It goes without saying that it takes a lot of hard work and training to make it to become a pro athlete, but few people know exactly what it takes better than Athletic Performance Coach and Celebrity Trainer, Jordan White.
One thing White stresses is that athletes should always prioritize nutrition and recovery.
What does that mean, exactly?
We sat down with White to get the inside scoop on how he helps Aaron Gordon, NBA Player and #teamyolked athlete, get ready for the court and the recovery tactics that keep his athletes (and himself) primed for every workout.
Q&A Interview: NBA Celebrity Trainer, Jordan White Shares Insight on Training Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon
Jordan White Athletic Performance Coach and Celebrity Trainer
CSCS, EXOS Performance Specialist, DBC-1, USAW, CPR/AED
Thank you for agreeing to do this interview, Jordan! Tell me a little bit about your background. How did you get into the industry?
I grew up very involved in sports since a young age playing competitively in every sport I could: soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and track and field events such as long jump, high jump and even pole vaulting. I fell in love with physical training when I was a freshman in high school, going as hard as I could in every weight room workout to push myself and see what I was made of.
After years of wear and tear on my body and improper recovery, I became plagued with nagging overuse injuries which took a toll on my sports career. After not being able to compete at the next level, I became passionate about strength and conditioning and athletic training because I wanted to help athletes and individuals who had equal drive as me play and compete at the next level…and be able to sustain it.
What kinds of athletes have you worked with?
I have worked with athletes of all ages, from elementary to high school, division 1 collegiate athletes and professional. As of right now I am training NBA player, Aaron Gordon, and up-and-coming musician, Deonte Moore.
As a trainer, what are some of your “secrets” in (and out of) the gym?
Something that I love about this industry is that there are very few “secrets” or overnight success tactics. It’s all about creating positive habits, and doing the right things on a consistent basis.
All of the tedious “little things” make a big difference overtime.
Some key “secrets” or aspects that everyone can control and will have a positive effect on your training results are:
What is your view on nutrition for performance and recovery
An unfortunate underlying theme I see in athletics and everyday clients is the lack of knowledge and education on what is being put into their bodies.
Do your best to eat healthy organic options with a balance of fruits and vegetables, and especially cut down on processed foods pre and post competition / training sessions, it will make a difference in the long run.
Everyone’s body is a well oiled machine it needs the proper fuel to perform at high levels!
My top 3 supplements I recommend to my clients are:
- YOLKED®, to increase protein synthesis and utilization within the body
- Creatine, for performance
- [Multivitamin,] for everyday optimal performance and recovery
What is your advice on rest/recovery?
Without adequate rest and recovery, even the best training program in the world will not yield the results you want.
I am very big on rest and recovery and preach it to all my athletes and clients. Every high intensity workout takes a toll on your central nervous system, if an athlete or client accumulates many high intensity workouts that are taxing on the CNS, without appropriate recovery the individual will have a negative training effect and that can lead to injury or a decrease in performance.
Weekly Yoga days one of my favorite “active rest” tools to work on mobility and give the body / CNS a day to recover. In all my programs my clients will have a yoga or mobility day and full rest day in a training week.
What advice would you give recreational athletes for being successful in their own training?
Advice I would recommend to recreational athletes is to build positive work habits and do the little things day in and day out, especially with recovery / soft tissue and mobility.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to training and then formulate an annual plan.
And… STAY CONSISTENT!!
How do you get into the mental game with your athletes?
I 100% get into the mental game with all my athletes and clients before, during, and after we train! The ability to consistently stay present during a workout has an incredible carry over to competition and everyday life.
Before the workout I set the intent of training while you train, be present and put effort into that mind and body or mind and muscle connection.
During the workout I cue my clients to be mindful of their body and feel muscles working and activating, focus on one rep one breath especially on heavier lifts, I count you lift and breathe.
After every workout I take my athletes through the start of their “mindful recovery”. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, meditation and visualization of sport goals or physique goals in an attempt to get the nervous system out of that sympathetic state or fight or flight mode and into the parasympathetic state, rest and digest. The quicker I can get an athlete and client into that rest and digest state the quicker the body can start its natural recovery process.
So, let’s talk about Aaron. How did you guys meet?
I have known Aaron for about 15 years now since our pop warner football days in elementary school. Our fathers then coached our National Junior Basketball team and we have been very close ever since. Professionally our careers aligned his 2nd year in the NBA when I was an intern at a training facility where he did his off-season workouts.
I put my energy and effort into aiding Aaron in every way I could on and off the court through training and recovery, to ensure he can be the best basketball player – and more importantly – individual possible.
Give me a snapshot of one of Aaron’s off-season workouts vs on-season workouts.
Here’s a brief summary, without going into the different phases of training and load management requirements from in-season to off-season. With Aaron and a lot of my athletes, depending on training age and needs, I am particular to what’s called contrast training.
Contrast training is pairing a high force exercise with a high velocity exercise. So for example Aaron would do a high intensity compound exercise, such as a heavy squat or deadlift and I would then have him do a high velocity exercise, such as a plyometric, box jump or med ball throw. The goal is to still gain strength without sacrificing athleticism so he will hit both sides of the force velocity curve. Load and volume will differ in season but still have to give him that stimulus to maintain off season gains.
How do you motivate an athlete who may be having a rough day?
When it comes to motivating an athlete who has had a rough day or who has a lot of stress happening outside of the weight room I go back to mindfulness training. Let’s leave all the “baggage” and other stress from everyday life outside the weight room to the best of our ability and focus on controlling what we can control right now, effort, energy and focus.
Be present, be where your feet are right now and lets get better today.
Let’s talk about your own training/nutrition/recovery- what do you do to stay in shape?
I take my own training/ nutrition / recovery very serious I feel it’s important to practice what you preach.
I train five days a week with two upper body / rotational days and two lower body days working multiple planes of motion throughout the week with a yoga / mobility day, volume and load will undulate within training week. I do my very best to eat organic all natural foods, heavy on fruits and vegetables and my dietary macro breakdown is high protein, high fat and low-to moderate carbs. I do my best to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night along with daily meditation and soft tissue work to aid in the recovery process.
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