Tom Brady is still dominating in his 40s thanks to a strict fitness and nutrition lifestyle he calls 'The TB12 Method'

  • At 41 years old, Tom Brady is as dominant as ever, something he credits to his strict, regimented lifestyle.
  • Brady has divulged his training and diet secrets in the form of his book, “The TB12 Method” and more.
  • One of Brady’s core philosophies is pliability, in which he avoids traditional weight-lifting to keep his muscles soft and loose.
  • Brady is also a strict eater, avoiding sugars, some fats, alcohol (most of the time), and even certain types of vegetables.
  • Brady’s strict lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and some scientists disagree with his philosophies, but it’s clearly working for him.

Tom Brady seems to have found the Fountain of Youth.

At 41 years old, in his 19th season, Brady is preparing to play in another Super Bowl, the ninth of his career and fourth in five years.

Brady credits his longevity to his regimented lifestyle.

In recent years, Brady has shed light on his diet, exercise and recovery habits, and overall lifestyle in the form of a book, “The TB12 Method,” a cook book, apparel, and documentary. He has created the regimen and business with his friend, business partner, and trainer, Alex Guerrero, who Brady cites as an influential figure in his life.

But how exactly does Brady employ the TB12 method to get results in his day-to-day life?

Learn more about one of the strictest lifestyles in sports below.

Sam Belden contributed to this report.

At 41, Tom Brady is the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL, and still one of the best.

Tim Bradbury/Getty

In a 19-season career, he has won five Super Bowl rings and has been named to 14 Pro Bowls, including the past 10 years.

Michael J. Ivins/Getty

But staying at the top of your game for nearly 20 years isn’t easy — in fact, Brady is a bit of a fanatic when it comes to his physical fitness.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty

He is meticulous about his workout routine…

…and even more meticulous about what goes into his body.

Brady divulged some of his secrets in his book,”The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.”

Published in 2017 the book is filled with diet, exercise, training, and recovery tips ranging from the conventional, inventive, and questionable.

The TB12 Method is built on 12 different principles, from balance and moderation to promoting anti-inflammatory responses in the body.

Mike McGinnis/Getty

TB12 Sports

But the most important concept may be the first one on the list: pliability. Brady calls it “the missing leg of performance training.”



According to Brady, conventional weight training leaves muscles short and dense due to the constant contractions. He believes that long, soft muscles lead to peak performance.

Justin Edmonds/Getty

Read more: Tom Brady explains his biggest secret to playing football at an age when everyone else retires

Brady is a big believer in working out with resistance bands, rather than conventional weights (though he doesn’t eschew weights).

In a documentary series, “Tom vs. Time,” Brady gave a behind-the-scenes look at the intense massages he gets with Guerrero to keep his muscles long and soft.

Read more:
Tom Brady’s Facebook documentary gave an inside look at the bizarre massages he says help him keep playing at age 40

And Brady works hard for maximum pliability. His incredibly regimented daily routine has garnered attention in recent years, with numerous other players attempting to emulate it.

Maddie Meyer/Getty

Boston Globe

That includes Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ tight end.

Tim Bradbury/Getty

Read more:
Tom Brady has Rob Gronkowski on a food and alcohol diet and is even cooking him daily meals

Brady does put in the work behind the scenes, often arriving in the weight room by the crack of dawn. Former teammate Rodney Harrison once joined Brady at the gym at 6 a.m., only to be greeted by a sarcastic, “Good afternoon.”

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Read more:
Tom Brady Does Brain Exercises So He Can Go To Sleep At 9 PM And Wake Up Without An Alarm

As a result, Brady says his body is better conditioned for the impact of an NFL game.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

He said his brain is now wired for contact, and that when he takes a hard hit, he barely feels it because his body “disperses” the forces.

Read more: Tom Brady says he can’t even feel some of the hits he takes anymore because his body is ‘wired’ for contact

But as hard as Brady works out, it’s his diet that really throws people for a loop. With a litany of strict rules regarding what and when he can eat, he’s the NFL’s resident ascetic.

For example, Brady’s diet includes a ton of fresh vegetables — but only certain ones. While carrots and dandelion greens are staples, he avoids nightshades, a group of veggies that includes tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and eggplants.

Sean Gallup/Getty

Read more:
Tom Brady’s diet is so strict that it excludes an entire group of vegetables

And those aren’t the only foods Brady refuses to eat. White sugar, white flour, and dairy are nowhere to be found in his kitchen. He “rarely” drinks alcohol, and he’s never even tried coffee.

Read more:
Tom Brady says he doesn’t just avoid coffee – he’s never tried it in his life

He’s not big on dessert either — for him, avocado ice cream is a special treat.

Read more:
Tom Brady’s diet is so strict that he eats avocado-based ice cream as a treat

Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, and his children are also adherents to the strict diet. The kids almost always eat the same meals as their parents.

Read more:
Tom Brady’s kids have a diet that is almost as strict as his

Staying hydrated is another bedrock of the TB12 Method. Brady says he drinks between 12 and 25 glasses of water a day, or up to 2.5 gallons.

Read more:
Tom Brady drinks up to 2.5 gallons of water a day as part of his incredibly strict diet

He also adds electrolytes to everything he drinks. He even sells his own electrolyte solution.

TB12 Sports

He has some odd ideas about the benefits of staying hydrated. While Brady suffered frequent sunburns as a “fair-skinned Irish boy” growing up in California, he says he doesn’t get them anymore because of all the water he drinks. “I always hydrate afterward, too, to keep my skin from peeling,” he wrote.

Sports Illustrated

But many experts reject the water-as-sunscreen life hack. Jodi Stookey, an Oakland-based hydration epidemiologist, said she had “a small chuckle” when she read the passage, while David Leffell, a dermatologist at Yale University, called it “ridiculous.”

The Daily Beast

Others have questioned the strictness of Brady’s diet, which he purports to be 20% acidifying foods and 80% alkalizing foods. “What you eat doesn’t affect blood pH,” said the exercise physiologist Stacy Sims.

The Guardian

Because of the sunburn claim and others like it, many have serious doubts about The TB12 Method as a whole. A New York Times headline said the book was “hefty but short on science.”

Maddie Meyer/Getty

The New York Times

It has led to some negative publicity for Alex Guerrero, Brady’s longtime personal fitness guru and co-collaborator.


Guerrero has a checkered past. In the early 2000s, Guerrero, acting as a doctor, developed a nutritional supplement known as “Supreme Greens,” which he said could cure ailments like AIDS and cancer. Eventually, the Federal Trade Commission found the product to be ineffective and barred Guerrero, who holds only a master’s degree, from ever again referring to himself as a doctor.


Boston Magazine

But even with Guerrero’s checked history, Brady sought his help, and he has put on a historic display of consistency and longevity. The quarterback said the training is “huge, huge reason why I’m still playing.”

Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Boston Globe

Brady and Guerrero even opened a gym together. The TB12 Sports Therapy Center is located in Foxborough, less than a mile away from Gillette Stadium.


USA Today

Brady and Guerrero sell other items designed for recovery, too, like special pajamas…

Under Armour

Read more: I tried the clothes Tom Brady uses to help him sleep better and recover faster after games – and they work surprisingly well

… to foam rollers and “vibrating spheres”


Source: TB12 Sports

Brady is unwavering in his commitment to his health, but his lifestyle may not be for everyone. “It’s unique to each individual. It’s a very customised program for each person because everybody’s body type is different,” Guerrero said of the TB12 Method.

Dustin Bradford/Getty

USA Today

Belichick certainly isn’t an adherent. “We see Tom every day,” he said when asked if he would purchase the TB12 Method. “I don’t really feel like we need to read a book.”

Jim Rogash/Getty

Read more:
Bill Belichick had a great response to whether he plans on buying Tom Brady’s new book

Brady has said he does take moments to enjoy his life, whether it’s with a cheat meal or a day off. But he said he also makes sacrifices and stays diligent with his training and diet to stay at the top of his game. It’s clearly working.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Source: Westwood One Sports

Now, take a look at the quarterbacks teams are kicking themselves for drafting over Brady….

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The 6 quarterbacks taken before Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft >

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