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The top athletes in the world spend a lot more of their time than people realize focusing on recovery.  As amazing as it is to be the fastest, strongest, tallest, have the best forehand, have the best slam dunks, etc, those people usually aren’t the long-lasting top athletes.  It’s the athletes who take the time to recover who usually end up on top, and on top for the longest.  Let’s look at a few examples: 


LeBron James: 

Some call the GOAT of basketball

Sleeps an average of 12 hours a day

Ices whenever he gets a chance in between his 2-3 training sessions daily

Eats super clean and healthy


Novak Djokovic:

Some call the GOAT of men’s Tennis

Sleeps an average of 8.5 hours a night

Stretches 2-3 hours per day 

Eats and drinks super healthy:

  • Tall glass of room temp water when he first wakes up

  • 2 scoops of Manuka honey

  • Breakfast 1: A power bowl:

  • Gluten free muesli or oatmeal

  • Handful of nuts - almonds, walnuts, peanuts

  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds

  • Fruits on the sides (bananas and berries)

  • Small scoop of coconut oil

  • Rice milk, Almond or coconut milk

  • Breakfast 2 

  • Tuna fish, avocado, and gluten free toast

  • Lunch

  • Gluten free pasta with vegetables (adds protein on match days)

  • Drinks 2 energy drinks with fructose extract and electrolytes before playing, and 1 protein drink after playing (pea or rice protein)

  • Dinner

  • Steak, fish, or chicken


Tom Brady:

Some call the GOAT of football quarterbacks

Sleeps 9 hours a night

Does pliability training before and after all his workouts (he trains 4 times a week so 8 pliability sessions)

Eats super healthy and used to make smoothies with his kids


Serena Williams:

Gets 8 hours of sleep each night

Some consider the GOAT of female Tennis players

Eats a raw Vegan diet during the tennis season

She made flexibility a huge part of her intense training regime (hence the splits)


**During my own sports and fitness journey I found when I was younger I prioritized winning all competitions and trying to be the best at each sport or activity.  As I’ve grown, I realize something that is far more important than defeating all opponents at all times, and that is being healthy on and off the court/field.  In the end, the athlete or person who stays the healthiest and continues to grow (even if at a slower rate than those that are red lining), seem to have the longest and most successful careers.  It’s a combination of putting the ego aside, adjusting the diet, progressive exercise, mobility, flexibility, pliability, hydration, breathing, adequate sleep, and knowing when to take some time off and use RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation).  Just remember, if your plan is to come in, win the Super Bowl in your first season then retire, you can try to set all the records in the gym, just know your career will be shorter. 


Sean’s Recovery Systems:

  1. Ice baths 4 days a week for 3 mins

  2. Sauna almost every day at work for 1-5 mins

  3. Hot tub 2+ times a week

  4. Elevating my feet onto 18- 24 inch box with compression sleeves on for 20 mins throughout the week (I also elevate my feet while I read in bed with pillows)

  5. Constant stretching from the time I wake up until I go to bed, including getting stretched every Friday at the amazing StretchLab in Basking Ridge

  6. Foam roll before each client and often first thing in the am (my favorite are the vibrating sphere,  vibrating foam, and theragun. )

  7. Self massage which I learned from the Tom Brady book TB12.

  8. Just started drinking hydrogen infused water (anti inflammation, enhances antioxidants in water, improves mood, regulates blood sugar levels, reduces muscle fatigue, prolongs lifespan, promotes pH balance, regulates blood sugar levels, promotes weight loss, promotes wound healing, helps cancer prevention, promotes oral and skin health).

  9. Eat healthy every day of the week (Saturday night and Sunday morning I can cheat and have whatever, including pancake breakfast on Sunday each week)

  10. Drink over 100 fluid ounces of water per day

  11. You should have half your body weight in fluid ounces (ex: if you weigh 100 lbs you should have 50 fluid ounces daily), and then add about 10-20% more if you sweat a lot and are very physically active

  12. I also add in LMNT to my water if I know I will be sweating a lot. It has 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium (very beneficial if you are a salt sweater like myself. Best way to test is if your hat, headband or cloths get a white lining from your salts when you sweat)

  13. Sleep 6.5-8 hours every night, and when I have a poor sleep, I try to make sure the next night I’m back on track

  14. Have coffee only if my body needs it (such as after a poor sleep) as sometimes drinking too much caffeine affects people’s sleep, which is actually the most important part of recovery

  15. Wait at least 1.5 - 2 hours after waking to have your first coffee, and don’t drink after 2-3 pm as it can affect your sleep patterns

  16. Make sure to get outside every day by walking my dog or spending time in the ice bath; whenever I’m not at work or have a long break, I try to get outside as much as I can.  On rainy days when I can’t get outside, I take a vitamin D supplement.

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