios, and warned against adopting unhealthy eating habits to get their muscular builds.

“Okay, I have to say something. It’s not something that happens overnight. We’ve been training for years and years and years,” Aly Raisman, who also won silver medals in the all-around and floor competitions, says when asked about her ripped stomach.

As the other team members – Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles – nod in agreement, Raisman, 22, continues.

“So it’s not something – it just happens,” she says. “We work super hard, but I think it’s also important to say, that we just ate pizza, it’s all in moderation. Of course we eat very healthy, but it’s all about having that healthy balance if you want to splurge.”

“You can do it, it’s okay,” Hernandez, 16, says of indulging in pizza from time to time.

Kocian, 19, agrees, adding, “We’ve all been doing this sport for many years now, so I think you just have to keep a healthy, balanced lifestyle.”

Plus, they add, those six-(or eight- or ten-!)pack abs don’t stick around for too long!

“Two days! It goes!” Douglas, 20, says, about their stomachs after a big competition.

“I wake up and they’re gone!” Hernandez says. “You’re in top shape for just a couple weeks at a time. You don’t just stay super, super healthy like you would for the Olympics.”

Douglas previously said that ahead of the Rio games, she would keep her diet extremely clean.

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“I try to do six days a week of just no sugar, no sweets, no cakes, no cookies, or anything,” Douglas said. “I only allow myself to have one cheat day where I get to kind of have – not whatever I want – but a little bit of sweets.”

And then the treat yourself time comes post-Olympics.

“I usually go out with my family and just have pizza, something that will really satisfy me,” she says. “When I come back, I’m like ‘I want pizza, I want greasy foods!’ “