On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, business executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and rituals.
On 10 August 2012, American freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs was on top of the world. He had just defeated Iranian wrestler Sadegh Goudarzi in the Men’s freestyle 74 kg finals to capture the gold medal at the London Olympic Games. He sought to repeat the accomplishment at the Rio Games, four years later, but unfortunately placed ninth in his event.
Burroughs was understandably devastated from the loss. “I’ve sacrificed so much to get here. I wanted to be among the greats. I wanted to be a Simone Biles, a Michael Phelps, nationally. I wanted to be those guys, and it’s unfortunate,” he said during the post match interview.
In an interview with Nebraska newspaper, Lincoln Journal Star, Burroughs’ wife Lauren spoke about the wrestler’s crushing disappointment, “He was just so broken. Nothing can ever hurt him as much as that did. Nothing ever again.”
The loss knocked him off his feet, but didn’t knock him out. The Olympic world champion absorbed the defeat, and the lessons that came with it, and kept moving forward with his goals.
It was hard to think about, because I had done everything right and it still didn’t work. Up to that point I had always thought if you put in the work, you get the reward. But I realized that you can still do everything right and not be rewarded for it. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying.Broken & Rebuilt: The resurrection of Jordan Burroughs | Lincoln Journal Star
On a typical training day, Burroughs’ daily routine starts at 6.30am, before the rest of his family wakes up, to make his first first meal of the day: a green smoothie loaded with spinach, avocado, almond milk, seeds, turmeric, almond butter and plant-based protein powder.
“I try to eat an hour or two before I train,” he told Men’s Health. “I like my body to be relatively hungry—not full, not weighted down. I like to get the nutrients I need, but also still be able to perform at a high level.”
At 9am, Burroughs heads to the gym for his first training session for the day. His training is usually a mix of conditioning routines — fan bike interval sprints and battle ropes — strength circuits with pullups and band presses, as well as lots of wrestling drills.
At 1pm he’ll have a lunch break, usually a protein omelette with vegetables and fruit on the side, before heading back to the gym for his second gym session. For dinner, Burroughs will usually have some salmon with spinach and mushrooms, with sweet potato on the side.
“I really like to get workouts in early in the morning so I have time to spend the rest of the day with my family and enjoying the things that I love,” he said in a Men’s Health interview. Between the 2012 London Games and the 2016 Rio Games, Burroughs and his wife welcomed a son — Beacon born 19 July, 2914 — and a daughter Ora, born 11 June, 2016.
In an interview with WRCB, Burroughs opened up about the struggles of balancing his young family lifestyle with Olympic dreams. For instance, he no longer takes his beloved afternoon nap, which were a staple in his daily routine.
“I want my son and my wife to be in a certain position to be successful and happy. But I want to be the best wrestler in the world,” he admitted. “Sometimes our dreams collide and intercede with each other. And it’s not always fun to have those conversations and those moments where you’re spending time elsewhere and missing important developmental years and stages of a child’s life.
Before you go…
Preorder our Daily Routines ebook today! Featuring first-hand interviews, insights and revelations compiled from 50 of the world’s most successful people.