In today’s episode, we’re joined by Taylor Rapp, BPN athlete and free safety for the Los Angeles Rams. In this episode, we’ll hear about his journey from high school to college where he played for Washington, then getting drafted to play for the NFL. We’ll hear his views and ideas on nutrition, his on and off-season training and the mindset and hard work which has led to his success. 

Taylor discovered his love of sports while playing baseball as an adolescent, but the slowness of the games led to his burnout of the sport. He then pivoted to football, and ever since has dedicated everything to achieve his goal of playing professionally. He had scholarship offers from many huge universities, but ultimately decided to stay in his home state and accepted the offer to play at the University of Washington. Taylor believes he wasn’t born gifted or ultra talented, but that his work ethic and determination is what ultimately propelled him in life. In high school, he gave up a social life and anything else that may deter him from reaching his goals. This mindset of always working towards the next big step followed him into college and remains with him today.

Taylor described his frustration over not being selected on the first day of the draft. However, he believes this adversity only made him stronger in the end and he is grateful for the way things played out. After being drafted, players are thrown into their new team right away and the dynamic between newcomers and veterans can be touchy. Because of the corporate and cutthroat nature, Taylor wouldn’t say playing for the NFL was what he expected in his early aspirational days. The love and enjoyment of the game often gets stripped away from players.

As a professional athlete, nutrition plays a huge role in Taylor’s life. After entering college, he became more nutrition-conscious as a way to separate himself from other players and propel him closer to his goals. Now, he is even more knowledgeable and conscious of the relationship between nutrition and performance. He recalls the reflection he had with himself which led him to take himself to a whole new level. Since, he has increased his carb intake to a more efficient amount, which has enabled him to endure his workouts better and think more clearly. He also speaks of the importance of sodium and electrolytes in retaining hydration.

Next, Taylor gives a look into his different recovery methods. Everyone is different in what kind of recovery works best for them, and he shares his favorite methods. He also shares his favorite sources of carbohydrates as well as his favorite fruits and vegetables with emphasis on plant diversity. 

As the episode draws to a close, we get a look into how training differs on vs. off-season, with off season being the most intense. About 2 weeks out from training camp is when they usually hit their maximum volume, then decrease leading up to the camp. The method is down to a precise science to preserve the athlete’s health and endurance levels.

Timestamps:

00:05 Introduction of today’s episode and guest

02:48 Taylor’s background in playing sports

12:14 Discussing work ethic, prioritizing yourself and following your dreams

15:30 Taylor’s college experience and mindset of “go one more”

18:20 Overcoming adversity

21:00 Discussing the transition between after being drafted

23:40 Does playing for the NFL live up to the hype?

26:05 Taylor’s perspective on nutrition

30:05 How increasing his carb intake has elevated Taylor’s performance

33:01 Importance of sodium in retaining hydration

38:00 – Methods of recovery

43:10 – Taylor’s favorite foods

45:25 – Intensity of training on vs. off season 

Links:

Learn more about Taylor Rapp.

Learn more about Bare Performance Nutrition.