Pam Buisa, from Gatineau, is 23. Buisa began her athletic career as a dancer and basketball player, which lends itself easily to the flexibility needed to dodge would-be tacklers and offload the ball with flourish. Now a seasoned member of the Canadian Women’s Sevens Team, Buisa is a gold medal Pan Am Games winner and a silver medalist from the Youth Olympic Games. It’s always been about fitness for Buisa, who never gives up. After 6 years making her mark in the Sevens, her eyes are firmly set on the 2020 Olympics. We were able to get a sneak peak of what Pam does in order to ensure that she is in the best condition she can be for achieving her goals:

What is your favourite exercise to do during your workout?

PB: My favourite workout exercise is pull-ups. Pull-ups were not always my strongest suit, but as of right now I’ve set the record for our team and it’s exciting to see how far I’ve progressed. 

What is your favourite cheat day meal?

PB: My favourite cheat day meal is definitely some honey garlic wings. 

What is a piece of advice to get through low motivation days?

PB: A teammate once told me, “Just remember that every time you decide not to put in the work, your opponent is grinding and working twice as hard, so make a choice – who’s it going to be?”

How important is staying hydrated to your fitness?

PB: Hydration is critical to any sort of physical activity. To obtain peak physical performance, during training or competition, hydration is imperative to ensure the nutrients are getting from point A to point B. 

How important is music to your workout and what is your song of choice to get motivated? 

PB: I love music and it is a big part of my game day ritual. Blasting music ranging from gospel to old school helps to calm my nerves before playing. The beauty of music is that it can uplift your mood going into a tough work out. You’ll usually hear me jamming to Dumebi by Remi. 

What sort of supplements do you take?

PB: I usually take my iron supplements, omega 3s, vitamin D in the rainy and dark winter times, and some extra protein to add to my post workout shakes.

How do you change your workouts to accommodate any injuries?

PB: I’m pretty lucky to be supported by great staff that adjust and tailor workouts if an athlete is injured. The great thing about training is that if there’s a will there’s a way. Tailoring a workout is an important way of helping an athlete get back to 100%. Our staff typically gives us supplemental strengthening exercises that are custom-made for each athlete to ensure that we have the right tools to stay healthy for training and competition. 

How often do you eat throughout the day and what sorts of foods do you eat?

PB: Since we train so much we need to fuel our bodies consistently throughout the day to have enough energy for each training session. I typically eat 4 times a day in order to support energy levels, lean mass, and training adaptation. 

I usually have a smoothie in the mornings with Greek yogurt, a protein scoop, some fruits, milk & some toast. For lunch, at training we usually have a catered meal that is healthy and based on the training load we’ve had. After training, I’ll have the rest of my smoothie and for dinner I’ll generally have some meat, vegetables, rice, and a glass of apple juice. 

In your opinion, what is the most important fitness exercise for a rugby player?

PB: As a sevens rugby player, I think it’s important to establish a strong aerobic base. Whether you are playing sevens or fifteens you need to be able to make your way around the field and maintain a certain level of skill under fatigue. With that, pushing yourself to the next level helps you develop and strengthen your mental toughness to break barriers and push yourself to be better. 

What things do you get up to on your off days?

PB: With the free time I have, I’ll usually hang out with friends and go visit cool art shows or any live music happening in town. Also, I love singing karaoke so I’ll be jamming out to tunes with my friends. I also like listening to interesting podcasts.

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