In the cover story for this week’s Sports Illustrated, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he hopes to play at a high level into his 40s.
In the cover story for this week’s Sports Illustrated, the typically private Rodgers—who turns 32 in December—opened up to reveal some of his methods for achieving increasingly higher levels of success. The four-time Pro Bowl selection, two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP enjoyed another stellar season in 2014, completing 65.6% of his passes for 4,381 yards, 38 touchdowns, five interceptions and his second MVP award.
The story by Greg Bishop covers a lot of ground, but one anecdote starts in February 2011, about two years after Rodgers was named the Super Bowl XLV MVP. Rodgers called Angelo Poli, who runs Whole Body Fitness in Rodgers’s hometown of Chico, Calif. Poli’s business shared office space with Rodgers’s father, Ed, and Rodgers was interested in overhauling his training regiment and diet.
“That was the first time I really thought about how nutrition affected my workouts,” Rodgers says, sharing that he underwent testing for his metabolic profile and, in Bishop’s words, “a breakdown of how he ate and ran and sat.”
Rodgers won his first MVP that season, but as Bishop writes, his quest for continual improvement was just getting started.
The season after he started working with Poli, Rodgers won the first of his two MVP awards. (He won against last year.) But that didn’t end his quest. He watched documentaries, like Food Matters, about nutrition. He sampled vegan restaurants and limited his coffee intake. He changed his sleep habits, aiming for at least eight hours a night. He tried P90X and Insanity workouts, and while once he figured he would retire in his mid-30s, he now says, “Nutrition and flexibility are things that will keep me playing at a high level into my 40s.”