Aaron Gordon’s Trainer Shares His Secrets

Background

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.

I have worked with athletes of all ages, from elementary to high school, Division 1 collegiate athletes and professionals. As of right now, I am training NBA player, Aaron Gordon, and up-and-coming musician, Deonte Moore.

“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:

  • Meditation
  • Sleep
  • Hydration
  • Diet

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.

For everyone’s body to be 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, and
  • A multivitamin, for everyday optimal performance and recovery.

On Rest and 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.

Advice for recreational athletes looking to be successful in their own training?

I always recommend to all athletes 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!!

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, focusing 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.

NBA’s Aaron Gordon

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.

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. 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.

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 let’s 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 the 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.

Becoming a YOLKED Athlete

Being a serious athlete takes more than 100s of hours in the gym. For all that training, recovery is essential. Recover clean with YOLKED, scientifically proven to help your body utilize protein more efficiently to build lean muscle and improve recovery.


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