Bluffdale resident, Former BYU linebacker promoting healthy lifestyles with new podcast
Aug 06, 2019 02:21PM
● By Catherine Garrett
Former BYU football player Jordan Pendleton chats with former NFL wide receiver Austin Collie on his weekly podcast, “The One with Jordan Pendleton.” (Photo courtesy Jordan Pendleton)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
A lifelong dream of playing in the NFL that went unfulfilled led former BYU football player Jordan Pendleton to an understanding of a different purpose: Training others with unique individualized approaches in their own athletic pursuits.
The Bluffdale resident has been the owner of Performance One in Lehi the past five years where he has been working with athletes of all types, including those in the professional ranks. He has recently released a podcast titled “The One with Jordan Pendleton,” to have conversations about healthy lifestyles, human performance, motivation, leadership, failure, successes and adversity, among other topics.
“In my industry, there is a lot of garbage and misportrayed information,” Pendleton said. “I want to weed out all the bull crap and help people truly be successful with a platform that can reach everyone, especially those that can’t actually get to my gym.”
Pendleton acknowledges that the podcast is actually stretching himself since the self-proclaimed introvert is reaching outside of his comfort zone to share what he has learned through his own personal experiences and by observing other respected professionals in his field.
“I work with people all day that are struggling with the same things I did, whether it’s a challenge with a coach or not getting results or whatever,” he said. “I know that I can help them and the more people we reach, the more people we help.”
In the first two episodes of “The One with Jordan Pendleton,” the now-30-year-old shares his journey from prepping at Bingham High where he led the 2006 Miners squad to their first state football championship in 60 years to battling through multiple injuries throughout his collegiate career before giving it a go in the professional ranks.
Although he had a clear direction for the way his football talents would take him, he suffered setbacks early on at BYU — which began with a misdiagnosis of a shoulder injury — that took him down a road to just 22 starts during his time at linebacker in the Cougars program, while missing 30 due to various physical challenges, including serious knee injuries.
“Even the games I started, I was never 100 percent,” Pendleton said. “I didn’t play one game at BYU completely healthy, and I had to shoot up pain medication and drain my knee and do whatever I had to in order to get back out there. But, I didn’t understand the compensation consequences to my body that came because of all that.”
During his freshman year at BYU, he got a tattoo with the word “perseverance,” never fully realizing what that word would come to mean to him and how it would symbolize the challenges he would face even following BYU. After his 2011 senior season, Pendleton set his sights on workouts with NFL teams and prior to meeting with the New England Patriots, he sat down with his doctor to face a new reality. He was told that he could either play one year in the NFL or hang it up and look forward to physically being able to play with his future children due to his extensive injury challenges over the past five years. It was then that Pendleton knew that he had played his last down in the sport he loved.
“Perseverance,” — his favorite word now — is what motivated him out of bed each morning working though depression and a loss of purpose as the only dream he had ever known was no longer available to him. Following odd-end jobs in construction and sales and building a small clientele — of three athletes on the side as an athletic trainer because he was “passionate about being in the gym,” he used his degree in exercise science to land an internship, out of 130 applicants, at the University of Kentucky.
It was in Lexington that he was introduced to a program with ground-breaking technology that would monitor football players’ activity levels and adjust workouts individually based on various factors such as workload, recovery and even outside stressors that impact performance. In essence, the sports performance coach was writing up the daily workouts for the football team rather than the head coach, which is almost unheard of.
“This changed everything for me and made me want to get into this, as I saw this different training approach where we would train athletes one day and be able to assess what their bodies could handle the next day,” Pendleton said. “They switched up movements so other parts of the body weren’t compensating for each other. I had never seen this before, yet it made so much sense with really listening to each individual body and the results validated the methods. It was brilliant.”
Challenges continued for Pendleton as he struggled through a divorce at the time, but he had found a new purpose with his passion that helped him “get back on my feet and out of my slump.”
“It took me a couple of years to get over the bitterness I felt towards a lot of people and aspects of my journey, but I really looked myself in the mirror one day and said, ‘You didn’t make it, so you can use this to be better or remain where you are,’” he said. “I decided to use my ‘mess’ to be my ‘message’ and help other people not make the same mistakes I made. I’m not that bitter person anymore.”
He returned to Utah and opened “Pendleton Performance” gym, which has since been rebranded and named “Performance One” referencing the jersey number he ended up with after waiting for three years at BYU for his beloved “21”. His business slogan, “Train to Be the One,” emphasizes the individual focus he takes for each client or athlete with respect to nutrition plans, strength and conditioning, and ever-evolving cross-training methods and needs.
Pendleton said he gets a tremendous amount of satisfaction through his clients.
“I live vicariously through them now,” he said. “Whether it’s helping someone decrease their body fat percentage, get them in better shape or help them increase speed, power and strength, it’s a competitive thing for me to get them results. I’m always still competing with myself. I can’t turn it off; it’s a constant battle of trying to progress in a positive direction.”
The next episode on “The One with Jordan Pendleton” features former NFL wide receiver Austin Collie, who also happens to be his brother-in-law. Collie was leading the NFL in receiving yards for the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 before he sustained a severe concussion that ultimately ended his professional career six years later following brief stints with the San Francisco 49ers, the New England Patriots and the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.
“I’m trying to talk with others about their own journeys, insights and experiences that can help everyone,” Pendleton said. “I’m interested in the adversity we all face and a ‘What are you going to do about it now?’ mindset.”