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Tom Brady has been talking about the benefits of his holistic lifestyle regimen, while backing it up with legendary on-field performance, throughout his late 30s into his 40s. Now, he’s revealing the habits and benefits of that regimen in a new self-help book The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.
Along with workouts and recipes, the book includes anecdotes from the G.O.A.T. himself.
Here are excerpts from the book, which releases on September 19:
On high school: “As an athlete, I was a late bloomer. I also wasn’t someone who put a lot of effort into school, though I was a B, B-plus student who did well in math, statistics, and finance. The thing is, I never really applied myself to academics, since reading books would have taken time away from my much greater passion and time commitment for sports.” (p. 7)
On the origins of TB12 Method: “Sometime during the 2004 training season, one of my teammates, Willie McGinest, saw me taking time off practice and took me aside … Willie had a certain aura and charisma about him—he was “the Godfather” of the locker room—and he’d always been like an older brother to me. Seeing what was happening, Willie suggested I meet with his body coach, who at the time was Alex Guerrero. Without that meeting, the TB12 Method would never have come to exist.” (page 18)
On the impact playing football has on his body: “Playing football for a living was like getting into a car crash every Sunday—a scheduled car crash—and I began developing a whole new understanding of what I was putting my body through every week, and the amounts of trauma my body was experiencing.” (page 19)
On motivation: “I want to play until my mid-forties, and I realize that requires a focused, disciplined approach. I’ve always been more motivated to target and improve on my deficiencies, and I still am. Coach Belichick says, ‘You pay the price in advance,’ and a teammate of mine liked to say that ‘The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.'” (page 29)
On pliability: “Pliability is the name Alex and I give to the training regiment he and I do every day. Using his hands and elbows, Alex performs targeted, deep-force muscle work to lengthen and soften every muscle of my body, as I rhythmically contract and relax that muscle. We almost always focus on my entire body, unless on area takes up more of our time.” (page 55)
On weight training: “Alex always says, ‘For long-term peak performance, you can’t train slow and move fast.’ Over a short window of time it may be possible, but lifting heavy weights and moving fast at the same time is not very sustainable. And it’s certainly not sustainable if you want to maintain optimal pliability. Maybe younger athletes with natural pliability can—but they’ll be sacrificing durability and longevity. Lifting heavy and moving fast is counterintuitive and counterproductive.” (page 122)
On hydration: “Try not to drink too much water during a meal, as it can interfere with digestion. Wait an hour or so after you’re done eating before you drink water, since water washes away the body’s natural enzymes, which break down your food. Rule of thumb: Drink more water before and after meals than during meals.” (page 212)
On his diet: “The regimen I follow is a mix of Eastern and Western philosophies. Some of these principles have been around for thousands of years. My nutritional regimen may seem restrictive to some people, but to me it feels unnatural to eat any other way. Many people have conditioned their bodies to a nutritional regiment made up of lots of white or pale-looking foods—french fries, potato chips, white bread, chicken nuggets—that don’t exist in nature.” (page 217)
On dairy: “When I was a kid, the dairy industry rolled out lots of campaigns urging people to drink lots of milk. Remember milk mustaches? I actually did that campaign back in 2002! But research today is pretty clear that we should consume dairy in more limited amounts. Our belief at TB12 is that dairy products are high in calories and lower in nutritional value than other foods.” (page 223)
On positivity: “Things happen sometimes that I don’t welcome or want, but I make the choice to remain positive. That is something within my control. I don’t like to focus on negatives or to make excuses. I am never a victim. I gain nothing if I get angry or frustrated. You can make life a lot harder for yourself by focusing on negative things in your path or making excuses for why things didn’t go your way.” (page 271)