When it comes to a high-performance lifestyle, the founder and president of EXOS Mark Verstegen speaks from nearly three decades of experience. By applying the lessons he’s learned working with elite athletes, the company he leads is improving the health and productivity of corporate workers around the world.

Prominent brands, such as Intel, adidas, and a quarter of the Fortune 100, along with Mayo Clinic have partnered up with EXOS to boost the engagement and well-being of their employees; professionals who want to be better tomorrow than they are today. The secret, reveals Verstegen, is to transform the entire conversation around performance.

“You go to work, and work has a dashboard for you,” he begins. ”Here’s your position, here are your targets, and here’s how you’ll be measured. Perhaps once a year, you get feedback and rewards. That part is clear, but maybe in your everyday life you don’t care if you don’t perform so well or sleep that much. Then suddenly, five years later, you realize you’ve been neglecting an essential part of who you really are. It takes a lot of energy to climb out.”

This is where a custom-made corporate wellness program can help. Instead of focusing on disease management and reducing absenteeism, the way to concrete results is through prevention, by building a culture of health and performance.

Mark Verstegen EXOS coach adidas headquarter workout instructor productivity tips
Mark Verstegen takes adidas employees through an EXOS workout at the World of Sports.
team workout outside Eric Liedtke adidas exos mark verstegen productivity tips
From interns to board members such as Eric Liedtke, a culture of health and performance is embraced at adidas.
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The benefits will span beyond work. “The aim is a better quality of life where you are in control,” says Verstegen who knows that a successful corporate wellness program should be both holistic and measurable.

Employers need to find engaging ways to inspire their talent, but in the end, individual employees are the ones driving the process.

For GamePlan A, Mark Verstegen shares his tips on taking your work performance and productivity up a notch.

1. Get the mindset right

The EXOS philosophy is built around the elements of mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery. When highlighting the importance of a winning mindset, Verstegen starts from finding your ‘it’, the reason you wake up each morning, the catalyst that keeps you going.

“Surroundings change, but if you’re a top performer it doesn’t matter what conditions you’re in – your mindset always goes with you,” he says.

“Good facilities? Great. No facilities? No problem. We never had a facility with the German National Team, for example, when we were preparing for the World Cup 2014.”

2. Treat every day as game day

You don’t need to be a professional athlete in order to think like one, believes Verstegen. Yes, athletes have access to coaches, physiotherapists, and nutritionists around the clock while the rest of us are responsible for taking care of our bodies and minds ourselves. In addition, you might have kids, parents, or significant others to care for, plus everyday pressures to deal with.

3. Push back to recover

Not everyone will get Verstegen’s simple equation right: work plus rest equals performance. He talks about mastering this simple formula well, “savagely well,” for its life-changing benefits to grow exponentially.

“If you feel you’re being pushed in a direction at work of always doing more and more, harder and harder, you have to push back. Top athletes, too, draw clear boundaries between work and rest. After all, what you do after a game is just as important as what you do before and during the game.

4. Play, win, repeat

So you figured out your ‘it’, mastered the foundations of proper nutrition and movement, and make sure to recover and re-energize. Consistency and repetition, however, is what makes a high-performance lifestyle flourish.

“Anyone can excel for a day, even for a week,” says Verstegen, “but it’s not about doing something world class once. It’s about doing something world class against the toughest competition, day after day, week after week, all year long. That’s what makes the best become even better.”


Here’s how Mark Verstegen upgrades lives.

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by Nina Weihrauch 03.05.2017
Hi Maria,

thanks for sharing Mark's knowledge with us!
I love how Mark transfers principles of training theories to work life.
"Work plus rest equals performance" will be my mantra for next week. ;)