Kirk Cousins sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber, is obsessed with managing every detail of his life, and it may even outdo Tom Brady

  • Kirk Cousins is obsessed with micromanaging every detail of his life.
  • Cousins reportedly manages the electrical activity in his brain, records his hormone and testosterone levels, sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber, and more.
  • It appears to be paying off as Cousins is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and on his way to a massive payday.


The sports world at large has been fascinated with Tom Brady's determination to micromanage and obsess over every detail of his life, from his rest, recovery, muscle pliability, brain function, and most of all, diet.

However, for all of Brady's obsessiveness, he may be beaten out by the Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

According to Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop, Cousins follows a similar model as Brady, tracking and detailing every aspect of his life, but he may even outdo Brady.

According to Bishop, during the week, Cousins consults with his brain coach to track the electrical activity in his brain. This is just one specialist in Cousins' team, which includes, according to Bishop, a fitness guru, physical therapist, naturopath, kinesiologist, biochemist, and several mentors, one of whom is a former FORTUNE 500 CEO.

Bishop laid out the other aspects of Cousins' micromanagement:

"Cousins is half QB, half biology experiment. He spends tens of thousands of dollars annually on saliva testing and brain training, tissue rejuvenation and blood work and massages. He sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber. He measures his deep sleep and his REM sleep; his hormone, adrenal and testosterone levels; his heart rate and his breathing. This season he started analyzing the left side of his brain, rather than both sides, because it controls his internal speech, the part of his brain he’s trying to calm."

According to Bishop, to try and improve Cousins' ability to manage the electrical activity in his brain, he used a computer program over the summer that played movies and slowed them down or shrank the screen when he showed too much brain activity. He watched all seven "Star Wars" films.

23 PHOTOS
Kirk Cousins through his career
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Kirk Cousins through his career
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins warms up before a game against the New York Giants at FedExField on November 23, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 12: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans talks to coaches on the sideline against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Spartan Stadium on September 12, 2009 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Chippewas defeated the Spartans 29-27. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 05: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans warms up prior to the start of the game against the Montana State Bobcats on September 5, 2009 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING,MI - CIRCA 2011: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans poses for a portrait in 2011 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Michigan State Spartans/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
12 JAN 2012: Education Session entitled Students First: Giving Student-Athletes the College Experience They Deserve held at the JW Marriott and Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. Joshua Duplechian/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.Pictured: Kirk Cousins
ASHBURN, VA - MAY 06: Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass during the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
ASHBURN, VA - MAY 06: Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins speaks to members of the media after a practice during the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Quarterback Kirk Cousins of Michigan State looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 07: Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III #10 (L) and Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins take the field before playing the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on October 7, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Dec 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) throws a pass in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) runs off the filed after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 41-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks for a receiver against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after a touchdown by Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) against the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the first half in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) on the sidelines against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) joins his teammates and members of the United States Armed Forces in holding a giant american flag during the national anthem prior to the Redskins' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates with fans after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) stands in the pocket in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
September 17, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws as offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) blocks Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) locks arms with teammates during the national anthem before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Cousins likes to wake up early and make to-do lists that he calls "action plans." He's obsessively detailed, pinning pictures of reporters to the wall in his office so he can remember their names. He keeps a stack of folders dating back to 2010 of notes for each game.

According to Bishop, the day after Cousins' wife went into labor with their first child, Cousins FaceTimed from the delivery room into the team's quarterback meeting, despite being excused from practice the day before.

"The doula thought that was weird," Cousins told Bishop. "She wanted me a little more present."

All of it is paying off, however, as Cousins is in line to be handsomely paid this offseason. Like Brady, Cousins was underestimated for most of his career, an average to below-average athlete whose skills weren't as highly valued as some of his peers. However, though obsessive study of the game and preparation, Cousins has cultivated himself into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. This offseason, the Redskins have a few options: give Cousins a franchise tag worth about $34 million or wait until another team offers him a similarly giant contract and weigh whether to match it.

So while Cousins' "process" doesn't seem very fun, it appears to be working.

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