At only age 18, future Olympian Abby Raymond is pushing boundaries and breaking records. At the age of 7, she began training as a gymnast, but eventually found a calling in CrossFit. From there, she realized that weightlifting was her true passion – and she is currently preparing for the 2024 Paris Games.

Even in her young athletic career, Abby’s faced great challenges. At 14, Abby was offered a protein powder supplement – one marketed as being compliant with anti-doping regulations and assured as being safe. Unfortunately, Abby’s anti-doping test came back positive. The result, she explains, was a powerful lesson on the importance of safety in supplements.

It was that experience that led her to Thorne – and why she recommends athletes should look for the NSF certification when it comes to choosing supplements.

“After becoming victim to a contaminated supplement in 2018, I only use Thorne’s NSF Certified for Sport products,” Abby says. “NSF Certified for Sport products are important for athletes to use because they highly reduce the risk of contamination by providing additional finished product testing to check for any prohibited substances.”

Supplement Safety Q&A With Abby Raymond 

What led to your decision to choose Thorne over other brands? 

I chose to partner with Thorne because I’m confident in their products, their advanced comprehensive testing methods, and their manufacturing facility. Thorne’s values to create clean and healthy supplements align with my own values of advocating for a clean sport.

How important is the research and testing that goes into Thorne products to you? 

The research that goes into Thorne’s products is extremely important. I know that by choosing to use Thorne I’m consuming the cleanest and purest supplements because they are intentional about each ingredient and their product testing methods.

Our products fall into several different categories — such as sleep, hydration, muscle recovery and formation, and stress — what area do you focus on most and what product is key in that area?

I use a wide range of Thorne products, ranging from protein powder, to iron, to their Super EPA. As an athlete, I focus most on my recovery—which involves muscle recovery, sleep, and general health. My three favorite Thorne products are their Whey Protein IsolateRecoveryPro, and Creatine.

Has your performance changed since adding Thorne into your training regimen?

Since I started using Thorne products, I’ve noticed that I recover faster, I’m able to endure more intense training, I fatigue slower, and my moods have improved because my overall health is impacted in a positive way.

Training Routines for 2024 Olympics 

Give us a rundown of what a day and week is like for your training. How many hours do you spend training, what routines you have?

I currently train six days a week and typically a training session lasts about three hours. My workouts change based on what cycle of training I’m in—there’s a base phase, a transition phase, and a peaking phase leading up to a competition. My workouts start with a warmup that lasts about 40 minutes, which includes stretching, mobility, and stability work that correlates with various physical therapy exercises to keep my body functionally healthy. After that, I begin my barbell workout on the platform, which usually includes three main exercises that takes about an hour and a half to get through. And lastly, I end with a couple of accessory circuits.

Tell us about your nutrition routines. Do you work with a dietician? Do you have a strict meal plan or avoid certain foods? Any guilty pleasure foods? 

I work with a nutritionist when I need to get down to weight, but recently I moved up a weight class so I’m working to fill that out as best I can with muscle. Lately, I follow a macro plan my coach created to help me get stronger and to eat enough food to put on more muscle and recovery properly. My all-time favorite cheat meal plus a dessert would be homemade pasta with meatballs and a cannoli shake.

Let’s talk protein shakes. Do you have a favorite recipe you could share? 

I love all things chocolate plus peanut butter plus banana, so my favorite protein shake recipe is: 

  1. 1 scoop Thorne’s Whey Protein Isolate chocolate 
  2. 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt 
  3. 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk 
  4. 1/2 banana 
  5. 1/3 cup oats 
  6. 1 tablespoon peanut butter 
  7. 1 tablespoon honey 

How do you unwind after a hard day at the gym? 

After a hard day at the gym, I unwind by spending time with my family (and my dogs) and reading. 

How are you training/preparing for the 2024 Olympics? Doing something different? 

I’m training for the 2024 Olympics by doing the very best I can every single day on and off the platform. I’m trusting the process, believing in myself, and believing in the plan that God has for me.

Who are your biggest supporters?

My biggest supporters are my family, coaches, teammates, and friends. I’m beyond blessed for the support I have, and I am so thankful for those who have both doubted me and those who have encouraged me—I wouldn’t be where I am today without every person who has impacted my journey thus far.

You’ve described your motto as “Strong, kind, different.” Tell us how that came about and what it personally means to you. 

I created the motto “Strong Kind Different” because I want these three words to represent who I am. I strive to not just be physically strong, but more so mentally. Inner strength produces perseverance, which in turn shapes our character. I know what it feels like when others treat you badly, which has shown me the type of person I never want to become. I try my best to live life joyfully and to treat those around me with unconditional kindness. As a young girl who chose to compete in the sport of weightlifting, I was told constantly that I was different. I used to associate being different as a bad thing—but I’ve learned that being different is special. God created each of us in His image with a unique purpose and calling. I want to embrace my differences and encourage others to do the same—live strong, kind, different!

 What advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own athletic career? 

For anybody who is interested in starting their own athletic career, the one piece of advice I would give is don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Prove them wrong because you can do it! If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. Trust the process and don’t give up!

To learn more about Abby and her story, check out this episode of the Performance Edition Thorne Podcast, where Abby talks with Thorne Director of Sport Sciences, Joel Totoro, about supplement safety, Olympic training, and life outside the weight room.