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Podcast No. 46: Steve Weatherford, Super Bowl Champ, Entrepreneur, Fitness Expert

October 30, 2019

My guest this week is Steve Weatherford, Super Bowl champion, founder of Weatherford Fit, and former Muscle & Fitness cover model.

By Will Ahmed

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Once considered the fittest man in the NFL (an incredible accomplishment for a punter), Steve is now an entrepreneur, business owner, podcast host, and all-around fitness guru.

Steve and I talk about his unlikely path to the NFL, and how he transformed his body in high school from a 108-pound freshman to a 225-pound senior. We also discuss all the things he did during his playing career to become one of the league’s pound-for-pound strongest players, and how he’s stayed in amazing shape since retiring from football. Additionally, we take a deep dive into his nutrition, sleep, training methods and philosophies that have helped him succeed in life after the NFL.

Show Notes:

3:39 – Why WHOOP? “I want more, and in order to get more, you can’t have the same routine that you have right now, even if it’s working for you. To do more you have to become more, and in order to become more you have to find where your gaps are at … and that’s how I found WHOOP,” Steve explains. “I wanted something that would run on autopilot and was convenient for me.”

6:23 – Body Transformation. Steve started high school at 5’8”, 108 lbs. “It wasn’t until later on in life that I realized my body type needs carbohydrates.” He says he “looked like a bobblehead” on the football field.

8:42 – Soccer Players as Football Kickers? “The cat’s out of the bag. Kickers and punters are making $4 million per year.” Steve made roughly $60,000 per punt during his NFL career. “Kickers’ and punters’ jobs are being consumed by people that are not of this country because they are so good with their feet.”

10:43 – Talent to Be a Pro. “I was just trying to help the football coach,” in high school when he first started playing football. “I learned pretty quickly that I had elite caliber talent … People started to talk about it really quickly because my distances 955-yard field goals) were NFL caliber distances.”

11:48 – Discover, Develop, Deploy. “If we’re going to do life right, it should be all about discovery of your gift, then developing it, then deploying it. Go out and try things, and go out and try a lot of things. If it feels OK when you fail, it’s probably something you can get good at.”

13:09 – Only 32 Jobs in the World for what he did. “Even the guarantees in the NFL are not guaranteed.”

13:53 – That Extra Edge. “Sleep was that one thing that I had never fully dialed in. … I need somebody to kind of watch my back to let me know ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t be training really hard today.’” That’s what WHOOP does for him.

18:52 – Managing ADHD. “The greatest thing that I have ever discovered to be able to manage that is routine, and sleep.”

19:38 – Needing Carbs. “As soon as I added carbs into my diet, that’s when I became somebody who would be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness. … All of the peak performers that I knew were all about protein.”

20:48 – Power of Sleep. “I can connect the dots and see when I’m rested I treat people better, I don’t miss mistakes, I remember more stuff.”

22:23 – Faith, Family, Fitness, Finances. “All men rank themselves on how good their life is on those four things. … I don’t know too many men that are winning the race in all four things.”

23:28 – The Lonely Punter. “Nobody likes being around the punter. If there’s 52 guys on the team, I have like the 51st or 52nd coolest job. At least the kicker can be hoisted up on people’s shoulders because he hit the game-winning field goal. Nobody wants to see what I’m about to do, I’m giving the ball back to the other team.”

29:08 – Perspective. “I believe you can hypnotize yourself with the language you choose to use. We all do it if we’re not conscious of it.” Steve gives the example of how he should say “I get to pick up my son” after the show as opposed to “I need to pick up my son.”

31:33 – Life Flow. “I’m in life flow right now, and it’s the first time I’ve ever really been able to say that.”

33:07 – Feelings vs. Commitments. “Amateurs operate on their feelings, professionals operate on their commitments. This is pretty much a life motto for me. … Make a commitment to certain things in the day, and start keeping promises to yourself. When you start operating and making decisions throughout your life based upon what your committed to and not what you’re feeling like, that’s when you start to get the exponential growth.”

37:20 – Coaches for Non-Athletes. “I have a coach for almost every category of my life.”

37:55 – Self Leadership. “To me the greatest leaders are ones that can lead themselves.”

39:45 – Personal Development. “If I improve myself, whatever I touch is going to bring that with me,” Steve says. “Make sure that you’re building time into every single day to develop in an area that you want to develop.”

41:21 – Best Advice for Self-Improvements. “For me, it’s definitely coaching. I have really enjoyed being a part of Masterminds. … We all help each other grow each other’s businesses.”

42:35 – Hard Work or Relationships, which is a better key to success? “I’m getting paid $0 to be here right now, I legit love what you’ve built. That’s relationships. For me it’s relationships, when I create relationships with people, I try my best to provide more value than I’m ever going to ask of them.”

44:24 – High Intensity, High Humility. It’s a rare combination that can bring a lot of success.

46:53 – “Mission Over Me.” Steve shares lessons from being part of a team. “But if you win a championship, everybody’s getting laid.”

48:06 – Idea Meritocracy, where the best idea wins, no matter who has it.

51:43 – Everesting 29029. “You climb up this mountain that’s 2.3 miles to the top, then you take a gondola down, and do it 13 times inside of 36 hours. … What’s the Everest in your life? My Everest was being alone, I hate being alone. I wanted to create an experience where I had never been more physically exhausted.” Steve’s day strain was 20.3. He fell asleep while walking (similar to Robert Moeller’s experience while competing in the Specter Series). “I was just resting my eyes, I didn’t think I would ever fall asleep while I was awake and moving.”

57:27 – Life Lessons on the Mountain:
“Make a right turn and don’t think about it.”
“Don’t give your pain a voice.”
“Don’t look up, focus where you’re feet are at.”
“Micro goals make big goals small.”

1:02:25 – Adrenal Fatigue. “I didn’t care about the things I cared so much about … 90% of it was the adderall.”

1:04:28 – Sleep Tips. “I really enjoy a nice epsom salt bath. No phone. Then a nice light stretch on my lower back.” Steve likes to watch reruns of boring TV shows he’s seen before. He’s also becoming a fan of CBD oil. “I’ve seen more REM from CBD” on WHOOP.


Related: Patrick Mahomes’ WHOOP Data – Quantifying the Strain of an NFL Season

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Will Ahmed

Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. WHOOP members include professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, fitness enthusiasts, military personnel, frontline workers and a broad range of people looking to improve their performance. WHOOP has raised more than $400 million from top investors and is valued at $3.6 billion, making it the most valuable standalone wearables company in the world. Ahmed has recruited an active advisory board that consists of some of the world’s most notable cardiologists, technologists, marketers, and designers. Ahmed was recently named to the 2021 Sports Business Journal 40 under 40 list as well as 2020 Fortune 40 Under 40 Healthcare list and previously named to Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Ahmed founded WHOOP as a student at Harvard, where he captained the Men’s Varsity Squash Team and graduated with an A.B. in government.