STACK interviewed J. J. Watt at the 30th annual Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards in Los Angeles on July 14. The All-Pro defensive end and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year from the Houston Texans talked about how he pushes himself to the limit during each and every workout.
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STACK: Is there a workout you just poured your all into and got completely spent?
WATT: Just about every single one. That’s the goal. I mean every single day that’s the goal. Push yourself to the limit and see what your body is capable of, and rebuild it for the next day so you can do it all over again.
You are alluding to recovery and refueling. Is there a method that you use?
Yeah, you need to make sure you fuel your body properly before a workout. You need to get it in quickly, you need to get the proper carbohydrates, proper protein to make sure you can recover before the next session, because your session was no good if you didn’t put the right things to help build your body back up afterwards.
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Was there ever a time when you worked out without carbohydrates?
I try to avoid that as much as I can, but yeah, a long time ago there were situations where I wasn’t properly nutritionized. But there have been times—you can completely tell as an athlete, you know your body so well you can completely tell whether you took care of your body for a workout. That’s why I try to take care of my body every single day.
Talk about Gatorade and the role it plays in your training.
Gatorade is huge. I mean I play down in Houston, where it’s 110 degrees every practice, so I need to replenish, I need to rehydrate, and I need to get electrolytes back in me, and Gatorade does that. Gatorade has been with me since my rookie year, even before that. It’s crucial to getting me on the field and getting me ready again for the next practice. It’s been huge for me, and it’s going to continue to be huge for my whole career.