The world of competitive sports is harsh and unforgiving. If you are one second slower or one step behind the opposition, they win and receive all the glory, while 2nd place is often viewed as the loser.
Therefore, athletes will go to great lengths to ensure that they stay in the best shape possible to retain their competitive edge. This means extreme diets and methods for training and recovery are not uncommon. Let’s take a look at how some of the world’s best athletes stay in top shape.
Russell Wilson is the star NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. As a mobile quarterback, he is required to be a very dynamic and explosive athlete, one that can make plays both throwing and on the run. To prepare himself for this arduous sport, Wilson has some excessive methods.
Altogether, Russell Wilson admits he spends over $1 million a year on his nutrition and fitness staff. This may sound exorbitant, but whatever keeps him in shape is certainly worth it in the long run, as his contributions to the Seahawks make them a prominent team in the NFL betting odds. He considers this price tag an investment in his body.
So where does this money go? Well, as part of his staff, Wilson has one full-time personal trainer, one physical therapist, one masseuse, two chefs, and he also has two hyperbaric oxygen chambers. What these devices do is speed up the recovery of numerous ailments by allowing you to breathe in air pressure levels 1-3 times higher than average. For Wilson, no expense is spared to stay on top of the sport of football.
Tom Brady is another elite quarterback who has his own philosophies on training and nutrition. Brady has created his own workout plan dubbed “TB12” that he strictly follows. The overall goal is to ensure he stays flexible, active, and drains his muscles of lactic acid, but does not overly stress or shock his body.
Brady does not bench press, squat, or deadlift like other professional football players. This routine instead incorporates at-home workout equipment like medicine balls, foam rollers, and lots of resistance band exercises. The routine consists of band pulls, crunches, heavy medicine ball slams, and other low-intensity movements.
Another big factor that he insists is key is his very specific diet. Brady eats almost 100% vegetarian, and only indulges in fish and eggs on occasion. Everything must be locally sourced organic produce, with lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts. All of this effort has proved worthwhile. Brady has managed to win the most recent Super Bowl championship at the age of 43, a testament to his consistency.
On the more extreme end are powerlifters and strongmen like the 4x World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw. While from the outside, it may appear that strongmen like him are just eating massive amounts of whatever food is around and throwing weights all about, there is surely a method to the madness.
Indeed, these strength athletes take a very specific and scientific approach to everything they do, from nutrition, to training and recovery. With such fierce competition, you must be doing something right to have as many accolades as Shaw. It all begins in the kitchen, and this is where Shaw spends a large portion of his day.
Strongmen like Shaw often consume 10,000-12,000 calories per day. This is spread out across 6-7 meals, two of which are often protein shakes and snacks. The day begins with breakfast, which is a heavy mixture of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to immediately replenish the body after waking up.
Normally, Shaw has several bowls of cereal, peanut butter, and 7-8 eggs. An average day will continue with bowls of pasta, multiple steaks, pounds of chicken and half a cheesecake for dessert.
After a massive training session that includes throwing kettlebells 15 feet in the air, pressing hundreds of pounds over his head, and possibly pushing a bus, it’s time to recover from the strenuous day.
For most strength athletes, ice baths are a must. Alternating between these and saunas helps to relax the muscles and increase blood flow. Shaw may also spend 12 hours or more each day just sleeping, which is the time your muscles grow. Of all the different sports in the world, the strongmen lifestyle may be one of the most demanding of all.