What do you do on a daily basis? Waking up, hitting the gym, heading to work, and winding down at home may be part of your regular routine. If you turn on Monday Night Football or another televised sporting event as part of your relaxation and wonder what the likes of top athletes do every day, you’re not alone.
While Tom Brady, Venus Williams, and other athletes seem like they’re untouchable in their respective sports, they have some elements of their routines that may mimic your own, along with training regimes that are out of this world. Below, you can learn about the daily routines of some of the top athletes in the world.
Tom Brady: Staying Fit as the Oldest NFL Player
It’s well-known that Tom Brady is the oldest player in the NFL for the 2022 season. Currently 45 years old, he has to do a bit more than the average NFL player to stay in shape. He tries to go to bed by 8:30 p.m. each night so he can counter his 5:30 or 6 a.m. wake-up time. Upon waking up, he’ll start his day with 20 ounces of electrolyte-infused water to hydrate himself properly. He’ll follow this glass of water with a high-calorie, high-fat smoothie, which usually contains ingredients like blueberries, bananas, seeds, and nuts.
Once he finishes enjoying breakfast, Brady will begin training at around 8 a.m. He always gets a massage before and after training so he can prepare his body for intense sessions and recover properly. After training, Brady may spend his mornings doing activities such as going to the beach, surfing, golfing, or cliff-diving. Depending on whether or not he’s in season, he may review game footage to note areas of improvement.
Once noon strikes, it’s lunchtime for Brady. During the NFL season but on non-game days, he may reach for something with whole grains, legumes, dark leafy greens, or grass-fed meat. If he’s eating on game day, he may choose something lighter and simpler, like a smoothie and a sandwich with jelly and almond butter. During the season, he’ll train with his team from around 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. If it’s the off-season, he’ll work out on his own or partake in surfing.
In the evenings, Brady may do some foam rolling, yoga, or transcendental meditation to promote his physical and mental health. He may also receive chiropractic adjustments to further promote recovery after a busy day. He also spends quality time with his three children, whether that be playing games with them or reading books to them before their bedtime.
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Venus Williams: Keeping Vegan and Keeping Fit
Venus Williams is currently the oldest women’s tennis player at 42 years old, and she doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon. Her thoughtful routine helps her remain competitive in this sport that has a lot of younger athletes. After going to bed at a decent time, usually around 11:30 p.m., she starts her day by waking up around 7:30 a.m. While she’s stated before that it’s difficult for her to eat first thing in the morning, she recognizes that she needs fuel to train and play.
Williams started following a mostly vegan diet in 2011 to help her manage Sjogren’s syndrome, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes digestive problems, joint pain, and other issues. Thus, her breakfast may consist of some fruit, a cup of green juice, a protein smoothie, or an occasional egg-white omelet with tomato. Once she finishes her breakfast, she’s usually training by 8 a.m. She may work with a trainer or have her sister, Serena, or her father, former tennis coach Richard Williams, accompany her.
After a few hours of practice time, Williams will have lunch, trying to stick to her vegan diet. She’ll have a salad with sliced almonds, spinach, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and onions. For dinner, she may have another salad with fresh vegetables in addition to brown rice with hemp and chia seeds.
Throughout the day, Serena emphasizes stretching to aid in her recovery. She’ll stretch in the morning and after a strength training session or a dance class. Outside of working out, she enjoys spending downtime with family and friends. She also tends to the activities of running her two businesses, which are the interior design firm V Starr and the activewear brand EleVen.
LeBron James: Sleeping His Way to Success
LeBron James has earned his title of King James from lots of hard work on the court, but he attributes his success to prioritizing sleep. While he wakes up at 5 a.m. on most days, he ensures to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep before waking up, meaning he has a bedtime of around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Upon waking up, he’ll enjoy a pre-workout shake. Then, his trainer, Mike Mancias, will guide him in some foam rolling procedures so he can adequately work out kinks in his lower back, hamstrings, calves, and quads.
James loves cardio workouts to warm up, and then he’ll do some strength training that includes core work, lunges, landmine rotational presses, and inverted rows. Apart from his traditional training and basketball exercises, James also likes to perform 100-yard sprints on a football field, use the VersaClimber, do yoga, and practice Pilates.
After working out, James makes a conscious effort to squeeze in a nap each day. He strives to get at least 12 hours of sleep in total, so he may take a two- to three-hour nap depending on how much sleep he got the prior night. While he may allow himself to skip a nap if it isn’t a game day, a nap is an absolute must if he has to play later in the evening.
While he prioritizes the number of hours he gets, James also has very specific sleeping conditions that he establishes. For one, he turns off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before he gets some shut-eye. He also uses the Calm app to play the Rain on Leaves sound, sets his room to the perfect temperature, and ensures that wherever he’s sleeping is completely dark.
As far as diet goes, James avoids fried foods or any food with artificial sweetener, especially on game days. He does believe in moderation, though, and will occasionally enjoy cookies, ice cream, or a glass of red wine. A typical breakfast may include gluten-free pancakes, blueberries, smoked salmon, or an egg-white omelet. For lunch, he may have salmon with whole wheat pasta and vegetables. For dinner, he may dine on a rocket salad and chicken parmesan.
Steph Curry: Being a Family Man and Charitable Player
While Steph Curry is known for his scary consistency with his 3-point shots, he has other roles off the court. He and his wife, Ayesha, founded the Eat. Learn. Play Foundation in 2019, which is a charity that promotes the importance of active living and helps underprivileged children access nutritious food. When Curry isn’t on the court, he’s helping promote this foundation’s cause in any way he can.
As far as his daily routine goes, Curry believes in getting at least eight hours of sleep. He usually goes to bed around midnight and wakes up at around 8 a.m. Like his rival LeBron James, Curry emphasizes the importance of getting a nap in each day. When he first wakes up in the morning, Curry has his wife by his side as his main meal prepper. She’s a renowned cook with several published cookbooks, so she does a lot of the heavy work in ensuring he gets nourishing food.
Curry begins the day with a smoothie that’s packed with protein and antioxidants. Curry enjoys a rather early lunch, eating prepped meals that have healthy starches like sweet potatoes, protein, and vegetables at around 10 a.m. He may reach for another one of these meal-prep boxes at certain points throughout the day, enjoying them as snacks. Curry will sit down with his family, including his three kids, for dinner at around 6:30 p.m. On a typical night, they may eat pasta that Ayesha prepares with baked chicken and her homemade sauce.
Novak Djokovic: Sticking to a Gluten-Free Diet
Novak Djokovic has earned 21 Grand Slam singles titles due to his hard work and a strict regime that helps him stay in tip-top shape. He notoriously sticks to a gluten-free diet, and he tries to eat all of his food within an eight-hour period. He fasts for 16 hours a day to promote better digestion, and he avoids eating too close to his bedtime so his body can focus on achieving a restful night’s sleep. He typically goes to bed between 11 p.m. and midnight and wakes up at 7 a.m.
Djokovic starts his day with a tall glass of room-temperature (not ice) water to get hydrated and promote better digestion throughout the day. He also tops this off with two teaspoons of manuka honey from New Zealand for its antibacterial and energy-boosting properties. Some foods that Djokovic may eat throughout the day include mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, gluten-free oatmeal, avocado, tuna, gluten-free toasted bread, gluten-free pasta, and vegetables. Any meat he eats, whether it be salmon, steak, or chicken, is free-range, grass-fed, and organic.
As you’ve learned, even the world’s top athletes have routines that may parallel aspects of yours. They have to get in their nutrients and sleep to perform well, just as you do. It’s interesting to learn about some of the extremes they take, though, to be able to maintain their performance standards and perform at the highest levels in the world.