"My Daily Routine," a new buffalobills.com series presented by Supercuts, goes beyond the football field to give fans a unique glimpse of the Bills.
Despite sustaining a season-ending injury early in the 2019 campaign, Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips hasn't wavered in his commitment to himself, his teammates and his non-profit work. In this edition of "My Daily Routine," presented by Supercuts, Phillips provides an in-depth look at what a day in the offseason consists of for him.
In the morning
What time do you wake up in the morning?
In the offseason, I typically wake up between 8:45 and 9 a.m. I never wake up on a number divisible by five. I don't wake up at 45, 50, 55 or nine. It's has to be 56, 57, 58.
How long have you been like this?
Ever since I've set an alarm. If in middle school I had to wake up at 7 a.m., if I woke up at 6:59 versus 7:01, I always felt like I was sleeping more – one minute more and it's a whole different ball game.
What's the first thing that you do when you wake up?
I turn off both alarms, grab my phone and see if there's any urgent five missed calls or voicemail type of thing. I don't answer any texts or anything like that. I just check to make sure there are not missed calls or something big. Then I brush my teeth. I get my clothes out the night before.
After I brush my teeth, I sit back on the corner of my bed and right on the ground – where I can sit on the corner of my bed and still reach them – are my sweats, t-shirt, socks for the day and hoodie. I throw those on, walk out into my kitchen and I have a place where I keep my phone and wallet. I grab my phone and wallet, throw my shoes on and I'll grab a water bottle. Sometimes I'll just leave one next to my phone and keys, so I remember to chug it. I chug the full bottle of water, throw it in the recycle bin and walk out the door.
At One Bills Drive
Do you eat at home in the morning?
I haven't been because we've had meals at the facility. I normally, and same as the season, I wouldn't eat at home, I'll come to the facility and eat. My routine starting next week is I'll make my normal breakfast here. It's three eggs and two pieces of toast for the most part.
How do you make them?
I normally do over easy and I do three or four – depending on if I have cardio in my day or not. If it's a lift day, I need more protein. It used to be like seven to 10 eggs in the morning but since I've been hurt, I've been trying to lose a little bit of weight. So, it's like four eggs and one or two pieces of wheat toast and a bowl of fruit. That's my breakfast every morning, with another big bottle of water.
So, you stay healthy during the offseason too?
Yes, even more so during the offseason.
I'll either make all that here or drive to the facility. The first thing I do when I get to the facility is swipe in the locker room, drop off my backpack, go up to breakfast and make that meal.
What comes next in your day?
I'll go back to the locker room now that I ate. I do it this way so that I have a little time to digest. Then I'll change into my workout gear.
Normally, I'm in the training room ready for rehab by 10 o'clock. I normally go in and I'll grab… [the trainers] and we'll start with things I need them for. They're called "mods" – they'll push on my knees and do some ultrasound…These are just different modalities in the training room to either get swelling out from the day before or get me warmed up for the day.
So, I just sit on my table – I have a table in the training room that is kind of mine because I sit on it all the time. I go there and they'll work on me for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes. By 10:30 a.m., I'm doing my actual exercises to warm up. That includes some iso holds and some stretching, things like that. On a typical day, I will lift from about 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. So, about two hours of lower body rehab. That's because of where I'm at in my health right now. For a normal person, they would go squat and get a good lift in. Well I'm not there yet, so I have to do a full lift for my quads, a full lift for my hamstrings, a full lift for my glutes, a full lift for my calves and so I have to isolate the muscles.
It takes a little bit longer. It's like an hour of rehab and an hour of lifting. The rehab stuff is more, 'hold this position on one leg and catch the football' like a balance drill or, 'hey, do these small little jumps' like jumping rope that are more rehab oriented. The other hour is what you imagine of pumping weights and weighted hamstring curls and 500-pound leg press and stuff like that.
As soon as I finish that, I eat lunch at the facility. I most likely will get a chicken breast or fish, if they have it, like a salmon. I'll get two or three pieces, brown rice and then, I'm not a very good vegetable eater, but if they have broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts or cauliflower, I'll get as many of those as I can eat. If they have spinach, I'll take just a full scoop of normal spinach and I'll crinkle it up in my hand into one giant ball and I'll shove it all into my mouth at once and eat a full serving of spinach in one mouthful. I don't like the taste…people who see me do it for the first time think it's a show. It's funny. I get a smoothie as well.
I eat my lunch from least good to best tasting food. So, I do the spinach first, then broccoli, then the brown rice, then the chicken or salmon and then my smoothie for last – I get something to look forward to.
What do you put in your smoothie? Do you get the same one every day?
I have a smoothie at the facility called the "Harry" or the "Harrison." I can't exactly tell you what is in it. You can go up and ask. So, I normally have that every day – a "Harrison." It's vanilla protein, banana, almond milk, almond butter. It's fairly healthy, but since it's after a long workout, it's calorie dense to refuel the calories lost. I'll sit up there and talk to one of the trainers or whoever for a half hour lunch or so.
Normally, I'll go down and change my shirt and hoodie and then I'll do my cardio for the day. For a half an hour I ate and chilled for a little bit, but I'm pretty good. I can eat a full meal and then go play a football game. It doesn't really affect me, so I don't have to wait too long. I'll do my cardio and start around 1:30 p.m. For my rehab, I'm running on the 'AlterG' treadmill, which is a treadmill that you zip yourself into and it puts air into a vacuum so that I can run at a lighter body weight than I really am. It's really cool.
Today I ran 10 mph for 14 sets, so I was able to work up to 10 mph. That's probably the most fun part of my rehab. So, I do that – that's about 15 minutes. Then when I finish that, I'll either choose a 30-minute Peloton, 20 minutes on the elliptical or 10 minutes on the StairMaster. I'll choose one of those three things every day and my favorite is the elliptical.
I'll put on…an episode of 'The Office' and that's about 21 minutes. So, I'll just elliptical the whole episode and try and get two and a half miles in that time. When that's done, I go down the stairs, I get my protein and creatine – an after-workout protein shake that they have for me. I'll put that in a water bottle, with some water, I walk into the training room and I go to the sauna. I'll sit in the sauna and cool down from my exercise, but still sweating a bunch, for about 15 minutes and drink my protein shake. I'll be on my phone that whole time. That's when I'm checking off all the stuff for the day. So, texting everyone back…see some emails, do what I need to do in there.
If I started my cardio around 1:30 p.m., I'm done around 2-2:15 p.m. because if I ate poorly the night before, I'll do two of them. I'll 'AlterG' and do the StairMaster or something like that, depending on if I went out to dinner with friends. Then I'm in the sauna for another 15 minutes or so. Around 2:30 p.m., I finish in there, I'll go into the locker room, shower, change – they have a bunch of hygiene stuff in there, so I'll get fully ready for the day. I finish up there around 3-3:15 p.m. and then leave the facility.
In 2019, the Buffalo Bills celebrated their 60th season as a franchise by going 10-6 in the regular season and clinching the AFC's fifth seed. It is the second time in three seasons under Sean McDermott that the Bills have qualified for the playoffs, and was a great way to celebrate the 60th season of the Buffalo Bills and the 100th season of the NFL. Scroll through to view the top photos and moments from the season.
So, I get a good six hours or so at the facility every day. Then, I come home. The first thing I do when I come home is drink a full glass of water. After working out all this time, I make sure I hydrate. Then, the rest of my afternoon, I do one of three things. Number one, I'm learning to become certified in scuba diving. So, I have a bunch of books and pamphlets and stuff I have to read, as well as hours and hours of video. I have to take classes twice a week for pool dives. Normally, that's Monday and Wednesday for me, but there are also other classes I can take if something comes up where I'm traveling. This afternoon, I'll come home, I'll probably read about 30 minutes of one of the test booklets and educate myself.
Are you doing this by yourself?
Yes. The other thing I'll do is, I'll come home and watch a couple episodes on Netflix.
What do you watch?
I watch 'The Office.' I watch 'Parks and Rec.' Everyone's telling me to watch 'You,' so I'm currently watching that. It is what it is. I haven't gotten addicted to it yet, but I'm sure it will come. Then, three, I'm writing a book.
Yes, I'm planning to write a book about my non-profit 'The Playmakers' and working with kids with special needs.
Those are the three things I do in the afternoons.
Dinner & A show
I bought a cow last year. I bought the meat of a cow, 880 pounds. So, I normally make dinner here at the house. I love grilling, so every night I'll grill a steak, I'll make a roast. When no one's around – the team, especially my family, it's making fantastic hamburgers and so I'll grill up some of that for dinner most nights just here at the house by myself. I normally eat that meal around 5-5:30 p.m.
Then one or two nights a week, I have the Regal Movie Pass, so I'll go to the movies. I can go with the trainers or some of the friends I've met here…There's just a solid group of guys that I'll shoot out a text and if somebody wants to go to the movie, they'll go. If I go alone, that's fine too. I just saw '1917' last night – pretty good movie. Then on the way home from the movie, or when 8:30 p.m. rolls around, and it's been another three hours or so, I might stop and get Rachel's Mediterranean Grill or something on the way home or eat here at the house. I have a few healthy protein bars, as well as bananas and stuff like that. So, I'll have another snack around 8:30-ish.
I'll flip on the TV and see if there's anything on or not and finish up some of those same activities. I might watch some of the scuba diving videos or might work on the book a little bit more. I call home to my parents; I call my girlfriend at night when she gets home from classes and stuff too. That's normally a 45-minute phone call or FaceTime. She's got the dog back there too, so she'll show the dog and we'll goof around and talk about each other's day.
I'll answer emails and plan and make sure everything's squared away for the next day, then lay out my clothes and brush my teeth. I get into bed by 10 o'clock, with a goal to fall asleep by 10:30 p.m. So, if I'm on my phone for a half an hour or if I watch an episode or something, I normally do that for 30 minutes before I fall asleep. Then, sleep at 10:30 p.m. and I'm up around 8:30 – 8:45 a.m.
Do you need complete silence to sleep?
I'm in the world of completely pitch black and quiet, but when it's quiet – I live in townhomes, so we share walls. So, if it's completely silent and the other building makes noise, it's so sharp. All the lights are off and the only noise I keep is a fan next to the bed on high and it might not be blowing on me, it might be blowing the other direction, because I keep my house pretty cold – like 65 degrees. But there's the fan noise going so it can white noise out some other stuff. That's how I fall asleep each night…I sleep directly in the middle of my king size bed…then the alarm goes off and the days repeat.