An All-Pro Mindset to Sport and Life: NFL champion Brandon Marshall speaks to Technogym

It takes a certain mindset to achieve the great things that Brandon Marshall has achieved. The 36-year old Pennsylvania born athlete, whose NFL dream started at just six years old, played for six NFL teams throughout his sporting career, which spanned from 2006 through to 2018. In this time, he became a number one receiver in the NFL, playing over 13 seasons.

Recently, Brandon launched House of Athlete, a lifestyle wellness company aiming to bridge the gap between mental fitness and physical fitness with a holistic wellness approach. House of Athlete also aims to curate the world’s most advanced, fully-integrated training facilities. Much of this involves Technogym equipment including the Technogym Altitude Room which includes Skillrun and Technogym Bench.

Over the next three to five years Brandon’s vision for House Of Athlete and Technogym is ‘monumental’. He truly believes that the athlete is someone who needs to study. If we can take all that information out and share it with the general population, we can be healthier.’

Speaking during the Technogym Talk, he explains that if the events of 2020 taught us anything, it’s that our health is important and we need to take it seriously. How so? Here’s a recap of what you may have missed from his exclusive chat.

Sports science is everything

How do we do things smarter and better, questions Brandon, who says that as "an old school athlete", back in the day it was no pain no gain, but now we train smarter and get more out of it. Technology and medicine are better now, meaning we can go on later in the game like Serena Williams and LeBron James. Touching on the Technogym Skillrun, Brandon describes it as an assessment tool. A lot of people are creating treadmills but how do we utilise these to make us better? This treadmill tells us that one side of the body is off, and we need to correct it. We now understand proper position equals more power.

Discover Skillrun

Using the technology and science we have now, it’s critical we do what we can to maintain our fitness throughout life. We must continue to ask questions and develop. We have to embrace sports science. I can get you better in the park but is it sustained? Are you doing what you can to stay away from injury? If we’re training in pain, we won't hit our goals. And although you might just think this is aimed at athletes, science and technology help the general population too.

Everybody can be an athlete

Perhaps not everyone is an athlete professionally, but as Brandon explains, we’ve all got the same physiological capabilities. Athletes are the healthiest people on the planet - how we train, eat and approach our mental health and mental fitness is an example of how the general population should train. How we recover and who we surround ourselves plays a huge part in our overall success. There are so many trends and fads out there from a nutrition and fitness standpoint, but there’s never been anyone looking at how athletes train. With people making millions from- often unsustainable -diet and fitness plans, Brandon thinks it’s time to follow in the footsteps of athletes. Which is what House of Athlete will be offering all their athletes and members.
Train, Fuel, Mental Fitness, Recover and Tribe. These are the five pillars implements with all their athletes. It’s about training like an athlete, fuelling specifically for an athlete’s unique needs, connecting body and mind, providing facilities to help recovery and being part of a bigger team. When it comes to fuel, Brandon says that 60-70% of the results is how we approach the plate. Ideally we wanna get all the macros and micronutrients from food but it’s impossible sometimes.

Brandon’s goal is to create clean supplements, suitable for everyone, from the athlete through to the soccer dad. When asked what one thing he does every day for his mental health, Brandon explains that all five of these pillars together contribute to his mental health. We think it’s all meditation or a medical diagnosis but it takes all five of those pillars together.

Stay present

The most powerful place we can be in is in the present place. Speaking of his world recording-breaking achievements, Brandon explains that he went into games with a quiet swagger. Eliminate distractions and focus on the priority. By doing this form of meditation and mindfulness, Brandon says we will live more fulfilled lives and accomplish more. He also adds that meditation and mindfulness has helped him deal with stress and the pressure of being a number one receiver in the NFL.

Routine is everything

It’s a philosophy Brandon swears by. From having a wake up time, to knowing when you’re exercising, when you’re eating, when you’re taking your supplements and even when you’re going on a date night. Be present in all those moments. Whether you’re eating training or spending time with your loved ones.

Speaking about the routine at House of Athlete, he says that on Wednesdays, they don’t train physically they use it as a “mental fitness day”. That's what the top athletes in the world do. What we do here is give you the blueprint and the routine. From when to fuel and take supplements, to when to recover, Brandon says that without a routine, you’re probably going to lose. ‘It’s a lifestyle’.

Sleep is everything

I'm not a scientist but I know that when you sleep, that’s when the body rebuilds and recovers. From a mental and physical standpoint, sleep is everything, says Brandon. He explains that we need to lean into the topic of sleep so much more than we currently are doing. We need to know how many hours of sleep we should be getting to finding out everything about REM sleep. Even from a performance standpoint, throughout the day we take in so much information. The brain, when you sleep, it can go through what it needs to store, what can go in the memory bank and what it can kick out.

As for the ‘grind hard, sleep later’ approach that many people take, well, it’s a firm ‘no’ from Brandon. Last week I was burning the candle at both ends and I felt horrible! When I got four hours of sleep I was trash on tv. I could feel the effects. It’s tough to see yourself fail in front of millions of people.

Facing challenges with confidence

You might not think that someone who seems so composed and together, could ever doubt their own capabilities. However, when questioned on his most challenging moment in sport and his career, Brandon had an answer straight away. In sport, there was one time in my prime where I realised my confidence wasn't there. I was wondering, how the hell am I in my tenth year of playing and I’m struggling with confidence?

We gotta fight for it, explains Brandon, who says that at various points throughout his career, he needed words of affirmation to help bring his confidence back. There’s been plenty of times I have had to check on my confidence. No matter what you do, you gotta believe in you. If you have that you have everything.

When it comes to business, Brandon knows he has a lot to learn; a challenge he is ready to take on. We (House Of Athlete) are gonna lead the discussion and education from a performance standpoint but I have so much to learn as a young founder and CEO. If I can't learn it I will have to fire myself and put someone else in my place. But I know I am built for it. To ensure he continually learns and digests new information, Brandom reads books and takes educational courses. It’s no different from how I prepare to become the best football player I could be.

If I had any advice for my 22 year old self, it would be to not take things so personally and to be more curious.

Brandon is an avid reader, choosing to bury his nose into a range of different books. For business, Brandon favours books by Jim Collins, in particular his book, "How The Mighty Fall". I read all his books back in 2014, remarks Brandon. From an athletic standpoint, he chooses to read books by former world champion athlete, Dan Millman. Then it’s "Relentless" by Tim Grover, which Brandon says he reads when he wants to know how to get to another level when he needs more.

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