What We Learned From Tom Brady’s New TB12 Method Book
When I go to the resident Patriots bar in NYC, Professor Thom’s, I try to limit my consumption of nachos. Most days I use my ridiculously expensive Equinox membership and have mostly cut out Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I’ve never been a health nut, but do believe that balance is key.
For Tom Brady, consistency in routine is one of the major facets of his lifestyle. Tom has given plenty of interviews about what he doesn’t eat or how he trains, but all this information is now in one convenient location, The TB12 Method.
I ordered The TB12 Method mainly because I’m a nosey Pats fan and wanted a glimpse at Brady’s spartan lifestyle and training methods. Brady’s main focus is to give the whole lifestyle picture and then leave it up to the individual to figure out how much of this is viable in your own life. Whatever works for you.
One disclaimer for this piece is that I only have a pretty basic knowledge of the human body. I have one high school anatomy class under my belt and a forthcoming art school degree, so you’ll have to excuse me if the mechanics are more obvious than they appear. I’m going to try and not make this sound like a book report, but the physiological stuff that Brady talks about is complex, and more complex than I think is explained in the book, so bare with me. At the end I’ll give you the most fascinating takeaways from the book. But first, let’s talk pliability!
Brady insists that pliability is the missing leg of training. Just rehabbing an injury isn’t enough, the focus should be more on prevention. The very bare bones idea is to train the muscles so that they can better handle unexpected trauma. Positive trauma happens when the muscles are soft and lengthened both pre and post workout. This keeps the muscles from staying tight and dense which is what can lead to injury when there is negative trauma introduced to the body.
When Brady gets hit during a game his body undergoes a lot of negative trauma in an extremely short amount of time. If it’s too much to handle, that’s when serious injuries occur. (RE: Brady’s ACL and MCL tears in the first game of the 2008 season against Kansas City.) Brady’s method of pliability trains the muscles- and the brain – to absorb more of that negative trauma by building up a memory from shorter, positive trauma during the pliability sessions. The pliability sessions also work as brain training – much of The TB12 Method discusses mind/body connection in relation to preventing injuries.
The idea of working out isn’t to build up a whole bunch of muscle mass that everyone can see. Brady is very adament that muscles are for work and not show. He wants to build muscle to use for what is necessary in his life. That’s why a large part of his daily workout routine is resistance band exercises, and the largest section of the book is by far feature diagrams of the different resistance band exercises.
Brady also belivees the body can absorb larger impact with proper nutrition and hydration. This all comes back to the idea of keeping on a routine.. That includes trying Brady’s famous avocado ice cream, a recipe that can be found in the back of The TB12 Method.
Here are some of the more fascinating nuggets (not that TB12 eats those) on the topics of food and drink from The TB12 Method. All jokes aside, it really is some interesting stuff and clearly the results speak for themselves.
– “Carbonated water has less oxygen than regular water, is slightly more more acidic, and can also be dehydrating. I avoid it. ” The hydration chapter really fascinated me. Maybe because that was the easiest section to understand and because I didn’t realize that I am drinking nowhere near enough water. Obviously Tom does not share my La Croix addiction
– Relatedly, “even if I get an adequate amount of sun, I won’t get a sunburn, which I credit to the amount of water I drink.” Next time I go to the beach, I’ll just drink half my weight in water instead of beer and I should be good to go. LOL. JK. I’m not going to do that and neither should you. Sunscreen is your best friend.
– More hydration: “Drinking at least one-half of your body weight in water everyday day is a great place to start.” That’s a lot of water. I’m a 130lbs. That’s 65 ounces of water minimum. My daily three cans of La Croix don’t count towards that.
– Anything Brady drinks has electrolytes in it. He’ll go through a bottle of TB12 electrolytes a day. It’s the best friend to all that water.
– What does he do when the only options are pasta, pizza, or a cheeseburger? “I’ll order a cheeseburger. I just won’t order two or three of them. Or I’ll eat half. I may love the taste, but I know that eating cheeseburgers or pizza won’t help me accomplish my athletic goals.” Fair point. Before I read this book I wasn’t under the assumption that Brady was crushing cheeseburgers on his day off.
– He brought his own TB12 snacks, electrolytes, protein, and supplements when he went to Italy with Gisele last September. I think that sums it all up right there.
– There’s a recipe for ‘pasta with creamy sauce’. Tom admits that he doesn’t eat this one often, but he does like a good Fresh Veggie Lasagna.
I love Tom Brady. What he’s been able to accomplish in his NFL career is nothing short of amazing, and there is something to be said about his lifestyle choices. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to give up potato chips, but the book as a whole is encouraging to implement what you can into your lifestyle. If avocado ice cream helps keeps Brady on the field for another 3, 4, 10 years, maybe I’ll even give it a try.