How vital is Jochem Uytdehaage?
by Eduard Schaepman, on 11 Feb 2021
Former top ice skater and Olympic champion Jochem Uytdehaage has quite a few victories to his name – even besides the 2 times gold and 1 time silver in Salt Lake City in 2002. He won the title of World Champion of the 5km and European Allround Champion, for example. But it's not just his skating victories that are inspiring: after just one conversation with Jochem, you feel like changing your lifestyle. I cycle with him regularly and like me, he loved sharing his inspiration and energy with you!
Do what you love
Growing up in Utrecht, Jochem has been a sportsman from an early age. His parents were not extremely sportive, but they encouraged him to try everything. And he did. The first photo of him on wooden ice skates was taken when he was around 4 years old, but by the time he was 7-8 years old, he was starting to enjoy it. According to Jochem this is very important, because when you get better at something, you start to like it more and vice versa. From that moment on, he could often be found on the Vechtsebanen, but he didn't had the ambition to become a champion yet. Around his 13th birthday, he became more fanatical: the result of an invitation to join the track selection. He could be found on the track daily under the guidance of a strict (sometimes a little too strict) trainer, and then went on to the growth selection and at 18 he was in the Young Oranje team. That meant 18 training sessions a week, from skating on the track to strength training and rest, spread over 7 days. And that resulted, 7 years later, in 2 gold and 1 silver medals at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Talking about an icing on the cake.
In 2007, he put an end to his professional skating career and felt the need to share his knowledge with the world. Optimal performance on the ice depends on many factors, also your mental state for example, and that's what Jochem studied. He inspired many men and women with lectures and clinics on the four 'batteries' of your energy, and on vitality. The Tribes team was also impressed after his motivational and energetic session, about two years ago.
Priorities and plans
Whereas Jochem used to train 18 times a week when he was at his peak, he now spends 10-12 hours a week training. Mainly on his bike: the heavy training he did in the past has caused an impact on his back. A bit of running, for example, is no longer an option, but he does do about two hours of strength training a week to maintain the muscle mass. Sport remains his highest priority: He plans his exercise hours carefully and sees them as appointments with himself. I’m curious to see wheter it’s possible for him to do the Elfstedentocht this year! Exercise is the highest priority in his life, and yes, even above his girlfriend, but he also does it for his girlfriend. If he doesn't exercise for too long, he gets cranky... So I am very curious to see whether he will manage to do the Elfstedentocht this year!
Think about what and when you do something
Jochem isn't extreme about healthy eating, but he is conscious about it. For example, he takes in more carbohydrates when he's going on a long trip, limits his alcohol intake consciously because of the impact it has on our bodies. He himself only drinks when he feels like it, but he is not against alcohol. As long as you think about what and when you do something: if you want to have a beer together after a strenuous workout, wait 1.5-2 hours to give your body time to recover.
Vitality and happiness a 9
Jochem deliberately speaks of vitality and not health: the healthy, mental and physical condition that Jochem has studied. All these factors play a role in your happiness, so that's why I asked Jochem 'what grade do you give your vitality', instead of his health. He gives himself a 9, with minimal points for improvement in the areas of sleep and nutrition. He also gives his happiness a 9, with the conclusion that if you take good care of yourself, you can take better care of others.
Watch the whole episode this afternoon on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTsjbI2Zjcxwo8Tyc_7_FQ or listen to the podcast on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/72j2FSBuqOenNtGqY6KRXh?si=zlnYmYdzTmqQtUF5J3GUCA