Olympic Skateboarder Jagger Eaton’s Training Is Lots of Tricks and Chipotle

jagger eaton
Olympic Skateboarder Jagger Eaton Getty Images; Matt Ryan, MH Illustration

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This story is part of Men's Health's "Road to the Olympics" series, where six athletes share their training journeys as they prepare to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics in July. Read all of the athletes' entries here.

AT ONLY 23-YEARS-OLD, Jagger Eaton chuckles as he tells Men's Health, "almost every injury has happened to me at this point." But, when you've been on a skateboard since you were four, competed against adults at the X-Games as a pre-teen, and trusted to be one of the few Ralph Lauren Olympic ambassadors, there's little that's typical about you. The 2024 Paris Summer games will be the second Olympics he competes in before he turns 25, but he's attacking it with the poise of the seasoned veteran he is.

You can't predict what will happen in the Olympics, but Eaton's training leaves little to chance. He practices simulations of the events he'll be competing in multiple times a week, working on tricks that have given him concussions and broken ankles. It's not because he's fearless. He's always afraid before he practices. He works on the tricks that almost guarantee hospital visits because he believes "if you're nervous, you can still perform."

Before he takes off for Paris, Eaton gave us a look into the training he's been doing with Team USA Skateboarding coach John Nicholson in San Diego, detailing how everything from beach trips to Chipotle are helping him get into Olympian shape.

MEN'S HEALTH: What’s your typical day look like?

JAGGER EATON: I wake up at 6:20 a.m. By 6:30, I'm in the ocean for six to ten minutes, depending on how cold it is on a particular morning, but it's always some level of freezing. My first meal of the day is at 7 o’clock. It is always something protein and carb-dense. Then, from there, I get home around 7:45 or 8. I read, journal, and sometimes turn on a show, depending on the mood. I may just go out and hit some golf balls or something. Then, my first training session starts at 9:30, and it's not skating. It's all mobility, flexibility, and core stability for 90 minutes.

At 11, I have a quick snack and take my magnesium and zinc supplements. Then I go to the skate park, and I skate from 11:30 to 1 p.m., where I skate street course first. I take a break for an hour, go back, and skate the park course. I skate both for about an hour and a half, and both of those sessions are mock contests, so I'm running full-contest formulations.

When I'm done, it's about 3:30 p.m. I go home, get into a collared shirt, and I'm on the golf course until sunset. I’m a huge golfer. Then, I’m back home for one more meal and in bed by nine o'clock.

MH: What does your training plan look like at this point?

JE: My cycle of training is three days on and one day off. The first two days are just street skating. The first day of the cycle is a mock contest. The contest format I'll compete in at the Olympic Games is two runs and the five best tricks. One run counts for your total score. You have two runs, you have five tricks, and they take your top three scores, and one of those scores has to be a run. So, I run a full mock contest. My coach basically does percentages every time I run a mock contest about where the tricks are, when I land them, how I land them, and what he thinks the scores would be. The second day basically involves running runs to stay fresh on them and running the tricks for reps. The mock contest takes about 45 minutes; the second day takes me about an hour and a half to run all the reps because I'll do the best tricks three or four times each in a row. The third day is park skating. I do a mock contest every first day of the cycle twice.

MH: Skating is a unique sport in terms of movement patterns. Are there any interesting workouts you implement?

JE: When I say core work, I mean diaphragmatic breathing. It's like belly breathing. It gives your heart a massage, as my coach Paul Hiniker would say. So if you're living a really disciplined life like I am, where every minute, every training session, everything matters, it's good to do something that can immediately calm you. I've found diaphragmatic breathing really helped me calm my mind and body down. For growth and rehab, I've noticed a big difference with that.

It's also the same reason I do the cold plunge. When you can lower your body temperature a good amount, it can lower levels of inflammation in your whole body, which can lead to injuries and illnesses.

MH: What do you eat in a day?

JE: My diet is a pretty standard healthy diet. When I'm eating healthy, and I'm light on my board. I feel the best. So [I eat a lot] of leafy greens, protein, and carbs are healthy, complex carbs. In the morning, it’s four eggs, cheese, beans, leafy greens, tons of water, and one coffee. I always wake up in the morning and pound at least a bottle of water. For lunch, the common theme is Chipotle—a burrito is the go-to. Dinner is either Chipotle again—because I love Chipotle—or something like steak or chicken, leafy greens, and a little bit of carbs.

MH: How do you stay focused?

JE: I’m completely off social media. This happened [around November] when I got a social media manager, and I wanted to make my content authentic, but I also needed the space. I did that because I just needed to manage my distractions. I've seen a lot of very successful people do that. They're really good at managing their time, their distractions, and the people they’re around. I do want to see everybody else's life. I'm really close to my friends and my family, and I'm always in communication with them. But I do it the old-fashioned way—I'll give them a call, or I'll go see them. Some of my best friends in the world are in New York. When we're in New York, we go out and shoot pool. And we'll skate. It’s hard because this generation has a really big addiction to attention. I think that's kind of the new epidemic with young people in their 20s and teenagers. But again, it's just a sacrifice you need to make.

MH: How do you manage your mental health?

JE: Mental health plays a huge part in what we do, especially with how much fear skateboarders deal with on a daily basis. I'm never not afraid. I'm always scared every session, no matter what it is, because so many little things can happen, and almost every injury has happened to me at this point. The advice I always give for mental health is: If you are not physically healthy, start there. Waking up in the morning, getting outside, going to help others, eating incredibly healthy, and supplementing can play big parts in how your brain operates.

MH: What do you do to stay motivated?

JE: I’m never not motivated. There's a part of training every day where I need to prove to myself that I can do it. The confidence I get from a solid training day is the most motivating thing. I've been skating for almost 19 years. I competed in my first pro contest when I was 17. Staying motivated for me is not a problem. I try to remain grateful. When I'm grateful, I am in a way better headspace. I don't need anybody to tell me to go; I'm always in go mode.

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